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VIP Animal Encounters

In addition to our free, public feedings.

VIP Animal Encounters

Add on a unique animal encounter to make your visit extra special! (VIP Animal Encounters are in addition to regular admission prices.)

Register Now!

Pick from the following options for your next Living Coast adventure.

 Feed the Rays & Meet a Shark

Times Available: 10:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

First, your personal guide will take you on a behind-the-scenes tour of our aquarium:

  • See where we prep all of our aquatic animals’ food.
  • Visit our ocean invertebrates touch pool.
  • Learn about the daily care that is needed to keep our animals healthy at the Living Coast.

Finally, your turn for the VIP Ray feeding session!

  • Ready to get UP-CLOSE? Your guide will show you how to hand feed our rays and pups (baby rays).
  • Touch one of our shark species*. What a great photo opportunity!

 Meet a Raptor Close-up

best barn owl

Times Available: 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Choose from the following birds for this adventure!

  • Our majestic owl, the barn owl
  • Our smallest owl, the screech owl
  • Our diurnal (daytime) owls, the burrowing owls
  • Or our beautiful falcon, the American kestrel

Once you pick your favorite, your guide will take you on a behind-the-scenes tour of Raptor Row and introduce you to our birds of prey.


  • Learn each of their stories and why these animals are here with us.
  • Experience a close encounter with the bird of your choice.
  • Get some great photo-ops with your raptor of choice!*

 Encounter Reptiles Up Close

Coastal Glossy Snake (2)

Times available: 10:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.

Please pick TWO animals to meet and greet!

  • Slow and steady desert tortoise*
  • A local favorite, rosy boa snake
  • The “king of snakes”, our kingsnake
  • Our quick gopher snake
  • Or our desert iguana, the chuckwalla

Take a behind the scenes tour of our prep areas with your personal guide:

  • Go behind-the-scenes and learn the daily care of our reptile and aquatic species.
  • As a bonus, get to visit our ocean invertebrates touch pool.
  • Visit our reptile areas to meet-and-greet with the two reptile ambassadors*.

 Feed the Green Sea Turtles



Times Available: 11:30 a.m. (weekends only) and 2:00 pm (daily)

First, head over to Turtle Lagoon!

  • Learn about the endangered Eastern Pacific green sea turtle.
  • Head into Turtle Lagoon (3-4 at a time), to feed and get up-close to the sea turtles.
  • Capture this memory of a San Diego native rarely spotted in the wild.

The, take a behind the scenes tour of our aquarium with your personal guide:

  • See where we prep all of our aquatic animals’ food.
  • Visit our ocean invertebrates touch pool.
  • Learn about the daily care that is needed to keep our animals healthy at the Living Coast.

*Special Note: Animal presentations and behind-the-scene areas are subject to change based on the health and welfare of the animals.

Private VIP Encounters:
Each experience is a 30 minute VIP Tour and personal animal encounter. Each behind-the-scenes tour is only $50 for a group of up to 6 people. Additional guests can be added-on, up to 10 maximum. Registration and payment is required. Admission not included in the VIP Encounter fees.

Register Now!

Weekend Walk-Ins:
If a particular VIP encounter has not booked when you arrive at the Living Coast on a Saturday or Sunday, walk-in guests will have the opportunity to join a shared-private tour for just $10 per person!
This promotion is only good for walk-in guests and not applicable for reservation ahead of time. Availability and animal choice is not guaranteed with walk-ins. If you would like to guarantee that you and your family will be able to participate in a VIP Animal Encounter, a private reservation is highly encouraged.

Questions? Call us at 619-409-5908