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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 and require pre-registration to guarantee availability.)

*Admission must be bought separately, onsite or online

Book 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.
  • 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 beautiful falcon, the American kestrel
  • Our large regal hawk, the red-tailed hawk

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.

Book 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.

Cancellation Policy:
No refunds will be given for cancellations less than 3 days prior the scheduled encounter date.  For cancellations made more than 3 days prior to the date, an 80% refund will be given.  LCDC reserves the right to cancel any encounter or modify the encounter due to animal well-being.  In the event that LCDC cancels an encounter, all fees will be refunded.  Encounters are held rain or shine!

Questions? Call us at 619-409-5908