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Does The Monterey Bay Aquarium Offer Ebt Or Low-Income Discounts?

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the top aquariums in the United States, featuring exciting exhibits and marine life from around the world. For families on a budget, the cost of admission may be prohibitive.

Does the Monterey Bay Aquarium offer any EBT or low-income discounts to make visiting more affordable?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Unfortunately, the Monterey Bay Aquarium currently does not offer discounted admission rates specifically for EBT card holders or low-income families. However, they do have free admission days a few times per year.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Admission Costs

Regular Admission Rates

The Monterey Bay Aquarium admission costs are as follows:

  • Adult (ages 18-69): $59.95
  • Youth (ages 13-17): $49.95
  • Child (ages 5-12): $44.95
  • Senior (ages 70+): $49.95
  • Children 4 and under: Free

These rates allow access to all exhibits during normal daytime hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is worth noting that tickets must be purchased online in advance, as there are no in-person ticket sales.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium also offers a variety of discounts and promotions throughout the year.

For example, they offer discounted tickets to military members, seniors, and groups of 15 or more people. They also offer free admission to children on their birthdays (with proof of age) and to residents of Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties during Community Open House events.

The aquarium also offers discounted packages.

A Family Membership can get you Free admission for one year, access to exclusive member-only events, and a 10% discount on dining and on purchases in the Aquarium Store and online shop. This discount is available to families who purchase a Monterey Bay Aquarium membership.

While standard admission rates may seem high compared to other attractions, keep in mind the aquarium is a world-class facility with cutting-edge exhibits. The ticket prices help support marine research and conservation programs.

However, budget-conscious visitors have ways to save on aquarium visits.

To learn more about the Monterey Bay Aquarium admission costs and discounts, please visit their website or contact them at (831) 648-4800.

monterey bay aquarium


The most cost-effective way to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium frequently is to purchase an annual membership. Membership levels offer unlimited admission for a full year, with prices ranging from $150 to $295 for families and $75 to $95 for individuals.

Another option is multi-visit passes. The 3-day pass costs $89 for adults and $54 for children, offering a nice per-visit discount. Similarly, the 5-day pass costs $139 for adults and $84 for children. These passes allow entry on non-consecutive days within 12 months of first use.

Visitors planning multiple visits within a year should compare the costs of membership or multi-visit passes versus regular admission. For frequent visitors, membership or multi-visit passes offer the best value and can lead to significant savings.

When purchasing regular admission tickets, additional savings are available by booking online in advance. Online tickets are $5 less per person compared to walk-up rates. Advance ticketing allows visitors to skip ticket lines on arrival.

Discounts and Free Days at the Aquarium

Visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium can be a fantastic experience for individuals and families alike. However, the cost of admission can sometimes be a barrier for those on a tight budget.

Thankfully, the aquarium offers a range of discounts and free days to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to explore and learn about the wonders of the ocean.

Free Community Open Houses

One of the ways the Monterey Bay Aquarium gives back to the community is through its Free Community Open Houses. These special events are held several times throughout the year and provide free admission to residents of Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties.

It’s a wonderful opportunity for locals to visit the aquarium without worrying about the cost, and it allows families to enjoy a day of fun and education together.

BOGO Deals and Kids Free Offers

In addition to the Free Community Open Houses, the aquarium also offers various BOGO (Buy One Get One) deals and Kids Free offers. These promotions are a great way to save money while still experiencing all that the aquarium has to offer.

Keep an eye out for these special deals, as they can provide significant savings for families and individuals.

It’s important to note that the availability of these discounts and free days may vary throughout the year, so it’s always a good idea to check the official Monterey Bay Aquarium website for the most up-to-date information.

The website will also provide details on any additional requirements or restrictions that may apply.

Remember, everyone deserves the chance to explore and learn about the incredible marine life found at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. With their range of discounts and free days, they are committed to making this experience accessible to all, regardless of income level.


Applying for Aquarium Fee Assistance

If you are wondering if the Monterey Bay Aquarium offers EBT or low-income discounts, you’ll be pleased to know that they do provide fee assistance programs for individuals and families in need.

These programs aim to make the aquarium accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial situation.

Monterey County Resident Program

The Monterey County Resident Program is designed specifically for individuals and families who reside in Monterey County. This program offers discounted admission rates for residents, making it more affordable for them to visit the aquarium.

To qualify for the Monterey County Resident Program, you will need to provide proof of residency, such as a valid government-issued ID or a utility bill with your name and address.

Once you have provided the necessary documentation, you will be able to enjoy the discounted admission rates and explore the wonders of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Request Form for Financial Need

If you do not reside in Monterey County but still require financial assistance to visit the aquarium, you can fill out a request form for financial need. This form allows individuals and families to explain their financial situation and request discounted or free tickets based on their circumstances.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium takes these requests seriously and reviews each application on a case-by-case basis. They understand that financial circumstances can vary, and they strive to accommodate as many individuals and families as possible.

To access the request form for financial need, you can visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s official website and navigate to the “Tickets” or “Visit” section. There, you will find information on how to apply for fee assistance and access the necessary forms.

It’s important to note that availability and eligibility for fee assistance programs may vary, so it’s recommended to check the aquarium’s official website or contact their customer service for the most up-to-date information.

Visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium can be an enriching and educational experience for individuals and families alike. With these fee assistance programs in place, the aquarium strives to ensure that financial constraints do not hinder anyone from enjoying the wonders of the ocean.

Other Ways to Visit on a Budget

If you’re looking to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium on a budget, there are several options available to help you save money.

In addition to any potential discounts for EBT or low-income individuals, here are a few other ways you can visit the aquarium without breaking the bank.

Go During Off-Peak Days and Hours

One of the easiest ways to save money on your visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium is to go during off-peak days and hours. Typically, weekdays and mornings tend to be less crowded compared to weekends and afternoons.

Not only will you avoid large crowds, but you may also be able to take advantage of discounted ticket prices during these times. Check the aquarium’s website for any special promotions or discounts offered during off-peak hours.

Bring Your Own Food and Drink

Another way to save some extra cash is by bringing your own food and drink to the aquarium. While there are on-site dining options available, they can be quite pricey.

By packing your own snacks or lunch, you can enjoy a picnic in one of the designated areas at the aquarium. This not only saves you money but also allows you to have a more budget-friendly and personalized dining experience.

In addition to these money-saving tips, it’s always a good idea to check the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s official website for any ongoing promotions, discounts, or special events. They often have seasonal offers or discounted tickets available, so keep an eye out for those opportunities to make your visit even more affordable.

Bring Your Own Food and Drink


While the Monterey Bay Aquarium does not have special EBT or low-income discounts, they do offer free days and other deals that can make visiting more affordable. With some planning and flexibility, families can find ways to enjoy this top California aquarium on a budget.

While the Monterey Bay Aquarium does not currently offer discounted admission rates specifically for EBT card holders or low-income families, there are a few ways to make visiting more affordable. Take advantage of free admission days, look for discounts, or consider purchasing a membership. 

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a valuable resource for our community. It is a place where people of all ages can learn about and appreciate the marine life of Monterey Bay and beyond.

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