Afavorite pre-pandemic pastime for close to home family fun has been to while away a day at one of the region’s many amusement/theme parks. Arguably one of the best that combines attraction, entertainment and education is the recently reopened SeaWorld San Diego (www.seaworld.com). Park capacity is limited so guests will need to purchase a dated ticket in advance and make a reservation online/through the SeaWorld app, but the process couldn’t be easier and bonus! the marine park is currently offering deals for California residents.
Rides, shows, eats, drinks, characters and more again await visitors. For the littles, Sesame Street’s Bay of Play is where to be with pint-sized rides ranging from Elmo’s Flying Fish and Oscar’s Rocking Eel to Abby’s Sea Star Spin. For our part, we had a pack of teenagers in tow (ages 13 -15) who couldn’t get enough of the rides designed with them in mind. Inspired by the force and power of the sea the Electric Eel multi-launch coaster boasts high-energy twists, electrifying loops and insane inversions while the Shipwreck Rapids takes tubers along a winding river and rolling whitewater rapids before plunging down a waterfall finale.
For guests who want to get up close and personal with some of the world’s most amazing seafaring creatures, stroll through over 100 acres of beautiful outdoor grounds to meet orcas, otters, walruses, sea turtles, sealions and more. SeaWorld offers a number of educational and entertaining animal experiences and tours. Enter the chilly Arctic waters to interact with white beluga whales, venture into the Penguin Encounter to watch the playful antics of penguins tall (Emperor and King) and small (Macaroni) or even “pet” a bat ray.
Although it is best-known for its marine life and thrill-rides, SeaWorld runs one of the largest animal rescue programs in the country. Since the first SeaWorld park swung open its gates in San Diego in 1964 the company has come to the aid of more than 38,000 sick, injured or orphaned animals with the goal to successfully rehabilitate and return every animal to the wild. The small percentage of animals with conditions deeming them non-releasable are given lifelong care at SeaWorld or another accredited facility.