Free Passes to Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Santa Cruz Public Library System (SCPL) is proud to partner with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Shelf to Shore Program to provide low income families a free pass to the aquarium during winter and spring.

Intended to provide access to families who would not otherwise be able to afford to go, adults 18 and over with a valid SCPL library card are eligible for 1 pass per year. Typically, families who qualify for Free School Lunch, WIC, SNAP, Meals on Wheels, Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, Healthy Kids, or other similar services are eligible for a pass.

To request a Shelf to Shore Pass, visit the service desk at any SCPL branch library or the Bookmobile. For free admission to the aquarium, you must present the free ticket with your matching library card at the Aquarium’s main entrance. Passes are valid up until May 25, 2018, except for holidays and the Community Open House Week.

Experiences that bring science, nature, and conservation to life are critical in the education of young and mature learners alike. According to Library Director Susan Nemitz, “The library is a natural partner in connecting families to these learning experiences. We hope it inspires kids of all ages to get involved with science and conservation efforts.”

For those families not eligible for the program, you can still visit during the annual Community Open House, which is the first full week of December every year for all residents, regardless of income, from the Tri-County region (Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito). Others might want to take advantage of the new Locals Programs with special pricing on admission for locals. For more information, please visit

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