PLAN A VISIT |PLAY
The Sea Lion Center is a free nature center where guests can learn about the world-famous sea lions that inhabit the docks at the end of PIER 39. Operated and managed by Aquarium of the Bay, the Sea Lion Center overlooks the usual hangout of these charismatic mammals on PIER 39’s K-Dock.
Guests can enjoy daily presentations, fun artifacts, and one-on-one interactions with naturalists. Visitors from all over the world can learn about these boisterous animals, including their history on PIER 39. These captivating sea lions mysteriously made PIER 39’s K-Dock their home in January 1990, shortly after the Loma Prieta earthquake, and have since been entertaining visitors and locals alike with their playful antics.
The Sea Lion Center features interactive displays, educational videos, and fascinating presentations that include pulling plankton out of the bay and looking at it under a microscope. Guests can touch real sea lion artifacts, including pelts and skulls, and size themselves up next to a life-size sea lion skeleton. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Sea Lion Center focuses on the education and conservation of San Francisco Bay.
The Sea Lion Center utilizes the expertise of the Education staff at Aquarium of the Bay to help visitors understand their own personal connection to the bay and to the animals that live there. Guests are invited to sit in on regularly scheduled presentations led by Interpretive Naturalists to learn all about the sea lions, such as their role in the ecosystem, the challenges they face, and how our everyday actions can have an effect on the sea lions – good or bad. The Sea Lion Center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.