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Event at the Open Sea gallery

Unforgettable Evening Experiences, Inspiring Location

Whether you're planning an intimate reception, black-tie gala or corporate event, our onsite event coordinators, animals and stunning exhibits are all here to make your evening special. We're a full-service event planner and can arrange every detail, from the lighting and décor to the music, entertainment and menu.

We'll help you design an evening full of surprises, with engaging special programs including dive shows, animal encounters and educational experiences led by our expert guides.

When you host an event with us, you get more than a unique venue and expert event-planning services. Your celebration supports our mission to inspire conservation of the oceans, and helps fund our conservation efforts.


Each event is unique. Our event coordinators will help you with menus and pricing.

Make your next event a green one! Our event planners can help you craft a spectacular event that's environmentally friendly.

Cindy Pawlcyn, Monterey Bay Aquarium Culinary Partner

Culinary Partner

Our culinary partner, Cindy Pawlcyn, an award-winning chef and pioneer in farm-to-table cuisine, is the creative visionary for our exclusive catering experience.
Learn more about our culinary partner

Corporate Events

Our spectacular exhibit galleries can accommodate groups of up to 2,500. Choose a strolling dinner for an engaging opportunity to mix and mingle with your guests and explore the many facets of our exhibits, or a sit-down dinner for a more intimate and immersive experience with your favorite gallery. For an unforgettable evening, add a dive show, or music and dancing.


Evening event in the Open Sea Exhibit

The Open Sea Galleries

300 strolling/120 served
$4,000 Sun.–Thurs. (Up to 80 guests)
$4,500 Fri.–Sat. (Up to 80 guests)
$39.95 for each additional guest
$3,500 minimum food and beverage
Sit by the Aquarium's largest exhibit—a mysterious and mesmerizing world where tunas and sharks speed past, sardines swirl in huge, glittering schools, and sea turtles swim lazily across the 90-foot window. For an enchanted evening, enjoy a strolling dinner in the Open Sea galleries and drift away with the jellies.

Evening event in the Ocean's Edge

The Ocean's Edge Galleries and Marine Mammal Gallery

300 strolling/80 served
$4,000 Sun.–Thurs. (Up to 80 guests)
$4,500 Fri.–Sat. (Up to 80 guests)
$39.95 for each additional guest
$3,500 minimum food and beverage
Dine beside the awe-inspiring Kelp Forest exhibit for a diver's-eye view of sardines, leopard sharks, wolf-eels and a host of other fishes as they weave through swaying fronds of kelp, just like they do in the wild. Or experience the elegance of the Marine Mammal Gallery where spectacular life-size models of dolphins and whales swim overhead. You can also choose to sit by the Great Tide Pool doors, where you'll enjoy breathtaking views of Monterey Bay; then step outside to watch sea life, a sunset or stars from our Great Tide Pool deck. For a strolling event, explore the Kelp Forest, coastal wetlands, and rocky shores and the kaleidoscope of creatures that call Monterey Bay home. Perfect for a large group.

Monterey Bay Aquarium evening off the Great Tidepool Deck

The Entire Aquarium

2,500 strolling
$8,000 Sun.–Thurs. (Up to 160 guests)
$9,000 Fri.–Sat. (Up to 160 guests)
$39.95 for each additional guest
$7,000 minimum food and beverage
Our exhibits and animals are all yours for an unforgettable evening.

Cindy's Waterfront at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Cindy's Waterfront Restaurant and the Cafe

150 reception/50 served
$2,400 for space
$2,500 minimum food and beverage
Our event coordinators will help you with menus and pricing

The spectacular wrap-around windows in Cindy's Waterfront restaurant and the Cafe look out on Monterey Bay, home to sea otters, harbor seals and sea lions. You may even spot dolphins and whales as they cruise by.


Enhance Your Event

Give your guests a chance to dive deeper and experience our animals and exhibits in new ways with our special programs.
Learn more


Each event is unique. Our event coordinators will help you with menus and pricing.

Make your next event a green one! Our event planners can help you craft a spectacular event that's environmentally friendly.

Social Events

Whether you're having a rehearsal dinner in front of the Kelp Forest, a wedding reception in the spectacular Open Sea galleries, or an anniversary party in our restaurant, Cindy's Waterfront, you're in good hands. Our experienced event planners are available to assist you with every detail.

Evening event in the Open Sea Exhibit

The Open Sea Galleries

350 strolling/200 served
Our event coordinators will help you with
menus and pricing

Sit by the Aquarium's largest exhibit—a mysterious and mesmerizing world where tunas and sharks speed past, sardines swirl in huge, glittering schools, and sea turtles swim lazily across the 90-foot window. For an enchanted evening, enjoy a strolling dinner in the Open Sea galleries and drift away with the jellies.

Evening event in the Ocean's Edge

The Ocean's Edge Galleries

1,500 strolling/250 served
Our event coordinators will help you with
menus and pricing

Dine beside the awe-inspiring Kelp Forest exhibit for a diver's-eye view of sardines, leopard sharks, wolf-eels and a host of other fishes as they weave through swaying fronds of kelp, just like they do in the wild. Or experience the elegance of the Marine Mammal Gallery where spectacular life-size models of dolphins and whales swim overhead. You can also choose to sit by the Great Tide Pool doors, where you'll enjoy breathtaking views of Monterey Bay; then step outside to watch sea life, a sunset or stars from our Great Tide Pool deck. For a strolling event, explore the Kelp Forest, coastal wetlands, and rocky shores and the kaleidoscope of creatures that call Monterey Bay home. Perfect for a large group.

Monterey Bay Aquarium evening off the Great Tidepool Deck

The Entire Aquarium

2,500 strolling
Our event coordinators will help you with
menus and pricing

Our exhibits and animals are all yours for an unforgettable evening.

Cindy's Waterfront at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Cindy's Waterfront Restaurant and the Cafe

150 reception/50 served
Our event coordinators will help you with
menus and pricing

The spectacular wrap-around windows in Cindy's Waterfront restaurant and the Cafe look out on Monterey Bay, home to sea otters, harbor seals and sea lions. You may even spot dolphins and whales as they cruise by.


Enhance Your Event

Give your guests a chance to dive deeper and experience our animals and exhibits in new ways with our special programs.
Learn more


Each event is unique. Our event coordinators will help you with menus and pricing.

Make your next event a green one! Our event planners can help you craft a spectacular event that's environmentally friendly.

Enhance Your Event

Give your guests a chance to dive deeper and experience our animals and exhibits in new ways during your event.

Diver in the kelp forest exhibit at Monterey Bay Aquarium feeds fish.

Kelp Forest Dive Show

Cost: $1,000
Personalized sign: $250
20-minute program

A Narrator will introduce the animals and diver in our breathtaking three-story Kelp Forest exhibit during this interactive underwater program. Using a high-tech dive mask, our diver talks directly to the crowd, sharing in-the-moment details about leopard sharks, wolf-eels and a host of other fishes as they swim past your eyes. Have something special to say? Our diver will hold a personalized sign for your guests to see!

Volunteer guide Rachel DeFrehn shares a memorable touch pool moment with a visitor at the Kelp Zone Touch Pool exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Touch Pool Treasures

Cost: $75
A knowledgeable guide will be stationed at our popular Touch Pool exhibit to help you see the ocean in new ways. Feel the softness of a kelp frond, or the bumps of a Turkish towel seaweed, and learn about astonishing intertidal animals and plants.

Visitors feeding bat rays, Myliobatus californica, at the Bat Ray Touch Pool as part of Morning Rounds .

Bat Ray Experience

Cost: $500
20-minute program

Feed or pet these gentle members of the shark family as they swim gracefully by flapping their batlike wings. Learn about bat ray behavior, biology and natural history from our guide.


Each event is unique. Our event coordinators will help you with menus and pricing.

Make your next event a green one! Our event planners can help you craft a spectacular event that's environmentally friendly.

Meet Our Culinary Partner

Meet Cindy Pawlcyn

Cindy Pawlcyn shares her excitement and vision for our new restaurant, Cindy's Waterfront: a labor of love, with an ocean view.


Cindy Pawlcyn

Cindy Pawlcyn

Culinary Partner

Cindy Pawlcyn has pioneered fresh, local, seasonal wine country cuisine since opening Napa Valley's legendary Mustards Grill in 1983. She helped create over a dozen Bay Area restaurants including Fog City Diner, Bix, Roti, Betelnut, Buckeye Roadhouse and Tra Vigne, and is the founder/owner of three of Napa Valley's most beloved restaurants: Mustards Grill, the popular and eclectic Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, and Cindy Pawlcyn's Wood Grill & Wine Bar.

Born in Minneapolis, Cindy grew up in an accomplished culinary family where fresh ingredients were integral to every meal. "One of my first culinary memories is sitting with the salt shaker in the backyard garden while my dad picked perfectly ripe tomatoes hot off the vine for us to eat with that simplest of seasonings," she says. A master chef of national acclaim, she is the author of four cookbooks—with more on the way.

As culinary partner for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cindy brings her trademark seasonal flavors and advocacy for sustainable cuisine to perfect accord with the Aquarium's highly regarded Seafood Watch program and commitment to excellence. Her authentic style and vibrant cuisine can be savored at our restaurant, Cindy's Waterfront, and the Cafe, as well as at catered events.

"Cindy Pawlcyn is an extraordinary chef and advocate for sustainable cuisine and Seafood Watch," said Julie Packard, executive director of the Aquarium. "We're delighted our daytime guests and attendees at evening events can be treated to dishes that reflect her culinary vision."

For more information about Cindy Pawlcyn visit cindypawlcyn.com.
Jeff Rogers

Jeff Rogers

Executive Chef

Jeff is well known as the former executive chef for Quail Lodge Resort in Carmel Valley and the Carmel Highlands Inn, where he was responsible for orchestrating the annual Masters of Food and Wine. He also served as sous chef at Domaine Chandon's étoile—the only fine-dining restaurant at a Napa Valley winery.

Born in the San Francisco Bay area, Jeff developed a passion for cooking after visiting Italy as a young man. He attended culinary school before moving to Napa Valley where his work at Domaine Chandon fostered a deep appreciation for the farm-to-table connection. "Every morning we'd stroll through the garden and pick herbs for the day," he says.

Jeff's cooking philosophy emphasizes savory, seasonal menus with flavors derived from fresh, regional ingredients. He works with local farmers and fishermen to bring the best of the Monterey Bay area's flavors to the Aquarium. "Our restaurant is a surprising little oasis within the Aquarium" he says, "full of delicious dishes people don't expect to find."


Each event is unique. Our event coordinators will help you with menus and pricing.

Make your next event a green one! Our event planners can help you craft a spectacular event that's environmentally friendly.