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Sleepover Planning Guide

Carefully review the following information. It includes all the details you need to know for a safe and fun sleepover at the Aquarium.

Before You Arrive

Chaperone Information (excluding 21+ events)

  • One chaperone required (at least 21 years of age) for every four youths (1:4).
  • Guests must be at least 5 years of age. Guests 18 years of age or older do not require a chaperone.
  • Your group will not be admitted to the sleepover if it arrives with a ratio greater than 1:4, and there will be no refund.
  • Each chaperone should have a list of the one to four youths they are responsible for.
  • Chaperones are responsible for the behavior and safety of these youths, who must be accompanied at all times.
  • Note that our sleepovers are public and coed events.

What to Bring

  • Completed check-in forms.
  • Sleeping bag and optional pad or air mattress. Aquarium floors are hard.
  • Mattresses or pads should measure no larger than 39x75x19 inches (twin) per guest, unless shared with another guest to ensure plenty of space for all guests. Cots are a tripping hazard in the dark, so must be flat against a wall.
  • Pillow.
  • Pajamas and comfortable shoes or hard-soled slippers. Footwear must be worn when walking around the Aquarium.
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste and personal care items. Shower facilities are not available.
  • Empty, reusable water bottle.
  • Camera (flash photography, tripods and monopods are prohibited). The Aquarium is a flash-free facility. Camera flashes and flashlights may cause harm to our animals.
  • Earplugs if you are a light sleeper.

What Not to Bring

  • Any outside food, drinks or gum
  • Tents
  • Radios, music/MP3 players, iPads/tablets, computers or other electronic devices
  • Party favors or balloons


  • You may drop off passengers in the pull-out directly in front of the Aquarium or across the street in the bus turnaround. Parking enforcement may cite cars blocking traffic or double-parked.
  • Our sleepovers runs from 7 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. Please park in a location that will not require you to move your vehicle during the sleepover.
  • Overnight parking at Foam and Irving charges until 8 p.m. and again at 9 a.m.
  • Overnight parking at Foam and Hoffman charges until 8 p.m. and again at 6 a.m.
  • The Aquarium does not validate parking.
  • Contact Monterey Parking Division for more details at 831.646.3953.


  • Outside food and drink are prohibited at the Aquarium.
  • Food options vary for different sleepovers. Please reference our website for details regarding your particular event.
  • All sleepovers include evening snack and morning breakfast. Vegetarian and made-without-gluten options will be available.
  • Please note that we are not a gluten-, nut- or dairy-free facility. Cross-contamination may occur. If you have severe allergies, please contact us at least two weeks prior to the event at 831.647.6886.

Evening Experience

  • We will offer a variety of activities throughout the evening for our sleepover guests. Guests are free to choose the activities they wish to participate in, or use the evening to explore the Aquarium. The only mandatory activity is orientation, which will provide more information about the sleepover.
  • Some sleepovers offer a cash bar. Adults (21+ years old) with photo identification may purchase beer and wine at the bar. All alcohol must be responsibly consumed.
  • Access to overnight gear is available at approximately 9:30 p.m. We are unable to accommodate earlier requests, as overnight gear in exhibits would limit other guests’ access to those spaces.
  • In the interest of fairness and safety for all our guests, please do not send members of your party ahead to reserve spaces. We will ask those who do so to leave the area and wait for the rest of your group.
  • Lights begin to go out at 10:30 p.m. depending on the exhibit. All exhibit lights are out by 11 p.m. Final bedtime for all guests is 12:30 a.m.
  • Exhibit areas vary overnight in terms of light levels, sleeping space and ambient noise. For the safety of our animals, some exhibit windows may be blocked (either with a curtain, black screens or bubble screens) or closed during portions of the evening or the entire event. Guests are prohibited from moving curtains, screens or other exhibit blocking devices to view animals.
  • Electrical outlets are scattered throughout sleeping areas, but we are unable to guarantee their availability. Preference for outlets will be granted to those with medical concerns (such as for use of a CPAP).

Morning Activities

  • Wake up is at 7 a.m. Guests must pack up their gear and stow it in assigned areas (designated at orientation) before going to breakfast.
  • We offer a variety of activities in the morning, including a naturalist on the back deck to assist with wildlife watching (weather dependent).
  • The Aquarium Store will be open in the morning for those who wish to make any purchases.
  • Departure is between 7:45 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. All guests must vacate the Aquarium with their gear by 8:30 a.m. even if they plan to visit the Aquarium after the sleepover.
  • Sleepovers include admission to the Aquarium the day following the sleepover (e.g. if the sleepover is Saturday night, admission will be for Sunday). Your sleepover wristband and ticket will grant you re-admission at Will Call in the Main Entrance when the Aquarium opens to the public for the day.
  • Looking for something to do between the exit time and re-entry time? Take our free Coastal Trail audio tour or Cannery Row audio tour.


  • Wear shoes or hard-soled slippers while walking around during the sleepover.
  • NO weapons or drug use of any kind are allowed on Aquarium property.
  • Smoking (including electronic) is prohibited by all persons anywhere on Aquarium property.
  • Cell phones should be put in silent mode.
  • The Aquarium is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen items. Lost and Found is located at the Information Desk.
  • We do not allow pets.
  • Our security officers are certified in First Aid/CPR and on-site throughout the sleepover. Reach out to staff or the Information Desk for minor care. In case of emergency, reach our security staff at 831.648.4840.
  • Security will lock all outside doors once check-in is complete. Leaving the sleepover is highly discouraged. If you need to leave for an emergency, please notify the Information Desk first.
  • In case of an evacuation, all guests will meet across the street at the bus turn-around. Willing guests may be asked to assist staff.
  • Failure to adhere to these policies may result in expulsion from the event without a refund.

Refunds & Cancelations

  • Cancelation windows vary by group size and type.
  • Youth groups: Groups of 10 or more have the option to pay a deposit of 25 percent at time of booking. Payment in full is due 60 days prior to the event. Reduction in numbers and refunds are not available within 60 days of the event. Failure to pay amount in full by deadline may result in cancelation of reservation without refund of the deposit.
  • Custom Group Sleepovers: Similar to above, however deposits for Custom Group Sleepovers are non-refundable within six months of the event.
  • Individuals and families: Groups of 9 or fewer must pay in full at time of booking. Refunds are not available within five days of the event for individual families.