Pupping season marks closures at La Jolla Children’s Pool

Access will be restricted until May 15, 2024, but nearby locations in La Jolla are subject to year-round closures.

Seal at La Jolla Children's Pool

Closures are coming, we’re not sea lion.

La Jolla Children’s Pool closes this Friday, Dec. 15, but it’s not goodbye — it’s seal you later.

Seal pupping season

The day marks the beginning of seal pupping season in San Diego — the five month period when seals give birth. Closing the Children’s Pool (aka Casa Beach) will provide the pinnipeds with a safe place to birth and nurse their new pups. The end of pupping season, May 16, also marks the beginning of breeding season — harbor seals carry their babies for 9 to 11 months before giving birth.

Children's Pool La Jolla

La Jolla Children’s Pool from afar is still breathtaking.

Photo via @dtelford168

Closing the Children’s Pool prevents humans from interfering with the pupping process. Thanks to the conservation effort, 50-60 pups are expected to be born in La Jolla this season.

This means visitors can’t go to this specific beach for a few months, but it’s worth it. Baby seals might be the cutest animals in San Diego.

A happy seal at La Jolla Children's Pool

A happy seal at La Jolla Children’s Pool | Photo via Stephanie Carlson

Still want to peek at the seals during pupping season? Most of the areas surrounding the Children’s Pool remain open. The beach is also entirely visible from the sidewalk and seawall, though the wall may be closed due to inclement weather.

Sea lion pupping season

Most California sea lions are born in June, so their pupping season directly follows seal pupping season. Last year, this prompted closures of Point La Jolla and the bluffs at Boomer Beach from May through October. This year, San Diego City Council and the California Coastal Commission approved year-round closures of the areas.

These restrictions aim to prevent humans from bothering the seals and sea lions who rest on the rocky areas, as they can become aggressive when they feel threatened. The regulations will be in place for seven years, after which they will need to be amended or reapproved.

Seals need to mingle, but people get in the way.

Seals need to mingle, but people get in the way. | Photo via @brewrv

Planning on seeing the seals this year?

🚫 Never get too close to a seal (50 yards is recommended for pups). They’re cute, but they may get defensive.
👂 Look for ears. If they’re external, you’re looking at a sea lion rather than a seal.
💦 Prepare to get wet. Oceans have waves + seals have flippers. Looking at seals means you’re entering a splash zone.
🗓️ La Jolla Children’s Pool reopens on May 16, 2024.