La Jolla Children’s Pool closes on Dec. 15, but it’s not goodbye — it’s seal you later. The day marks the beginning of pupping season.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term pupping season, it’s the five month period when seals give birth. Closing the Children’s Pool will provide seals with a safe place to birth + nurse their new pups. The end of pupping season also marks the beginning of breeding season. Harbor seals carry their babies for 9-11 months before giving birth.
Sea lions have a pupping season too, though it’s from May 1 to Oct. 31. This year, San Diego City Council approved annual closures of Point La Jolla and Boomer Beach to provide them with safe spaces.
Closing the Children’s Pool (aka Casa Beach) prevents humans from interfering with the pupping process. Thanks to last year’s conservation efforts, 56 pups were born in La Jolla.
This means we 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 — and you don’t even need to go to the zoo or SeaWorld.
Want to see the seals during pupping season? Most of the area is still open to the public and you might see a seal giving birth. The Children’s Pool entrances are blocked, but it’s entirely visible from the sidewalk. The Seawall will also give you a great view, just be aware lifeguards may close it if the weather is unsafe.
Plan on seeing the seals this year? Here are some tips.
🚫 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, 2023.