Wine, Jazz, Otters: Evenings by the Bay

Stroll through the Monterey Bay Aquarium as the sun dips a little lower.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

IT'S NOT AS IF... come the evening, when the sun dips low, that the crabs and seahorses and jellies and sharks of the Monterey Bay Aquarium put on velvet robes and fluffy slippers and turn on Netflix or the ol' hi-fi, content to wind down after a big day of impressing visitors at one of the world's most celebrated aquatic institutions. The fin-laden, claw-possessing residents of the Cannery Row landmark are pretty much doing a lot of what they usually do, no cable television or bestselling paperbacks required. But we humans change our activities and desires a bit, come the close of the day. While we might be go-go-go -- or yawny/grouchy -- in the morning, come sunset we do want to take it easy, perhaps enjoy a glass of wine, some tunes, and some quieter, more chill times. The aquarium understands how, hour by hour, our moods can shift, and Evenings by the Bay are all about responding to the take-it-easy vibe that grows from about 6 to 8 at night, especially on weekend nights, especially in the summer. If you're a grown-up, and it is a summer Saturday, 'round about 6:45 in the evening, we hope you're looking for some prime wind-down activity. The aquarium has one for you, if you're at a loss. The Evenings by the Bay run is on every Saturday and Sunday through Sept. 4, and, yep, the aquarium is keeping longer open hours (through 8 o'clock).

THE LIVE MUSIC... will be deftly delivered by different acts on Saturdays and artists who play Monterey's most famous sound fest -- that's Monterey Jazz, of course -- on the final day of the weekend. Estancia Wine will be in the house over a few of the weekends, and bites will be for sale, like posh pizzas and easy-to-nosh-then-walk eats. Because walk, you'll want to; the aquarium residents aren't yet tucked up in bed, with velvet robes and Netflix. They're still swimming and scurrying and making bubbles and getting comical -- hi, otters -- straight into the early evening. Though what they'll do into the wee small after-hours is up for debate. If you want to imagine them watching movies or texting with friends, well, okay. But life in the big tanks is pretty chill come nighttime. Save, of course, the rare but charming times when an adventurous octopus gets mighty curious and says hasta to her tank.

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