Animal Care and Rescue Center Exterior

The Animal Care and Rescue Center Tour

Be among the first to explore the National Aquarium's brand-new Animal Care and Rescue Center on a tour designed exclusively for our members! Experience our state-of-the-art facility—located in historic Jonestown, just a short distance from the Aquarium's main campus—through a one-of-a-kind tour that lets you travel behind the scenes and discover the unique journey of our animals.

Learn about the passion and dedication our staff gives to our animals to ensure they receive the best care possible, discover how National Aquarium Animal Rescue cares for sick and injured marine animals before returning them to their ocean home and peek into our exhibit fabrication shop. This members-only tour will allow you to experience the National Aquarium in a new way and shed light on the most important work we do—caring for the world's aquatic treasures and inspiring others to do the same.

The Basics

Members Only:

The Animal Care and Rescue Center tour is currently only available to National Aquarium members.

Ages:

All participants must be at least 8 years of age to participate in this program. All guests under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Refunds will not be given for participants who do not meet the age requirements.

Please note: There is no waiting area in the Animal Care and Rescue Center for guests who do not meet the age requirements or are not participating in the tour.

Times:

Tours typically last 1.5 to 2 hours and are offered on weekends and select Fridays. Please reference the current schedule located under “Book Your Tour Now” on the right side of the page for the most up-to-date schedule.

Location and Parking:

The Aquarium's Animal Care and Rescue Center is located at:

Animal Care and Rescue Event Map

901 E Fayette Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

Limited parking will be available at the Animal Care and Rescue Center in the lot accessed from High Street for the duration of the program only. Please note that High Street is a one-way street; guests should turn on High Street from Baltimore Street to access parking, which will be available starting 30 minutes prior to tour start time and ending 30 minutes after the end of the tour. To access parking, guests must show tour confirmation number to security upon arrival. Learn more →

For questions on directions to the Animal Care and Rescue Center or parking, please contact our Central Reservations team at 410-576-3833 or reserve@aqua.org.

Price:

Member: $35

Getting Ready for Your Tour

  • Limited parking will be available at the Animal Care and Rescue Center in the lot accessed from High Street for the duration of the program only. Parking will be available starting 30 minutes prior to tour start time and ending 30 minutes after the end of the tour. To access parking, guests must show tour confirmation number to security upon arrival. Learn more →
  • Please note that the Animal Care and Rescue Center is not located at the National Aquarium's main campus. Please report directly to the Center, located at 901 E Fayette Street, for your tour.
  • Wear non-slip shoes (no flip-flops, crocs or heels).
  • Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your tour and check in at the Center's main entrance, located on Fayette Street. Check-in begins 30 minutes prior to your scheduled tour start time; if you arrive prior to check-in time, you will not be able to enter the Center and must wait until a staff member is available to assist you.
  • Admittance to the Center will not be permitted outside tour check-in time; if arriving late, please call Central Reservations at 410-576-3833 for assistance.
  • Please bring your printed tour confirmation and your member card or member number with you to check-in.
  • You'll be asked to sign a waiver when you get here—save time by bringing a signed copy along for each member of your group.
  • When booking your tour, please notify Central Reservations of any guests with special needs.

Additional Information

Cancellation/Refund Policy

Tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable, including if you miss your tour due to late arrival. If the Aquarium cancels your program, you'll have the option to reschedule or receive a full refund.

Call Ahead

To ensure that your tour hasn't been canceled due to unforeseen circumstances such as animal health or inclement weather, please call 410-576-8822 the day of your program for cancellation information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I park?

Limited parking will be available at the Animal Care and Rescue Center in the lot accessed from High Street for the duration of the program only. Parking will be available starting 30 minutes prior to tour start time and ending 30 minutes after the end of the tour. To access parking, guests must show tour confirmation number to security upon arrival.

Parking at the Animal Care and Rescue Center is limited to guests who are participating in the tour and is not available outside of scheduled tour times. This parking lot is not available for all-day parking and guests visiting the Aquarium or exploring other Baltimore attractions on the same day are required to relocate their vehicle.

Am I able to stay and explore the Animal Care and Rescue Center after my tour?

The Animal Care and Rescue Center is a working quarantine and rescue facility. As a result, the building is not open to guests outside of guided tours. Guests may only explore the Animal Care and Rescue Center during their guided tour experience.

Does my tour go behind the scenes?

The Animal Care and Rescue Center is a behind-the-scenes, working facility where staff cares for the National Aquarium's newly admitted animals and animals that are off exhibit, build Aquarium habitats and care for rescue animals.

How old do I have to be to go on this tour?

Because of the behind-the-scenes access, all participants must be at least 8 years old at the time of the tour. No refunds will be given for guests who do not meet the minimum age requirements to participate. There is no waiting area in the Animal Care and Rescue Center available for guests with children who do not meet the age requirements. For safety reasons, guests under the age of 8 will not be permitted to enter the Animal Care and Rescue Center under any circumstances.

Can my child participate without a parent or guardian?

A parent or guardian must accompany all participants under the age of 16. Minors 16 years of age or older may participate with a signed waiver from a parent or guardian. Parents or guardians accompanying children must be at least 18 years old. For example, a 17-year-old may attend a tour with a signed waiver, but their 10-year-old sibling may not accompany them without an adult.

Will I get to touch any animals?

The Animal Care and Rescue Center is a facility where animals are adjusting to their habitat and may be recovering from illness or injury. As a result, not all the animals you'll see on your tour are available for guest interaction, and some spaces may be unavailable for guest and animal safety. We try to bring you as close to our animals as possible, but for both your safety and that of our animals, we cannot guarantee the opportunity to touch or handle an animal.

What should I wear?

You'll be traveling behind the scenes, so closed-toed, non-slip shoes are required. That means no crocs, sandals, flip-flops or high heels. We recommend wearing comfortable clothing.

Will there be a place to store my personal items?

Lockers will be provided for tour guests to store their belongings during their tour. There is limited space, so please only bring necessary items with you.

Is there a limit to the number of tour tickets I can purchase with my membership?

Members may purchase as many tickets with their membership as they choose, up to the tour capacity.

Can I buy a ticket for a non-member with my membership?

Members who wish to bring guests not covered under their membership may purchase tickets for non-members as well. Please provide your membership code when booking your tour to purchase your tickets. Bring your tour confirmation with you to check-in. If you will be arriving separately, provide the non-members in your group with the tour confirmation as well. When you arrive for check-in, a tour staff member will ask for this information.

Is transportation available between the Animal Care and Rescue Center and the Aquarium?

The National Aquarium does not provide transportation to and from the Animal Care and Rescue Center. Guests wishing to visit both the Aquarium and the Animal Care and Rescue Center will need to provide their own transportation between the buildings.

Is admission included with the tour for my non-member guests?

This tour takes place at the Animal Care and Rescue Center, which is separate from the Aquarium's main building. As a result, admission is not included in the experience. Members who wish to visit the Aquarium on the same day as the tour will need to purchase discounted guest admission tickets for their non-member guests.

Will I get to see or interact with rescue animals?

Depending on the time of year, there may or may not be rescue animals in rehabilitation at the Animal Care and Rescue Center. Our first priority is the safety and health of the animals, which means that these animals may not be visible to our tour guests. These animals are in our care because they are recovering from illness or injury with the goal to release them back into the ocean. This means that interacting with rescue animals is not permitted for guest and animal safety.

Can I visit the Animal Care and Rescue Center if I am not a member of the National Aquarium?

For 2018, we are offering this tour exclusively to National Aquarium members. We plan to open tours to the general public at a later date, so please check back on our website for updates.

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