Community Guidelines

The National Aquarium is committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all people, including guests visiting the Aquarium itself, as well as remote, virtual and online audiences. Guests of all backgrounds and abilities are welcome to participate in all National Aquarium programming and content and will be treated with courtesy and respect by Aquarium team members. In turn, all audiences are expected to treat each other, Aquarium employees and volunteers, and all others with the same courtesy and respect.

Guests who do not adhere to these guidelines or who engage in other behaviors deemed by National Aquarium staff to be aggressive, inappropriate, harassing, or threatening may be removed from our buildings without refund. Similarly, online users who do not adhere to our stated guidelines or who repeatedly engage in behaviors deemed inappropriate, misleading or hateful may be subject to blocking or removal from our social media channels, just as they would from our buildings.

Any in-person interactions or online messaging that include threat of violence will be taken seriously and immediately directed to the proper authorities.

General Guidelines

Guests of all backgrounds and abilities are welcome at the Aquarium and will be treated with courtesy and respect from Aquarium team members. In turn, guests are expected to treat their fellow guests and Aquarium employees and volunteers with the same courtesy and respect.

Please follow all Aquarium policies and directions given by Aquarium team members. In the unlikely event of an emergency, help keep yourself and your fellow guests safe by following the Aquarium's emergency procedures as directed by Aquarium team members.

Please remain in authorized guest areas at all times.

Parents and/or guardians are responsible for their children's behavior. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. School field trips require at least one chaperone for every five students in grades pre-K and K, one for every six students in grades 1 through 6, or one for every 10 students in grades 7 through 12.

Guests engaging in fighting, throwing objects, or attempting to enter unauthorized areas will be removed immediately from the property without refund.

Non-flash photography, videotaping, and recording for personal use is welcome, except where "no photography" is indicated. For the safety and comfort of guests, personal tripods and monopods are not permitted in the Aquarium. Commercial photography, videotaping, or recording requires prior Aquarium approval.

Guests who choose to consume alcohol must do so responsibly. No guest under age 21 may possess or consume alcohol on Aquarium property at any time. Guests becoming overly intoxicated, participating in, or contributing to underage drinking will be removed from the property without refund. Please note that alcohol must be consumed only in designated areas, and alcohol not purchased on our property is prohibited. Alcohol purchased on-site may not be taken off property.

For the safety of all our animals, only service animals as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act are allowed in the Aquarium. Emotional Support Animals and pets are not permitted.

Prohibited Items and Behaviors

Strollers (other than for accessibility needs) are not allowed in the Aquarium due to space and safety concerns. Guests may check strollers at the Main Entrance.

Food and drinks are not allowed in any exhibit space, and outside food is not permitted anywhere in the Aquarium. Guests with food allergy concerns or those with dietary restrictions can contact us at 410-576-3800.

Mistreatment of animals is strictly prohibited, including touching any animal outside of approved touch animals.

Weapons—including firearms, ammunition, knives, sharp tools or instruments, mace/pepper spray or other chemical weapons—are strictly prohibited.

Smoking/vaping is prohibited in the Aquarium.

Unauthorized signage is not permitted in the Aquarium. Solicitation, distribution and posting of literature of any kind on Aquarium property by guests or vendors is not permitted without prior Aquarium approval.

Guests wearing clothing featuring offensive language or graphics will not be permitted to enter the Aquarium. For safety, shirts and shoes are always required.

Disruptive behavior, damaging of property, foul or abusive language, obscene gestures, and harassing or aggressive behavior are not permitted in the Aquarium.

Social Media Community Guidelines

The National Aquarium reserves the right to hide or delete posts or online interaction featuring any of the following:

  • Hate speech, including but not limited to racist, homophobic, sexist or xenophobic messages or comments.
  • Intentional trolling, provocation or attacks toward members of our online audience, partners or staff.
  • Slanderous, inaccurate or unproven accusations against our staff, partners or the National Aquarium.
  • Content and commentary that includes name-calling or vulgar, explicit or abusive language.
  • Information that is inaccurate or misleading.
  • Inappropriate comments from anonymous accounts or bot accounts.

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