The Aquarium is currently open to the public. In response to COVID-19, we’ve made some essential changes to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Field Trips

Overview

National Aquarium school field trips are your students’ passport to a world of aquatic wonder! Spending a day with us provides an up-close look at the animals, habitats and careers that make science exciting, while bringing conservation education and STEAM concepts from your curriculum to life.

Planning Your Visit

Tour the National Aquarium with your students and chaperones on weekdays from early September through the end of the Baltimore City school year in mid-to-late June. Standalone education programs at our Animal Care and Rescue Center are also available for students in grades 6 through 12 on weekdays from November through February.

Advance reservations with $75 deposit are required for all school groups.


If you require assistance while booking your next field trip, our central reservations specialists are available to help you at 410-576-3833, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4:30 pm, or at reserve@aqua.org.

Helpful Scheduling Tips:

  • Work from your school's calendar to select visitation dates that allow enough time to meet deposit and final payment deadlines.
  • Select several possible dates and be flexible with your entry time. Tickets sell out quickly for admission from 10 to 11:30 am, so consider visiting after lunch when crowds may be lighter.
  • Avoid the crowds and schedule your class visit during our off-peak times: September, December (prior to Christmas), afternoons in October through March, and Mondays in October through May.

Deposits & Cancellations:

  • A deposit of $75 for field trips and all applicable fees for selected education programs are due 21-days prior to the date of your visit. Deposit requirements for Maryland groups with free admission may vary. Purchase orders and vouchers are not accepted in lieu of payment.
  • You must cancel your reservation 21-or-more days prior to your scheduled visit to receive a full refund of payments and deposits. If you cancel your reservation less than 21 days in advance or fail to arrive at your scheduled entry time, you forfeit your deposit and all program fees.
  • In the event of a cancellation, Maryland school groups receiving free admission will be assessed a $75 cancellation fee.

Rates and Dates

Maryland students in grades Pre-K through 12 can visit the National Aquarium at no cost from September 1 through February 28 with completed Teacher Orientation, thanks to support from the Maryland State Department of Education.

Out-of-state field trip groups and Maryland groups visiting in March or later are subject to the following rates. Standalone education programs at the Animal Care and Rescue Center for groups in grades 6 through 12 are $25 per person.

Field Trip Group Rates

Group In-State Out-of-State
Pre-K thru Grade 6, September through February FREE $17.95
Pre-K thru Grade 6, March through June (summer break) $17.95 $17.95
Grade 6 thru 12, September through February FREE $23.95
Grade 6 thru 12, March through June (summer break) $23.95 $23.95
Animal Care and Rescue Center, November through February* $25.00 $25.00

*Grades 6 through 12 only

Field trip group rates are available for classes of 15 or more students ages 3 and over. The maximum group size is 60 students for Pre-K and Kindergarten groups, or 125 students for grades 1 through 12. Group-size limits may vary according to availability; larger groups may be split and assigned multiple reservations and entry times.

Chaperones

Chaperones play an important role in in making sure that your day at the Aquarium is safe and successful. While you may bring as many chaperones as you’d like, you must bring the required number of chaperones and you must pay for each chaperone beyond the ratio outlined for your group. Please plan for an appropriate number of class chaperones for your trip using the following guidelines, and keep in mind that teachers count as chaperones.

Grade Level Free Chaperones (Required) Free Chaperones (Permitted) Additional Chaperones, Main Building Additional Chaperones, ACRC
Pre-K and K 1 adult per 5 student 1 adult per 5 students $27.95 $25.00
Grades 1 – 6 1 adult per 6 students 1 adult per 6 students $27.95 $25.00
Grades 7 – 12 1 adult per 10 students 1 adult per 10 students $27.95 $25.00
Special Education 1 adult per 10 students 1 adult per each student $27.95 $25.00

Lunch at the Aquarium

For the safety of our animals and guests, no outside food or drink are permitted in the National Aquarium, but we are happy to offer an array of in-building dining options, from box lunches to quick-serve dining in Harbor Market Kitchen.

Education Programs

Get the most from your class’s field trip experience through scientific investigation, hands-on discovery, structured lab activities, presentations and live animal encounters by selecting from the Aquarium’s diverse array of engaging Education Programs presented by Aquarium experts. Curriculum-relevant, age-appropriate programs are available for students in Pre-K through grade 12. All Aquarium Education Programs support Next Generation Science Standards, and teacher resources featuring pre-trip classroom activities and post-trip reflection activities are available.

While most Education Programs are provided at an affordable per-student fee, program fees are waived for the first 3,000 Maryland students from Baltimore City Public Schools or Title 1 Schools to make a reservation. Fees associated with specific programs and program availability are subject to change.

Standalone experiences at our state-of-the-art downtown Animal Care and Rescue Center, located less than one mile from our main Aquarium building in historic Jonestown, are also available for students in grades 6 through 12.

While 2020-2021 program dates are uncertain due to Covid-19 closures, education programs are typically available beginning at 9 am on weekdays from October 1 until Baltimore City Public Schools’ scheduled spring break.

Add-Ons Education Programs

Make the most of your time at the National Aquarium with engaging, age-appropriate programs coordinated to Next Generation Science Standards.

Adaptations

Field Trip Experience

Learn More

AquaPartners

Aquarium Careers: Animal Rescue

Aquatic Critters

Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Bountiful Biomes

Teacher Orientation

Make the most of your class’ National Aquarium field trip by attending a free teacher orientation prior to your visit. Sixty-minute teacher orientations cover everything you’ll need to know to make your visit a success, including insight into our animals, exhibits and amenities, as well as chaperone tips, a review of your individual trip reservation, free curriculum materials, and pre- and post-visit activities and ideas.

Maryland teachers, please begin your registration process by completing the appropriate teacher orientation workshop, which provides helpful resources and an overview of the Aquarium's exhibits in preparation for your field trip. Teacher Orientation is available to all educators planning an Aquarium field trip, but is mandatory for:

  • Teachers accompanying a school group from Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery or Prince George's Counties, or Baltimore City
  • Any instructors receiving free or reduced admission and visiting between September 1 and February 28.

Saturday Orientations:

The National Aquarium is currently closed in response to Covid-19. Please subscribe to our Education Newsletter for updates on scheduled teacher orientations for the 2020-21 school year as they become available.

For groups of 20 or more educators, we can even bring our orientation program to your school!

Teacher Resources

Please make use of the following resources and materials in planning your trip, communicating about your trip with you students’ guardians and making the most of your time at the Aquarium.

Enhance Your Experience

Whether it’s your first visit or you fifty-first, there is always more to see, do and experience at the National Aquarium. Complete your class’s day at the National Aquarium by taking advantage of these special experiences and amenities.

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