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National Aquarium Baltimore: One of the Country’s Best

The National Aquarium Baltimore has been ranked as one of the country’s best aquariums by several National Aquarium reviews. The aquarium showcases aquatic animals worldwide, including sharks, rays, jellyfish, and even a sloth.

The aquarium has several award-winning exhibits that attract millions of visitors each year. Besides the exhibits, the aquarium also offers 4D immersive experience and feature films about marine life.

Visitors can also engage in several close-up encounters with these amazing animals. You can pet a stingray, watch the dolphins being trained and play about with their trainers, experience going into the deep Pacific Reef in the shark exhibit, or go behind the scene and watch how these animals.

If you want to spend more time at the aquarium and would like to know what sharks do in the middle of the night, then take part in the National Aquarium sleepover and see for yourself.

The aquarium also offers several event spaces so that you can plan any event within its facilities. Right from a wedding ceremony to a corporate meeting, the aquarium has an event space for each of these.

You can also be part of the aquarium’s efforts in taking care of the animals in the facility with their volunteer programs and internships.

The aquarium is committed to animal rescue, environmental conservation, and research, and it takes part in a variety of conservation initiatives advocating for sustainable seafood consumption and production.

Visit the aquarium’s YouTube channel to learn more and the official website to know when is the National Aquarium reopening.

Reasons to Visit

The Three-Story Waterfall

The aquarium catches your attention right at the entrance with a beautiful display of a three-story waterfall. To get a bird’s eye view of the waterfall, take the second escalator upstairs near Australia: Wild Extremes exhibit.

Australia Exhibit: Wild Extremes

Do not miss the Australia exhibit as it has some fascinating animals on display. There are several different species of lizards, turtles, and crocodiles. This immersive exhibit has over 1000 animals, most of which are found only in Australia.

Some of the animals found here are the laughing Kookaburra, pig-nosed turtle, Johnston’s turtle, Swainson’s Lorikeet, and lots more.

Black Tip Reef Exhibit

It is one of the most intriguing exhibits in the aquarium. As you descend towards the lower levels of the exhibit, you are greeted by the phenomenal sight of large toothy sharks gliding about within the massive tank.

The exhibit also has other marine animals such as giant whiptail stingrays, turtles, and several fish varieties.

Amazing Dolphins

There are eight bottlenose dolphins in the aquarium, and visitors can watch these majestic creatures swim and play around in their habitat. The specialists in the habitat are ready to answer any questions you may have about the dolphins.

The is the first of its kind in North America, and its primary purpose is to ensure that the dolphins that are in the aquarium get the best of individual care and compassion.

Jellies Invasion

The National Aquarium Jellyfish exhibit is one of the most intriguing exhibits in the aquarium, with nine different jellyfish species on display. There are jellyfish in every shape, size, and color floating around in the exhibit.

Rainforest Exhibit

The Rainforest Exhibit is a replica of one of the most biologically diverse habitats globally, with the widest variety of animals living in it. You will find colorful frogs, tropical birds, sloths, golden lions tamarin monkeys, and several other animals that inhabit the world’s rainforests at the aquarium.

The Amazon River Forest

It is another spectacular exhibit in the aquarium. It showcases some of the most unique and fascinating inhabitants of the Amazon River. In this exhibit, you will find the Giant South American River Turtle, Emerald Tree Boa, White-blotched River Stingray, Silver Arowana, Giant Waxy Tree Frog, and lots more.

Maryland – Mountains to the Sea

This exhibit explores the various habitats that Maryland state’s water cycle creates on its way to the Atlantic continental shelf. It also explores the various animals that inhabit the different habitats along the way.

The animals found here are Blue Crabs, Diamondback terrapin, American Bullfrog, and Striped Burrfish.

Special Experiences

The Living Seashore

The Living Seashore exhibit is an interactive exhibit that allows visitors to explore the various animals that inhabit the shores and those that live between the tides. The habitat has 20 species and over 150 animals.

The exhibit also has two touch pools where visitors can engage with the animals and experience touching a stingray. There are also digital touch tables and tactile walls that further explore the lives on the shores, and guests learn the importance of this habitat in an interactive manner.

Several interpretive contents are used to build strategies; there are hands-on activities, visual displays, and lots more. The Aquarium interpreters help visitors engage and establish connections with program animals and learn more about their lifestyle and habitat.

Dolphin Training

Get behind the scenes at the back of the Dolphin Discovery exhibit and watch an interactive session that the marine staff has with the dolphins. See how these wonderfully intelligent marine animals respond to their trainer’s actions.

This encounter does not involve any touch-and-feel session, so the visitors need to be at least 3 feet away from the water’s edge.

Shark Catwalk Tour

Get your adrenaline pumping as you walk on a narrow bridge right above the open shark tank and get a close look at these majestic creatures as they swim about in the water below. You can see the large tooth sawfish, sand tiger shark, nurse shark, and others.

Each guest gets a headset with a receiver to listen to the guide talk about the sharks and their way of life.

Private Dolphin Tour

Get a close view of the Atlantic bottlenose Dolphins in a private setting in the amphitheater of the Dolphin Discovery habitat. Learn how these beautiful marine mammals are trained.

Guests also stop by the kitchen to watch how food is prepared for the dolphins and visit the staff-only area in front of the glass to get a close look at the dolphins.

Meet and Greet Reptiles

Are you fascinated by reptiles? Do these cold-blooded creatures pique your interest? Then join the Aquarium special meet and greet program, which will bring one representative of the reptile kingdom for a close encounter.

Experts will be more than happy to answer any questions and provide all of the exhibit’s reptile information.

Virtual Tours

National Aquarium Baltimore virtual tour program is a unique experience that brings a unique animal encounter from the aquarium to your home virtually.

The Animal Programs team answers any questions related to the animal. The Q&A session is then followed by a guided activity, a marine animal drawing, or a trivia game related to the aquarium.

Live Cams

The National Aquarium live cams are the next best thing for those unable to visit the aquarium.

The National Aquarium webcam is in the Blacktip Reef, Jellies Invasion, and Pacific Coral. You can watch the sharks, rays, colorful fish, jellies, and other marine animals swim and glide about in their habitats.

With the National Aquarium live camera, visitors can go to the deepest end of the three most fascinating tanks in the aquarium. These virtual tours offer an excellent opportunity to see these animals up close and watch their behavior and lifestyle.

The National Aquarium live streaming happens during business hours and after-hours. You can enjoy recorded videos on the official website or on social media accounts like the National Aquarium Facebook. Click here.

Group Experiences

Special National Aquarium discounts are available for tour groups, scout groups, corporate groups, seniors groups, family reunions, etc., or any groups of 15 people or more. Special admission rates are applicable, and benefits include free admission for the group leader, group dining packages, and group tours and experiences.

Special Programs and Packages

Birthday Parties

Get customizable birthday party packages for children 18 and under with group admission Aquarium ticket prices, food, cake, party favors, and the aquatic wonders of the aquarium.

Dine & Discover

Indulge in a relaxing and educational lunch at the Harbor View Room with the Inner Harbor in the backdrop. Learn exciting aspects of the different animals that live in the aquarium from the resident experts.

Later, explore the aquarium and its fascinating exhibits.

Sea Tea

Enjoy a wonderful experience with tea, scones, and hordes of other delicious items while listening to an energetic presentation by the aquarium’s expert on marine lives and their habitat. After the tea party, enjoy exploring the aquarium at leisure.

Cocktails and Fish Tales

Sip on some wine or beer accompanied by snacks and great views of the Inner Harbor from the Harbor Room. Enjoy an informative presentation about the animals in the aquarium given by one of the resident experts.

Later explore the aquarium and its exhibits at your own pace.

Aquarium Partner Packages

National Aquarium Inner Harbor has several entertainment partners, food, and other services that combine their offerings with the Aquariums’ visits to enhance visitors’ experiences.

Some of these partners are Aquatic Adventures with Watermark, Fish & Ships Spirit Cruises, and Uno Chicago Grill, where 20% of your group sales will be donated to the aquarium towards its conservation programs, Hard Rock Cafe, and Phillips Seafood.

Plan an Event

The aquarium offers a spectacular view of the Baltimore Inner Harbor. It, combined with the aquarium’s magnificent exhibits, makes this facility one of the best places to organize all kinds of personal, social, and corporate events.

The National Aquarium events spaces are spacious and make ideal locations for weddings, fund-raising galas, holiday parties, social and corporate events, team-building exercises, or any other special occasion.

The aquarium has dedicated catering partners that handle all the arrangements such as food, beverages, linen, tableware, and any other event requirements.

There are several venue options.

  • The Harbor View Rooms: This room offers a sweeping view of the Inner Harbor and the iconic Federal Hill. This space is ideal for an intimate dinner party or meetings and small events. It is located on the fourth floor of the building next to the Sea Cliffs exhibit.
  • Pier 4 Marine Mammal Pavilion: Host a significant event in the company of the National Aquarium dolphins and jellyfish at the Marine Mammal Pavilion. Before the event, your guest can enjoy a self-guided tour of the exhibits in the main building.
  • Pier 3 Blue Wonders: Enthrall your guests with the Blue Wonders’ magnificence with its many amazing aquatic life. Take in the views of the Indo-Pacific Reef, Atlantic Coral Reef, and the Shark Alley exhibits while enjoying the party.

Wedding

Imagine a National Aquarium wedding with the Baltimore Inner Harbor’s spectacular views as the backdrop and the Blue Wonders Exhibit space as the ceremony’s room. Nothing can beat the enchanting ambiance of a wedding at the aquarium with thousands of aquatic life as special guests.

The aquarium is ideal for ceremonies, receptions, engagement parties, or rehearsal dinners. Just choose the space, and the events management team will work out the tiniest of details to ensure your special day is one of the most memorable experiences for you and your guests.

Corporate Events

Take your office holiday party, team-building retreats, sales meets, and annual conferences to another level by hosting the aquarium event. Along with the event spaces, you can also explore the various exhibits at no extra cost.

Birthdays

Customizable packages are available for birthday celebrations at the aquarium. The catering partners and event management team will take care of the food, beverages, and other party essentials.

Learn more about planning your event at the aquarium by clicking here.

Sleepovers

Aquarium offers an excellent opportunity to spend the night at the aquarium by the sharks. The National Aquarium sleepovers are special tour packages that are offered to Scouts aged eight and above.

The group gets to explore the aquarium after hours and enjoy a behind the scene tour before sleeping near the Deep.

These sleepover programs are available on Friday and Saturday nights with advance registration. The package includes dinner, snacks, breakfast, and a return for the next day’s admission.

Dining Options

The aquarium offers group dining options for those visitors who visit using group packages. The aquarium’s catering partner, Sodexo, provides lunch boxes and prepaid meal cards.

National Aquarium food boxes can also be customized and pre-ordered and then served at the Harbor Market Cafe atrium in the Pier 4 Pavilion.

Tickets

General Admission

National Aquarium cost of tickets are:

  • Adults: $39.95
  • Children (Ages 3-11): $29.95
  • Seniors (Ages 65+): $34.95
  • Children 2 and under: No charge

Special Discounts

Military Discount

Aquarium Baltimore provides tickets to all the military bases across the country through the consignment ticket program. The aquarium also offers a special price for active-duty military personnel at $34.95 which comes with the National Aquarium Military Discount.

The same rate of $34.95 is also extended to military veterans as part of the National Aquarium Baltimore Military Discount.

Student Discount

The aquarium offers special National Aquarium student discounts wherein students can enjoy half-priced tickets every Friday night after 5 pm.

Teacher Discount

National Aquarium Teacher Discounts range between 10% to 50%, and these are available on several websites on the internet.

Groupon

Groupon offers several deals with a whole variety of benefits on National Aquarium Groupon tickets all year round.

Groupon also offers excellent National Aquarium parking discounts at the official parking garage of the aquarium.

National Aquarium tickets Groupon deals are available on general admission tickets as well as parking benefits.

Discounts and Coupons

Popular discount and coupon websites have National Aquarium coupons and National Aquarium promo codes that offer excellent prices on tickets to the aquarium or other benefits redeemed at the aquarium.

National Aquarium tickets are available at $24.95, and the National Aquarium Membership promo code starts from $75.

$10 off on National Aquarium Baltimore discount tickets are available on select National Aquarium discount codes.

50% Off on General Admission Tickets To all the Award-winning Exhibits in the Aquarium on Friday Evenings After 5 pm, Year-round with the special National Aquarium deals.

Membership

There are four different National Aquarium Membership levels – Individual, Dual, Family, and Ocean Ambassador $75, $145, $195, and $250, respectively. With the National Aquarium Membership promo codes, you can get 50% off on ticket prices.

  • Members enjoy unique benefits that are listed below:
  • Free unlimited National Aquarium admission for one year
  • Express entry with advanced reservation
  • Free members-only events throughout the year
  • 25% discount on parking at official partner garages
  • 20% discount on guest tickets
  • 20% discount on National Aquarium tours and experiences
  • 10% discount on the gift shop, cafe, and photo purchases
  • Free subscription to Watermarks, the aquarium’s select members’ magazine

National Aquarium family membership includes two named adults plus up to 4 children, and Ocean Ambassador includes two adults plus up to 6 children and two guests.

Visitors can take advantage of the select National Aquarium Fridays after five half-priced tickets all year long.

The annual Baltimore tradition of offering admissions to the most popular attractions at $1 or less is also applicable to the aquarium. The National Aquarium’s $1 admission days see many visitors, especially younger groups, which the aquarium wants to educate about conservation programs.

Several online travel websites offer various National Aquarium hotel packages, including a visit to the aquarium and other significant attractions of Baltimore. Several partner hotels are combined in these packages.

Gift Shop

The National Aquarium gift shop located on Level 1 has various souvenirs, toys, books, clothes, homewares, and lots more. The store is also available online. There are also other smaller gift shops near the Shark Alley and the Dolphin Discovery exhibits.

Get Involved

Jobs

National Aquarium career opportunities are available in different departments of the aquarium all year round. Right from animal care to administration to training and any other positions in between.

Check on National Aquarium jobs, both full-time and part-time, and your eligibility from the aquarium’s official website.

To know more about National Aquarium Baltimore jobs, click here.

Internship Programs

National Aquarium internships are available all year round, and these programs provide hands-on experience that enhances your college education. Some of the internship programs’ best advantages are classroom knowledge applications, obtaining valuable job experience and network, and building professional contacts.

These internship programs are available all year round. If you are interested in being part of the team, get in touch with the aquarium on the National Aquarium phone number or visit their official website.

Volunteer

Each year the National Aquarium involves more than 800 volunteers in the various departments of the facility. Volunteers do not need to be professional oceanographers or marine biologists or have any professional°. You just need to have a passion for the conservation of marine life and the will to learn and assist in the aquarium’s different parts.

A National Aquarium Volunteer participates in almost every part of the facility, and appropriate training is provided for the volunteers.

As volunteers, you get a lot of benefits such as:

  • Professional training for the chosen role
  • Annual membership benefits also include free daily admission.
  • Volunteers get free garage parking during their shifts.
  • National Aquarium discounts at the Gift shop and cafe.
  • Special volunteer events and privileges.

National Aquarium Conservation Efforts

The National Aquarium in Baltimore puts up several conservation efforts to save the underwater world’s natural habitats and the aquatic animals that thrive in it. The aquarium has several programs that help protect, enhance, and restore natural resources through animal rescue programs, education and engagement, and habitat restoration.

The star turtle of the National Aquarium Calypso was brought to the aquarium for long-term care under the rescue and protection program. Calypso, the green sea turtle, was rescued by the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation.

Calypso had a life-threatening infection in her front left flipper, which led to its amputation. Due to this reason, Calypso could not be released and therefore sent to the National Aquarium Baltimore, where she stayed for 20 years and ruled the hearts of those who cared for her and those who visited her often.

Special Educational Experiences

June is the National Zoo and Aquarium Month. With schools out, the aquarium offers a wide range of educational resources for young learners to understand the importance of conserving aquatic animals and their natural habitat.

During the National Aquarium month, the aquarium offers various outreach programs, educational and conservation learning resources, and innovative conservation initiatives.

Animal Care and Rescue Center

The National Aquarium rescue center is the main center that helps the aquarium achieve its goals of protection and rescue of aquatic animals. The center also has state-of-the-art saltwater-producing equipment and space for fabricating the exhibits’ habitats in the aquarium.

One of the latest rescue programs was for a seal pup with multiple fractures on its jaw. Found the seal on a beach in Delaware, and the National Aquarium Rescue Center responded promptly.

Under the expert care of the rescue center’s staff, the seal pup, whose name is Lili, has fully recovered and returned to its ocean home.

Operating Hours

The National Aquarium hours have different operating times during the week.

  • Monday to Thursday: 9 am to 4 pm
  • Friday: 9 am to 8 pm
  • Saturday: 9 am to 6 pm
  • Sunday: 9 am to 5 pm

The National Aquarium hours change according to the months and seasons as well. Click here to know about the latest operating hours.

Address & Directions

The National Aquarium address is 501 E Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202.

The National Aquarium location is in Baltimore in the Inner Harbor, and it is easily accessible by all modes of transportation.

Get directions for the aquarium online or download the National Aquarium map while driving down. If you drive to the aquarium, then watch out for the National Aquarium logo, which will take you directly to the facility.

Search for the National Aquarium near me to get the best route to reach the aquarium.

Parking Facilities

National Aquarium Baltimore does not have parking facilities, but it has two official parking partners close to the aquarium itself.

National Aquarium Baltimore parking is at Parkway Lockwood Place and LAZ Inner Harbor Garage.

The National Parking garage addresses are:

  1. Parkway Lockwood Place: 501 E Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202
  2. LAZ Inner Harbor Garage: 100 S. Gay St., Baltimore, MD 21202

Parking tickets from these two partner garages are eligible for validation and the National Aquarium parking discount.

Reservation for a parking spot in advance is available in this National Aquarium parking garage.

On-street parking near National Aquarium is also available with ADA-compliant meters.

The Connection between Baltimore and Washington DC National Aquariums

National Aquarium Washington DC was located in the Herbert C. Hoover Building, and it was the first public and free aquarium in the country. It was established in 1873, but it had to be closed down in 2013, 140 years after its establishment.

In 2003, the National Aquarium Society and the Board of Governors for the National Aquarium in Baltimore allied. Agreed that the National Aquarium Baltimore would run the operations of the National Aquarium in DC. However, within ten years of this alliance, the National Aquarium in Washington DC closed its doors permanently.

The reason for shutting down the National Aquarium DC was that the Hoover building needed renovations. Moved about 1700 of the animals in the Washington aquarium to the National Aquarium, Maryland.

National Aquariums Across the Globe

Denmark

The National Aquarium Denmark is the largest and most modern aquarium in Northern Europe, where you can enjoy a close encounter with hammerhead sharks and different varieties of stingrays.

The National Aquarium Denmark Kastrup has five sections representing a wide array of aquatic species and their habitats. The aquarium has bird colonies from the Faroe Islands, otters from Alaska, Giant Pacific Octopus, hammerhead sharks, stingrays, and lots more.

One of the most striking features of the National Aquarium Copenhagen is its architecture which has won several national and international awards, including the prestigious RIBA EU Award and the World Architecture Festival’s Display Award.

New Zealand

The National Aquarium of New Zealand is home to over 100 different species of land and aquatic animals that can be found in New Zealand and other parts of the world.

The National Aquarium New Zealand has a separate section that showcases some of the unique animals found in New Zealand -The Native NZ Icons.

The National Aquarium of New Zealand penguins cove offers a beautiful experience of personal encounters with these beautiful marine animals. These tuxedo-clad animals are the stars of the aquarium.

Captain the ten-year-old penguin has been voted the National Aquarium of New Zealand penguin of the month by popular votes, and his name should be up on the winner board.

A Special National Aquarium of New Zealand discount is available for groups with ten or more people visiting the aquarium. The discount ranges from 50% to 70% for adults and children between the age of 3 to 14.

Hotels Nearby

Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore

This chic, upscale hotel is within walking distance from the National Aquarium and offers a beautiful view of the Inner Harbor. The hotel features modern contemporary rooms with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and coffee makers. Upgraded rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows.

The property also has a rooftop gym, pool, steam and sauna, and a tennis court.

Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor

It is one of the high-end hotels near the National Aquarium featuring elegant rooms and suites with free wifi, flat-screen TVs, and iPod docks. Upgraded rooms have city or harbor views. The hotel has a rooftop pool, a lounge, and a fitness center.

Baltimore Marriott Waterfront

This hotel is within 7 minutes walking distance from the National Aquarium and features chic modern rooms with free wifi and flat-screen TVs. Suite rooms have the floor to ceiling windows with river views.

The property has an American restaurant, a fitness center, a sauna, a business center, and a paid parking facility.

Residence Inn by Marriott Baltimore Inner Harbor

It is one of the budget-friendly National Aquarium hotels featuring rooms with a kitchenette, dining tables, and sitting areas with pull-out sofas. Rooms have free wifi, and room service is also available. The hotel also offers complimentary breakfast and coffee in the lobby.

The property also has a restaurant and bar as well as a convenience store. There is also a business center, a coin-operated laundry service, and valet parking.

Hampton Inn & Suites Baltimore Inner Harbor

This hotel is located near quite a few attractions, including the National Aquarium and the Babe Ruth Museum. Comfortable, warm rooms come with free wifi, flat-screen TVs, and a coffee maker.

Some suite rooms have whirlpool tubs and pull-out sofas. The hotel offers complimentary breakfasts, a fitness center, two meeting rooms, a business center, and an indoor pool.

Restaurants Nearby

Blackwall Hitch Restaurant

It is one of the most conveniently located restaurants near the National Aquarium, and it features an American seafood cuisine that is fresh and locally sourced. The restaurant also has an excellent selection of wines and other spirits. Great music, flavorful food, and generous spirits collection make for a beautiful dining experience.

Capital Grille

The Capital Grille is famous for its steaks and an excellent selection of wine. Their wine cellar carries over 350 different varieties on any given day. It is also a great place to organize birthday parties or anniversary dinners. The restaurant also offers a take-out menu as well as a delivery service

Rusty Scupper Restaurant & Bar

It is one of the best seafood restaurants near the National Aquarium. The restaurant offers excellent food, great views of the Harbor and the city skyline, and a perfect venue for a business lunch or a society brunch.

This contemporary seafood restaurant serves lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch with live Jazz music.

Chick-fil-A

It is a classic casual restaurant with a wide range of typical American comfort foods, including sandwiches, soups, salads, hash browns, scrambled eggs, etc. The restaurant also has online ordering facilities as well as a delivery service.

Attractions Nearby

  • Holocaust Memorial
  • Mount Vernon Place Conservancy
  • Port Discovery Children’s Museum
  • Washington Monument
  • Walters Art Museum
  • Civil War Museum
  • Maryland Centre for History and Culture
  • 9/11 Memorial Maryland
  • Baltimore Phoenix Shot Tower
  • Reginald F. Lewis Museum

Final Words

The National Aquarium transports its visitors to the enchanting underwater world of the oceans and seas from across the globe.

It showcases unique habitats such as the Amazon River and its rare inhabitants.

The aquarium is ranked as one of the top three aquariums in the country. The aquarium has several award-winning exhibits and rare aquatic and land animals.

The aquarium truly delivers the most memorable experience for visitors, both young and old.