At the Aquarium, celebrate your child's birthday with special activities and a chance to touch live animals! Birthday parties are led by an experienced Aquarium educator. Choose from two themed programs:
Animals Around the World (for ages 3-12)
Make a craft, play games, and touch animals from around the world. See Komodo dragons, spotted eagle rays, and tomistoma crocodiles while you tour our Restless Planet Gallery.
Location: Classroom in the Bay and Ocean Pavilion
Dates: Saturdays and Sundays; year round
Times: September – May from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 4: 00 p.m.; June – August from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Marsh Animals (for ages 3-12)
Make a craft and play games. Touch amphibians and reptiles, go on a bird scavenger hunt in the Aviary, and observe the river otters while our special birthday guest provides them with a snack!
Location: Discovery Room in the Marsh Pavilion
Dates: Saturdays & Sundays; September – April (not available in the summer)
Times: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Ocean and Beach Creatures (For ages 3-12) - Coming Soon
Please check back for available dates and times.
$175 for Aquarium members
$225 for non-members
Fee includes materials and activities for up to 25 participants.
Let the Aquarium Café take care of your refreshment needs.
The Café staff can provide pizza and other fun foods for your party.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please contact the Guest Services Office ( 757-385-0300) to place a reservation. You will need the following:
- Date you would like to reserve
- Party theme
- Payment for deposit
Note: Birthday parties are reserved based on availability. Sorry, we cannot reserve dates without a deposit.
The cost for Aquarium Members is $175.00. The cost for non-members is $225.00.
A deposit of $50.00 is required to reserve a Birthday party date. Final payment for birthday parties must be made no later than 10 days prior to the reserved date. If payment is not received, the Aquarium may cancel the reservation.
We accept the following payment methods:
- Personal Check *, **
- Money Order *
- Cashier's Check *
- American Express
* Payable to Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.
** Returned checks will be charged an additional fee.
To receive a full refund, cancellation must be made 30 days or more prior to the reserved date. A refund, less the $50.00 deposit, will be given if your cancellation is received less than 30 days prior. Refunds are not issued for cancellations less than ten days prior to the birthday party date.
All birthday parties include:
- Invitations and envelopes to send to your guests
- Aquarium educator to conduct the party
- Activities that include a live animal
- An activity booklet for each guest to take home
- Private room
You will be responsible for providing your own birthday cake or cupcakes. If you would like to decorate the room, you will be responsible for providing those decorations.
If you would like to bring specifically themed items, you are more than welcome to do so. This can include themed tableware.
- Items that must be taped or adhered to walls.
- Items with glitter. Glitter is a safety hazard for the Aquarium's animals.
- Because deflated or discarded balloons usually end up in the marine environment and are a threat to sea turtles and other ocean creatures, you must "pop and trash" any balloons before leaving the Aquarium.
The Aquarium offers Goodie Bags at $1.00 each. Each Goodie Bag includes:
- 1 Aquarium Pencil
- 1 Aquarium Post Card
- 1 Shark Tooth
- 1 Plastic Animal Replica
Goodie Bags can be ordered by contacting the Youth Programs Registrar at least one week prior to the party. Payment will be due to the Aquarium Store on the day of the party.
Yes, all persons in attendance are counted toward the 25 person limit. Typically, parents will drop their children off for parties, or choose to stay and tour the Aquarium on their own during the party. Note: Aquarium admission must be paid for parents to tour the Aquarium on their own.
To ensure the best possible experience for the birthday child and their guests, we limit parties to 25 participants. With more than 25 participants we are unable to provide hands on activities and live animal experiences. Please plan accordingly when sending your invitations to your guests.
Aquarium admission is not included in the birthday party price. An admission price of $2.00 is available for each party participant.
Food and Beverages
Cake or cupcakes are the only approved food and beverage items that you may bring to the party. All other food items must be ordered from our onsite caterer, Sodexo. Sodexo is the exclusive foodservice provider for the Aquarium. Deliveries of pizza or other food to your party from outside restaurants are not permitted.
If you have purchased food or beverages from Sodexo, our onsite caterer, all of the necessary tableware will be provided. If you have not purchased any items from Sodexo, you will need to bring the necessary tableware for your birthday cake.
Refrigerator or freezer space is not available at the Virginia Aquarium. You will need to provide your own cooler and ice. Please note that outside food and drinks are prohibited in the Aquarium, with the exception of a birthday cake or cupcakes.