School Admission Rates

Self Guided | $12 per student

Program & Admission | $16 per student

Behind the Scenes Tours (7th-12th Grade Only) | $12 admission per student plus $120 flat fee per 30 students

Free Chaperone Ratios

  • Pre-K and Kindergarten – 1:5 ratio of chaperones to students
  • 1st – 12th grades – 1:10 ratio of chaperones to students
  • Additional Chaperones: $18

If you have further questions please contact the School & Youth Programs team at 757-385-0278. If you are ready to request a program, please click the link below and follow steps to submit a request form!

Onsite Programs

Our SOL-based onsite programs can easily be added to your field trip. See below for more information about the programs available for your grade level.

Available Programs

Turtle Talk (Toddlers)

  • 20 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite, Outreach, or Virtual

Use models and movement to help us learn the differences between sea turtles, land turtles, and aquatic turtles. Then we’ll learn how fun it can be to keep our oceans clean, and meet an animal ambassador!

ELDS and SOLs: ALP.1, ALP.3, CD.1, K.1, K.3, K.6, K.7, K.11

Turtle Talk (Pre-K - K)

  • 30 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite, Outreach, or Virtual

Use models and movement to help us learn the differences between sea turtles, land turtles, and aquatic turtles. Then we’ll learn how fun it can be to keep our oceans clean, and meet an animal ambassador!
ELDS and SOLs: ALP.1, ALP.3, CD.1, K.1, K.3, K.6, K.7, K.11

Mini Movers

  • Pre-K – Kindergarten – 30 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite, Outreach

Get your students up and moving while they learn how different animals move and why some animals don’t need to move to survive! Then, get to know one of our Animal Ambassadors and see how they move!

ELDS and SOLs: ALP1.1, ALP3.1, CD1.1, CD4.1, HPD2.2, K.2, K.5, K.7

Water Wizards

  • Kindergarten – 2nd Grade – 50 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite

Get a little wet as your students pour, stir, and build to explore the properties of water, matter, and displacement!

SOLs: K.1, K.3, K.4, K.5, 1.1, 1.3, 2.1, 2.3

Sea Turtles from Egg to Adult

  • 1st – 3rd Grade – 50 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite, Outreach, or Virtual

Learn how a turtle’s life begins and the dangers it faces to survive. We will play a fun game to explore its life cycle from nest to adult. We will also discuss conservation efforts and brainstorm ways that we can help sea turtles survive.

SOLs: 1.5, 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.4

Fish Focus

  • 1st – 3rd Grade – 50 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite

Learn about fish anatomy, adaptations, and sustainability through hands-on activities, dissections, and observation of fish in the exhibit aquariums.

SOLs: 1.1, 1.5, 1.8, 2.1, 2.5, 3.1, 3.4, 3.5

Life in the Chesapeake Bay

  • 1st – 3rd Grade – 50 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite, Outreach

In this program we will learn about the Chesapeake Bay, and the important roles different organisms play in different estuarine habitats. Then, we will split into stations and learn about oysters, plankton, and build a creature perfectly designed for its habitat. Lastly, we will meet our live animal ambassador!

SOLs: 1.4, 1.5, 1.7, 1.8, 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 2.8, 3.1, 3.4, 3.5, 3.8

Life in the Chesapeake Bay

  • 4th – 12th Grade – 50 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite, Outreach

In this program we will learn about the Chesapeake Bay, and the adaptations of the organisms that call the Bay home. We will split into stations, and dissect an oyster, investigate planktonic organisms, and build a food web. Then we’ll meet our live animal ambassador!

Sols: 4.2, 4.3, 4.7, 4.8, 5.6, 6.8, 6.9, LS.4, LS.5, LS.6, LS.7, LS.9, BIO.8

Out in the Ocean

  • 3rd – 4th Grade – 50 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite, Outreach, Virtual, and Assembly

Go on an adventure through the zones of the ocean and observe changes in animal adaptations in each zone along the way! In this hands-on program, students will learn how ocean properties, animal adaptations, and ocean geology change with depth.

SOLs: 3.1, 3.4, 3.5, 3.8, 4.1, 4.3, 4.7, 4.8

Oyster Reef Rebuild

  • 4th – 7th Grade – 50 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite

Explore the amazing biodiversity of an oyster reef! Students will learn about the ecological significance of oysters, the food webs they support, the historical decimation of oyster reefs and the restoration efforts that are helping to rebuild them in the Chesapeake Bay.

SOLs: 4.3, 4.7, 4.8, 6.8, 6.9, LS.5, LS.6, LS.7, LS.8, LS.9, BIO.8

Wandering Through the Watershed

  • 4th – 9th – 50 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite, Outreach

Join us as we explore the many environments of the Chesapeake Bay watershed! Through interactive station activities, students will learn about the environments and processes that impact the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

SOLs: 4.1, 4.3, 4.7, 4.8, 5.8, 6.1, 6.6, 6.8, 6.9, LS.8, BIO.8, ES.8, ES.10

Sea Turtle Rescue

  • 4th – 12th Grade (Does not fit 5th grade SOLs) – 50 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite, Outreach

Become a stranding technician with the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team! Get a hands-on look at what it takes to rescue a stranded sea turtle, and how we study deceased stranded sea turtles to help conservation efforts.

SOLs: 4.1, 4.3, 4.8, 6.1, 6.9, LS.9, BIO.8

Marine Mysteries

  • 4th – 12th Grade – 50 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite

Sharpen your detective skills and solve these marine mysteries! This station-based program will teach students about some puzzling adaptations marine animals have developed to cope with changing habitats and competition over time!

SOLs: 4.2, 4.3, 4.8, 5.8, 6.9, LS.7, LS.11, BIO.7, BIO.8

Inside the Squid

  • 7th – 12th Grade – 50 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite, Outreach

In this program, we’ll investigate the classification of squid, looking at the defining characteristics of different phyla. We’ll learn about the adaptations and evolutionary changes of these phyla, and how their environments have changed over time. Lastly, we’ll dissect a squid, and observe these adaptations up close.

SOLs: LS. 3, LS. 7, LS.11, BIO.6, BIO.7

Behind the Scenes

  • 7th – 12th Grade – 45 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite

An amazing behind-the-scenes glance at how an aquarium runs, how we care for our animals, and different career paths in the Aquarium industry!

Life Cycles

  • Kindergarten – 2nd Grade – 50 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite, Outreach

Join us on our journey through the life cycles of different animals. We’ll learn about sea turtles, butterflies, frogs, and more! At the end, meet an Animal Ambassador, and learn about its life cycle!

SOLs: K.7, 1.5, 2.4, 2.5

Compare and Contrast Animal Groups

  • 2nd – 4th Grade – 50 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite, Outreach

What makes a mammal a mammal? Do birds have fur? What’s the difference between a reptile and an amphibian? We’ll learn all this and more, and meet an Animal Ambassador!

SOLs: 2.5, 3.4, 4.3

Out in the Ocean

  • 3rd – 4th Grade – 50 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite, Outreach, Virtual, and Assembly

Go on an adventure through the zones of the ocean and observe changes in animal adaptations in each zone along the way! In this hands-on program, students will learn how ocean properties, animal adaptations, and ocean geology change with depth.

SOLs: 3.1, 3.4, 3.5, 3.8, 4.1, 4.3, 4.7, 4.8

Adaptations

  • 3rd – 8th Grade (Does not fit 5th grade SOLs) – 50 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite, Outreach

We’ll show you fascinating biofacts that help illustrate the adaptations of some animals that help them thrive in a variety of ecosystems. At the end, we’ll bring out one of our Animal Ambassadors, and tell you all about the amazing adaptations they have.

SOLs: 3.4, 4.2, LS.7, LS.11, BIO.7,

Live Animal Encounters

  • All Ages – 20 Minutes
  • Available: Onsite

Come meet some of our Animal Ambassadors! We’ve got reptiles, amphibians, mammals, you name it! We’ll tell you all about its life history, and about how we care for them here at the Virginia Aquarium.

Geology Rocks!

  • 5th grade (primarily)
  • Available: Onsite, Outreach

Rock cycle model, weathering and erosion and the effect on earth’s surface.

SOLs: 5.7, 5.8

Field Trip Guide

Downloadable

Self-guided activities to help lead students through the exhibit areas. ​

Open and print our convenient Aquarium map

Order Lunch!

Downloadable

We offer boxed lunch options for field trip groups.

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Dolphin Discoveries

Observe bottlenose dolphins, Virginia’s most common marine mammal, up-close during this ocean excursion. Students will delve further into dolphin behaviors and marine mammal conservation. Biofacts and other visual aids add a hands-on element to the trip.

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Whales & Wildlife

Did you know that large whales visit the coast of Virginia each winter? Educators will share three decades' worth of knowledge, research, and experience with our local whales and wildlife. During this incredible tour, students will search out whales, dolphins, seals, and seabirds highlighting the diversity just off our coastline.

https://www.virginiaaquarium.com/assets/Images/Education/Schools-Teachers/FieldTrips/OceanCollectionsClassBT.jpg

Ocean Collections

Students will have the opportunity to assist in the collection of fish, invertebrates, and plankton using the same tools and methods as marine scientists. Observation and investigation help students identify adaptations that marine animals possess to survive their special habitat. This is our most interactive tour!

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Seal Spotting Boat Tour

Seals are frequent visitors to this area when the water temperatures drop, although their favorite haul-out spots can make them difficult to see. Catch eye-level observations while learning about the species that frequent our waters as well as the most recent research conducted by the Virginia Aquarium’s Stranding Response Team.

More Questions?

See our Frequently Asked Questions page for more on scheduling this amazing experience for your students.

Field Trip Feedback

Take the field trip survey to tell us how we're doing and you'll be entered to win a free program, resource kit rental, or free chaperones for your visit. ​