Welcome to the Virginia Aquarium’s field trip page! Whether it’s your first field trip to the Virginia Aquarium or you’re a seasoned pro, the resources below will help plan your trip.

How much time should I allot for an aquarium visit?

Allow at least 2 hours for a self-guided tour of the exhibits. Add an extra hour for a 3D film or an on-site program. If you are traveling with a large group, also consider how long it will take to get on and off the buses and into the Aquarium.

How many adults should I bring with my group?

Teachers attending the field trip are admitted at no charge and must show proof of school ID. In addition, your group will receive a ratio of chaperones at no charge based on your total number of students.

●    Pre-K and K: 1 adult for every 5 students recommended and admitted at no charge.
●    1st-12th: 1 adult for every 10 students recommended and admitted at no charge.

Any additional adults must pay for admission. School group rates only apply when additional adults are included in the one group payment.

How is payment handled?

When visiting the Aquarium, payment is due upon arrival. To receive the group rate, we ask that you pay for the entire group, including additional adults, in one transaction – check, credit card, or cash.

What activities can I do with my students before, during, or after our visit?

Our Field Trip Guide has pre-trip and post-trip activities to use in your classroom. It also includes SOL based “Find and Explore” questions to help guide your chaperones and make the most of your students’ learning while at the Aquarium.

What about lunch?

Box lunches are available through Aquarium Café. Check out their menu or call (757) 385-0337 for more information. The Aquarium's picnic pavilion can also be reserved in advance. Be sure to ask about it while making your reservation. If the picnic pavilion is not available, nearby Redwing Park has picnic shelters and playgrounds.

Are souvenirs available for my students?

Pre-packaged goodie bags are available for $1 each. To order, call (757) 385-0321 two weeks prior to your visit. We also have two Aquarium Stores with a variety of souvenirs available for purchase.

Aquarium and National Geographic 3D Theater

School Group Admission Rates - Aquarium and National Geographic 3D Theater
  Student Teacher Chaperone* Additional Chaperone
Aquarium only $12.00 Free Free $18.00
National Geographic 3D Film Only $5.00 Free Free $5.00
Both Aquarium & National Geographic 3D Film $17.00 Free Free $23.00

* Preschool and Kindergarten groups receive a 1:5 ratio of free chaperones. All others receive a 1:10 ratio of free chaperones.

Aquarium memberships or other discounts may not be used in conjunction with group rates. These rates do not apply to full-length films.

To make reservations for your class or school to visit the Aquarium, please contact:

Guest Service Office
  (757) 385-FISH (3474)

For more information on program content, or for assistance in making the most of your school group visit, please contact:

Rachel Riesbeck
School & Youth Program Specialist
  (757) 385-0275

Download a Map of the Aquarium

The Educational Resource Guide (ERG) contains descriptions of all the programs available for schools.

Our SOL-based on-site programs are easily added to your field trip. Use the links below for more information about the programs available for your grade level.

  Preschool & Kindergarten
  1st & 2nd Grade
  3rd & 4th Grade
  5th & 6th Grade
  7th – 12th Grade

Get your students outdoors to explore the wonders of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean on one of our Sea Adventures.

Post-trip Activity Sheets

Ocean Collections

  3rd-6th Grades
  7th-12th Grades

Dolphin Discoveries/Whales & Wildlife

  7th-12th Grades

Teachers seeking funding for their group may apply for assistance through the Aquarium's Access Aquarium Grant program. This program, which is supported by donations, has limited funds to assist with Aquarium admission for high-needs schools and United Way designated non-profit organizations that work with underserved or special needs groups. Also inquire with the administrative staff at your school about PTA funding and other grant opportunities.

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 next visit.