Let the Virginia Aquarium help you enhance your science curriculum. Whether you choose a self-guided visit, a 3D film, or one of our standards-based programs, we can help you bring science to life for your students.

Download a Map of the Aquarium

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 Program Specialist
  (757) 385-0275

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 do I need with my group?

One adult for every 10 students is required and admitted at no charge (one for every five students for pre-K and K). Any additional adults must pay for admission. Adults should remain with their students at all times while visiting the Aquarium.

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 (MasterCard, Visa), or cash.

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

We have activity sheets on Virginia SOL topics. In addition, curiosity carts on standards-based topics will be located in the exhibit areas during your visit.

What about lunch?

Box lunches are available through Aquarium Café. Check out their menu or call (757) 385-0315 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 Theater Only $5.00 Free Free $5.00
Both Aquarium & National Geographic 3D Theater $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.

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

  Download the 2016-17 ERG

On Your Own activity sheets are a free resource that you can copy and use during your field trip to the Aquarium. Topics are listed under suggested grade levels and include a teacher answer key for select activity sheets.

1st – 6th Grade

  Restless Planet
  Habitats and Adaptations
  Fish Observations
  Food Chains of the Marsh
  All About the Sea
  Marsh Mash Up

7th – 12th Grade

  Classification & Biodiversity
  Restless Planet
  Life in the Bay and Creek
  Instagram Scavenger Hunt

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 Virginia's ocean waters.

  Download Boat Trips

Post-trip On Your Own Worksheets

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.

  Download the Access Aquarium Application

Take the 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.

  Take the survey