Petitioning, Picketing, and Expressive Activities Policy at the Aquarium

The Virginia Aquarium, a department of the City of Virginia Beach, seeks to encourage and permit expressive activities by members of the public to the fullest extent compatible with the mission and purpose of the Aquarium. This policy regarding expressive activities on public Virginia Aquarium properties was formulated with the following considerations:

  • The mission of the Virginia Aquarium is to inspire the conservation of the marine environment.
  • Guests to the Virginia Aquarium have the right of unimpeded access to the facility, as well as the right of privacy and enjoyment of the facility.
  • There is relatively limited space around the entrance and exit of the facility, and these main areas are also ticket queuing areas for guests during busy ticket selling times. The restrictions imposed by this policy do not extend to the public sidewalks on General Booth Boulevard; these sidewalks are considered public domain. Petitioning, picketing, pamphleting, carrying or erecting signs or banners, conducting surveys, and similar expressive activities are not permitted inside the Virginia Aquarium Buildings. This prohibition does not prevent political or religious activities from renting the facility for after-hours events. Individual building maps indicate the area at each facility where expressive actives may take place. Expressive activities conducted in an orderly manner shall be permitted on the paved walkways on General Booth Blvd, and adjacent grass areas, subject to the following conditions:
    • No voice, music, or sound-amplifying devices will be utilized.
    • Any signs, posters, banners, etc., shall be hand-held and not staked or placed on the ground nor fastened to trees, fences, or other structures. The City of Virginia Beach, by itself or in conjunction with the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Foundation, may conduct expressive activities not limited by the above conditions. For inquiries about booking an event, please contact

To allow ingress and egress, persons engaged in expressive activities may not occupy the main walkway extending from the main entrance past the seal exhibit nor the member entrance walkway of the North Building, nor the walkway leading from General Booth Blvd. to the entrance walkways. No stand, display rack, measuring or testing devices, shelters, parasol or awning shall be placed or erected on Aquarium property. The sale of goods or services of any kind, or solicitation of orders for goods or services for future delivery, is not permitted. A person in violation of any provision of the policy will be specifically advised of these restrictions and given the opportunity to comply. If the violation continues, the manager will request that the individual leave. If the individual fails to comply with this request, a police officer will be summoned and the person may be charged with trespassing.

View of North Building Demonstration Area

View of South Building Demonstration Area

Photography Policy at the Aquarium

Paying guests are welcome to take pictures of their visit to the Virginia Aquarium in our public-facing areas. Guests are free to use the flash on their camera phones, but for the safety of our animals, we prohibit the use of flashlights, laser pointers, or video lights. Those who wish to schedule a private photography or videography shoot at the Aquarium can book our facility for use after hours through our Private Events Coordinator.

Requests for Ticket Donations

If you are interested in requesting a donation of Virginia Aquarium tickets for your nonprofit, you may learn more and submit a request form through the link below.