by Ashley Pugh -

Dive into Fun: Tips for Visiting an Aquarium with Your Family

Kids are are in awe at a whale shark at an aquarium
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Are you planning a family day out? Why not visit an aquarium! Not only is it enjoyable, but it also provides educational opportunities for your children. However, to ensure the best experience for everyone, there are some tips and tricks you should know beforehand. In this blog post, we will cover everything from packing essentials to exploring the aquarium together. Dive into fun with our guide on visiting an aquarium with your family!

Aquariums are available the world over and unsurprisingly very popular with families. So whether you are visiting Aquarium of the Pacific in California , The National Sea Life Centre in London or one of the plentiful aquariums in Canada or Australia, we have you covered to get the most out of this journey of discovery.

a family watch Manta Rays and other fish at an aquarium

Photo by Tim B Motivv on Unsplash

Choose the Right Time to Visit

Timing is everything when it comes to visiting an aquarium with your family. To avoid crowds and long lines, try to steer clear of peak hours like weekends and holidays. Instead, consider scheduling your visit during the week for a more relaxed experience. Keep in mind that some animals are more active during certain times of day, so if you're hoping to catch a glimpse of beautiful creatures in action, do your research ahead of time. Additionally, check for special events or feeding times that can make your visit even more memorable.

Avoid Peak Hours

Plan to arrive early or late in the day to avoid crowds when visiting an aquarium with your family. By doing so, you can enjoy the beautiful creatures without feeling rushed or overstimulated by a large crowd. Another option is to consider visiting during off-seasons or weekdays when there are fewer visitors.

To further help you avoid peak hours and make the most of your visit to the aquarium, check online for crowd predictions and busy days. This will give you a better idea of what times and dates might be more crowded than others, allowing you to plan accordingly.

Remember that taking some time to plan ahead will not only ensure a more enjoyable experience for your family but also provide ample opportunities for viewing all kinds of fascinating animal life in peace!

Consider Weekdays

Weekdays may not be the most convenient time to visit an aquarium with your family, but it can have its perks. For one thing, you'll likely face fewer crowds than on weekends, which means you'll have more room to explore and take in all the beautiful creatures that call the aquarium home. Plus, if your children are hoping for a glimpse of their favourite animal or exhibit without having to fight through hordes of people, weekdays could offer a better chance.

Another benefit of visiting during the week is that there may be fewer school groups and field trips competing for space and attention. This means less noise and chaos overall - giving everyone in your family a more peaceful experience. It also allows ample opportunity for learning about different species at leisurely pace without feeling rushed or overwhelmed by crowds.

So next time you're planning a trip to an aquarium with your family, consider scheduling it on a weekday for maximum enjoyment!

Check for Special Events

Before you head out to the aquarium, make sure to check for any upcoming special events or exhibits. These can provide unique experiences and activities that your family will love. From up-close encounters with beautiful creatures, to hands-on learning opportunities, special events are a great way to enhance your visit.

Keep in mind that some aquariums offer discounts or extended hours during these events, so it's worth checking beforehand. Whether it's an animal-themed festival or a new exhibit showcasing fascinating creatures from around the world, special events can add extra excitement and value to your family outing at the aquarium.

marine fish at an aquarium

Photo by roy zeigerman on Unsplash

Prepare Your Kids for the Visit

Before heading to the aquarium, it's important to prepare your kids for the visit. Start by reading books or watching videos about aquatic life with them. This will give them an idea of what they can expect to see at the aquarium and will help get them excited for their upcoming adventure.

It's also a good idea to discuss aquarium rules and etiquette with your children beforehand. Let them know that touching exhibits or throwing items into tanks is not allowed, and remind them to be respectful of other visitors. By preparing your kids in advance, you'll ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience at the aquarium.

Read Books or Watch Videos About Aquatic Life

Find books and videos about sea creatures that are age-appropriate for your kids. Reading or watching together as a family can generate excitement and interest in visiting an aquarium. You can encourage kids to ask questions and share what they've learned, making it a fun learning experience for everyone involved.

For younger children, consider picture books that introduce basic facts about different types of fish, such as their colours, shapes, and sizes. For older children who are more interested in the science behind aquatic life, documentaries or educational videos could be a great option.

Watching these resources together will not only educate your family on the fascinating world of marine life but will also give you some ideas on what exhibits to visit at the aquarium. Take note of any animals or habitats that piqued your child's interest so you can plan accordingly during your trip.

Discuss Aquarium Rules and Etiquette

It's important to follow the rules when visiting an aquarium with your family, not only for safety but also to ensure a positive experience for everyone. Some specific aquarium rules include refraining from tapping on glass tanks and avoiding using flash photography near sensitive marine life. By teaching kids how to respect marine life through actions such as not littering or feeding them, you can help create a culture of responsibility and care in future generations. Remember, following these simple guidelines will allow you and your family to fully enjoy all the wonders that an aquarium has to offer!

Kids are are in awe at a whale shark at an aquarium

Photo by Pengxiao Xu on Unsplash

Pack the Essentials

When visiting an aquarium with your family, it's important to pack the essentials. Comfortable clothing and shoes are a must for walking around all day. Make sure everyone is dressed appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable shoes that can handle wet floors.

Don't forget to bring snacks and water to keep everyone hydrated and energised throughout the day. Pack some healthy options like fruit or granola bars, as well as some treats like candy or chips for a special treat.

Lastly, capture memories of your fun-filled day by bringing along a camera or phone. Take pictures of your favourite exhibits and adorable sea creatures to look back on later. Don't miss out on capturing those precious moments!

Comfortable Clothing and Shoes

When visiting an aquarium with your family, it's important to wear comfortable clothing and shoes that are suitable for walking long distances. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose breathable fabrics for hot and humid aquariums: Aquariums can get pretty warm, especially during the summer months. Opt for lightweight materials like cotton or linen that allow your skin to breathe.
  • Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking long distances: You'll be doing a lot of walking at the aquarium, so make sure you wear shoes that won't cause blisters or fatigue. Sneakers or hiking boots are great options.
  • Pack a light jacket in case the aquarium is air-conditioned: Some areas of the aquarium may be cooler than others due to air conditioning. To avoid getting chilly, bring along a light jacket just in case.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that you and your family stay comfortable during your visit to the aquarium!

Snacks and Water

Bring refillable water bottles to stay hydrated throughout the day. This will save you money and help reduce plastic waste in the environment. Pack healthy snacks like fruits, nuts or granola bars to avoid overpriced food at the aquarium cafe. Plus, it's always a good idea to have some munchies on hand when exploring with your family.

Consider any dietary restrictions your family members may have before packing snacks. It's important that everyone is able to enjoy their snacks without any issues. Here are some snack ideas:

  • Cut up fruit such as apples and oranges
  • Trail mix with nuts and dried fruit
  • Granola bars
  • Veggie sticks with hummus dip
  • Popcorn (unsalted or lightly salted)

By bringing your own snacks and water bottles, you'll be prepared for a full day of fun at the aquarium without breaking the bank!

a young boy looks at aquarium fish

Photo by Biljana Martinić on Unsplash

Camera or Phone for Capturing Memories

When visiting an aquarium with your family, deciding between using a camera or phone to capture memories can be daunting. Both have their pros and cons, but ultimately it depends on personal preference. Whichever you choose, here are some tips to make sure you get the best shots possible:

  • Bring extra batteries or charging cables to ensure your camera/phone stays powered up all day long.
  • Take advantage of photo opportunities offered by staff such as meeting with dolphins or sea lions.

By keeping these tips in mind, whether you use a camera or phone, capturing memories at the aquarium will be a breeze!

FAQ: Visiting an Aquarium with Your Family

You may be wondering whether there are any age restrictions for visiting the aquarium. Good news! There are typically no age restrictions for visiting the aquarium. Everyone from the youngest babies to the oldest adults can enjoy the wonder and excitement of exploring the underwater world. Whether you're a family with young children, a group of teenagers, or a couple on a romantic outing, the aquarium has something for everyone. In fact, many aquariums offer special programs for children that allow them to get up close and personal with the marine life. For example, some aquariums offer touch tanks where kids can touch and even feed the sea creatures. They may also offer interactive exhibits or behind-the-scenes tours that are perfect for older children and teenagers. Of course, it's always a good idea to check with the specific aquarium you plan to visit to see if there are any additional guidelines or restrictions. Some aquariums may have height or weight requirements for certain exhibits, or may require adult supervision for younger children. In summary, visiting the aquarium is a great family activity that can be enjoyed by all ages. Don't be afraid to bring your little ones along - they may just be the ones who enjoy it the most! And always remember to engage in meaningful conversations with your family during and after your visit, and make plans to explore different exhibits and events in the future. Whether you're learning about marine conservation efforts or simply marvelling at the beauty of the ocean, a trip to the aquarium is sure to be a memorable experience for your family.

While many aquariums work hard to create a safe and healthy environment for marine life, there have been cases of animal mistreatment and neglect. It's important to do your research before visiting an aquarium and choose one that is dedicated to animal welfare and conservation efforts. Supporting aquariums that prioritise the health and well-being of their marine life is a great way to encourage positive change and education about the importance of protecting our oceans.

If you're taking your family to the aquarium for a day of fun, you'll want to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy. Here are some important safety precautions to keep in mind: 1. Follow all posted rules and regulations: The aquarium will have specific rules in place to ensure the safety of visitors and marine life. Make sure to read and follow them carefully. 2. Watch your step: Aquariums can be slippery, so be sure to walk carefully and keep an eye out for any wet or slippery areas. 3. Keep a close eye on children: Kids can easily wander off or get separated from the group, so it's important to keep a close eye on them at all times. Hold their hands or use strollers if necessary. 4. Don't touch the animals: It's tempting to reach out and touch the fish and other marine life, but it's important to resist the urge. Not only can it be harmful to the animals, but it can also be dangerous for you. 5. Use hand sanitiser: Aquariums can be full of germs, so consider bringing some hand sanitiser and using it frequently throughout your visit. By following these safety precautions, you and your family can enjoy a fun and safe day at the aquarium. Don't forget to take some photos and make some memories while you're there!

Aquariums are home to a diverse range of marine life, from colourful fish and sharks to sea turtles and seahorses. Depending on the aquarium you visit, you may also have the chance to see dolphins, penguins, and even whales! Many aquariums also feature interactive exhibits and touch tanks where you can get up close and personal with some of the animals. Some aquariums even offer behind-the-scenes tours and feeding experiences for a truly immersive experience. Visiting an aquarium with your family is a great way to learn about marine life and have fun at the same time. However, it's important to choose an aquarium that prioritises animal welfare and follow certain safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. With these tips in mind, you can dive into a world of adventure and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

Explore the Aquarium Together

As you explore the aquarium with your family, following a map or route can help keep everyone on track and ensure you don't miss any of the exhibits. Take turns leading the way and discovering new sea life together.

Engaging your kids in activities or games can make your visit even more enjoyable. Look for scavenger hunt sheets or ask staff members for suggestions on interactive exhibits that will keep everyone entertained while learning about marine creatures!

Follow a Route or Map

Check the aquarium map before you go to get an idea of what exhibits your family might enjoy. Some maps even have suggested routes, so you can maximise your time at the aquarium. If you're looking for a more personalised experience, create your own route based on your family's interests.

Here are some ideas for creating your own route:

  • Start with the interactive touch tank exhibit where kids can get up close and personal with sea creatures
  • Head to the shark exhibit next if they love these predators
  • Move on to the penguin exhibit if they’re fascinated by flightless birds

Alternatively, follow the suggested route for an efficient tour that hits all of the must-sees in one go:

  • Begin with a visit to see sea turtles and jellyfish
  • Check out colourful tropical fish in various tanks
  • Look out for unique species like seahorses and octopuses

By following either option above, you'll ensure that everyone gets a chance to see their favourite aquatic animals!

a family walk through an aquarium tunnel

Photo by Sladjana Karvounis on Unsplash

Engage Your Kids in Activities or Games

Bring a scavenger hunt list of things to find at the aquarium, like a starfish or an octopus. This is a fun way to keep your kids engaged and excited throughout their visit. You can even offer prizes for those who complete the list first.

Another game you can play is 'I Spy' with different sea creatures. Have your children search around for specific animals that you describe using hints like colors, patterns or sizes. It's sure to spark their curiosity and add some extra entertainment value to your trip.

Make sure not to miss out on any educational activities offered by the aquarium. These events are designed specifically for families with young children in mind and include engaging presentations, interactive exhibits and hands-on workshops that teach about local ecosystems, marine conservation efforts and more!

Take Advantage of Educational Opportunities

Educational opportunities abound at aquariums and can be a fun way to learn about marine life with your family. Make sure to attend scheduled animal feedings or talks, where you can watch as the animals are fed and listen to experts share fascinating facts about them. You could even participate in interactive exhibits that allow you and your family members to touch sea creatures like starfish and crabs, all while learning more about their habitats and behaviours. These unique experiences will create lasting memories for everyone involved!

Attend Scheduled Animal Feedings or Talks

Check the aquarium's website for schedules and plan accordingly to attend scheduled animal feedings or talks. It's a great way to learn more about the creatures in their habitat, and your kids will love seeing them up close. Don't forget to encourage your little ones to ask questions during the feeding/talk – it'll make it an even more interactive experience for them.

Make sure you bring a camera to capture memorable moments during these animal feedings or talks at the aquarium. Your family can look back on these photos and remember all the fun they had learning about marine life together. Plus, who doesn't love snapping some selfies with adorable sea creatures? So be sure not to miss out on this unique opportunity!

a young girl stares into an aquarium

Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

Participate in Interactive Exhibits

Allow enough time for each exhibit and encourage exploration. Interactive exhibits are a great way to learn about marine life while having fun with your family. Don't rush through them, take the time to fully experience each one. Encourage your children to touch and explore everything they can - this is how they will learn the most!

Join in on hands-on activities with your children. Many aquariums offer interactive activities where you can touch starfish or even feed some of the animals! These experiences are not only educational but also memorable for both parents and children alike.

Challenge your family members to a scavenger hunt or quiz game. Make visiting an aquarium more exciting by turning it into a competition! See who can find all the different types of fish first or create a quiz game based on information learned throughout the exhibits.

Remember, visiting an aquarium is not just about seeing fish - it's about learning, exploring, and creating lasting memories with those you love most!

End the Visit on a Positive Note

Before leaving the aquarium, make sure to end your visit on a positive note. Take some time to reflect on your favourite moments and talk about them with your family. This will create lasting memories and also give you ideas for what to explore during your next visit.

Another great way to wrap up your experience is by visiting the gift shop or having a meal together at the aquarium's restaurant. Both of these options allow you to extend the fun and continue bonding as a family. Don't forget to pick up souvenirs or treats that remind you of this special day!

Visit the Gift Shop or Have a Meal Together

After exploring the incredible underwater world of the aquarium, make sure to stop by the gift shop for a fun memento of your visit. Browse through unique souvenirs that will remind you and your family of this amazing experience long after you leave. You can also purchase educational materials about aquatic life, which is a great way to continue learning outside of the aquarium.

If all that excitement has worked up an appetite, head over to the restaurant for some delicious food and a chance to relax with your family. Grab a bite while discussing your favourite parts of the aquarium or making plans for future visits. With so much to see and learn from at the aquarium, it's almost guaranteed there will be more exciting moments ahead!

a whale shark swims in an aquarium

Photo by Sense Atelier on Unsplash

Reflect on Favourite Moments and Plan Your Next Visit

Discussing the highlights of your aquarium visit can be a great way to reflect on the experience and relive some of your favourite moments. Take some time to chat with your family about what you enjoyed most, whether it was seeing the colourful fish swimming in the tanks or watching playful sea otters at play. Sharing these memories can help strengthen bonds and create lasting connections.

In addition to discussing favourite moments, consider talking about new things you learned during your visit. Did you discover something interesting about a certain species? Or maybe you gained a greater appreciation for marine conservation efforts? These conversations not only enhance knowledge but also encourage further exploration and learning. As you plan future visits, make sure to explore different exhibits or attend special events that pique everyone's interests – who knows what amazing experiences await!

Ashley Pugh Written by
Ashley Pugh

Ashley Pugh is one of the Co-Founders of and has been committed to writing family related content since 2008. There isn't much about family attractions that Ashley doesn't know, after visiting hundreds of them worldwide over the last 20 years.

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