Visitor FAQ

Answers to our frequently asked questions. For more specific questions, please contact our Information desk at (206) 386-4300 or info@seattleaquarium.org.

General Questions

The Aquarium is open 9:30am–5pm daily, with last entry at 5pm and exhibits closing at 6pm—with a few exceptions:

  • June 5, 2015: The entire Aquarium will be closed for Splash! our annual fundraising auction.
  • Thanksgiving Day: 9:30am–3pm. Aquarium café closed; Aquarium gift shop open.
  • Christmas Eve: 9:30am–3pm. Café and gift shop open.
  • Christmas Day: Closed.
  • We’re open regular hours on all other holidays, including Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

We’re located on Pier 59 on downtown Seattle’s central waterfront, just west of the Pike Place Market and north of the Washington State ferry terminal.

Our address:
1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59
Seattle, WA 98101-2015

Directions
From I-5 North

  • Take the Madison St./Convention Place exit.
  • Stay straight to go onto 7th Ave.
  • Take the first left onto Madison St.
  • Turn right onto Alaskan Way.
  • 1483 Alaskan Way Pier 59 is on the left.

From I-5 South

  • Take Union St. exit, exit 165B.
  • Stay straight to go onto Union St.
  • Turn left onto 5th Ave.
  • Turn right onto Madison St.
  • Turn right onto Alaskan Way.
  • 1483 Alaskan Way Pier 59 is on the left.

For more information on seawall construction/road closures, parking and other forms of transportation, visit the Getting Here page on our website.

Yes. A Seattle Aquarium membership is the ultimate discount: it pays for itself in less than two visits, grants you admission to the Aquarium for an entire year, and comes with an array of exclusive perks! We also offer discounted daily admission to senior citizens, persons with disabilities, active members of the military and their dependents, and school/other groups of 20 or more with advance registration. Discounted admission rates are available via CityPASS as well, and free tickets may be available for eligible recipients via our community ticket program and the Seattle Public Library Museum pass program. More information can be found on the Fees page of our website.

Generally speaking, weekdays and weekends after 2pm tend to be less busy at the Aquarium.

Yes. During your visit to the Aquarium, you may check one small item and/or a coat at Guest Services. Items must be collected before departure, and this service is offered on an as-available basis.

Children in strollers are welcome at the Aquarium. Please be aware, though, that we do not offer strollers for rent, and do not have secure storage for visitors’ strollers.

It’s possible to enjoy all our exhibits in about two hours, but you may want to take more time. Luckily, Aquarium admission grants you all-day entry (with hand stamps), so you can always come back later in the day if there’s an exhibit you didn’t get a chance to see. You can also take a break over a meal or snack in our café. It may help to visit our Exhibits pages and plan your visit in advance. Be sure to save time for our daily activities—and for a stop in our gift shop on your way out!

You’re welcome to eat a snack or picnic lunch at the Aquarium. While we don’t allow outside food in our café, you can eat in our Life on the Edge exhibit, sitting on the benches or on the floor along the wall. Please talk to a cashier as you enter or visit Guest Services for more information. If the weather is nice, Waterfront Park is right next door to the Aquarium and offers plenty of seating. Be sure to get your hand stamped if you’re planning to re-enter the Aquarium after you eat! If you haven’t packed a lunch or snack, the Aquarium café, on our second level, offers plenty of options to please the entire family.

For the safety of the animals in our collection and our guests, service animals only are allowed inside the Aquarium; no domesticated pets.

You're welcome to take photos and video for your personal use only. Commercial photography is allowed only with prior written permission from our Public Relations department. For more information, please contact us at (206) 386-4300 or info@seattleaquarium.org.

When taking photos inside the Aquarium, please turn off your flash. Not only will you get better photos—but our visitors and animals will thank you! Also, please be aware that entrants to our facility during public hours understand that still photography, video surveillance and monitoring may be happening at all times in public areas.

Yes. If you lose something during a visit to the Aquarium, visit the Guest Services desk for help. You can also call the desk at (206) 386-4363, call our main line at (206) 386-4300, or email us at info@seattleaquarium.org.

The Aquarium is a great place to visit, rain or shine. Most of our exhibits are indoors; some are open air with overhead coverage. Our harbor seal exhibit is outdoors with no cover—although we do have an indoor viewing window for visitors who prefer to stay out of the rain while watching the harbor seals at play on wet days!

No smoking is allowed in or on Aquarium property.

Public Wi-Fi is not available at the Aquarium at this time.


Accessibility

The Aquarium has a limited supply of wheelchairs available for use while visiting. For complete details on accessibility, visit our Accessibility page.

Yes! If you speak another language and your group consists of 10 or more people, we may be able to provide an interpreter for your visit to the Seattle Aquarium. Please contact Giovannina Souers at (206) 386-4349 or g.souers@seattleaquarium.org with a minimum of two weeks’ notice to request an interpreter. Requests will be filled on an as-available basis.


Accomodations

The Aquarium’s café is a wonderful place to eat, with affordable options for the entire family—and an outdoor deck with an amazing view of Puget Sound! And there are plenty of options along the Seattle waterfront as well: Anthony's Fish Bar and Bell Street Diner on Pier 66; Ivar's on Pier 54, and more. Plus, Pike Place Market, with its numerous food stalls and restaurants, is just steps away.

There are many: The Edgewater, Seattle Marriott Waterfront, Quality Inn & Suites Seattle Center, The Belltown Inn and more.

Yes, there are several public transit options available. Use the following links to get started: King Country Metro Online; Sound Transit; Washington State Ferries; and Elliott Bay Water Taxi.


Private Events

Yes! The Aquarium is the site of some of the most memorable weddings and celebrations in our region. Visit our Private Events page for more information.

At this time, we do not offer birthday parties. If you are interested in renting our facility after hours, please visit our Private Events page.


Aquarium History

Over 24 million people have visited the since its opening in 1977; in 2013 alone, we welcomed 802,802 visitors. Since 1977, over 1.7 million schoolchildren have participated in our educational program; 40,000 of those were in 2013.

The Seattle Aquarium operates as a nonprofit 501c3, through a long-term operating agreement with the City of Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation.

Currently, we have approximately 100 full-time equivalent staff members, and more than 1,000 active volunteers. Our volunteers do everything from interpretation with our guests to cleaning exhibits and feeding the animals. To learn more, visit our Jobs and Volunteer pages.

Our combined annual operating budget of $12.6 million is generated through tickets, concessions income, memberships, grants and private contributions.