The Seattle Aquarium aims to be inclusive and welcoming to all, and believes that our audience should reflect the diversity of our region. Toward that end, the Seattle Aquarium Connections program provides complimentary admission tickets and discounted memberships through community partner organizations.
The goal of the Seattle Aquarium Connections program is to provide opportunities to experience the Aquarium to those in our community who might otherwise experience barriers to engaging with us. To support our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, we hope to create authentic, mutually beneficial relationships that build trust between the Aquarium and our partner communities and provide quality, culturally relevant marine conservation educational experiences to all.
Eligible partners include service-based nonprofit or governmental organizations that support members of marginalized communities including but not limited to: low-income families; communities of color; immigrant and refugee communities; people with disabilities; the deaf community; people who are blind; families or individuals experiencing homelessness; and others.
Once established as community partners through our Connections program, participating organizations have access to enjoy free general admission to the Aquarium, $25 Connections membership vouchers, outreach opportunities, programming through the Beach Naturalist and Cedar River Salmon Journey programs, on-site enhancements, special events and more.
What we ask for in exchange is that community partners designate one primary contact to represent their organization and act as a liaison between the Aquarium and any coworkers who may want to utilize the Connections program. (We understand that this may not be efficient for larger organizations; please contact us to make alternate arrangements if that’s the case.)
The primary contact is responsible for ordering and distributing all tickets and vouchers needed by the organization; and maintaining and returning distribution logs provided by the Aquarium to track basic demographics on the audiences receiving tickets and vouchers. We also ask the primary contact to inform others within their organization about opportunities at the Seattle Aquarium, so the whole organization can benefit from the Connections program. If the primary contact changes, it is the responsibility of the community partner to inform the Seattle Aquarium of this change.
Benefits of the Connections program
Free general admission
The Seattle Aquarium Connections program offers free general admission through two types of tickets distributed to our community partners.
- Group reservations: Online registration is required for groups of 10 or more people (including chaperones) who are coming to the Aquarium together and must be reserved at least two weeks in advance. You will receive an entrance confirmation to bring when entering the Aquarium; printed tickets are not required for group reservations. This option reduces costs and is more sustainable than printing paper tickets.
- Individual tickets: Individual tickets are distributed to qualifying families and patrons of partner organizations who wish to visit the Aquarium on their own.
*See note regarding COVID-19 below
$25 membership vouchers
These vouchers offer a full year of Aquarium membership, at a significant savings, to low-income families. Partners can distribute Connections membership vouchers to community members who would like to purchase an Aquarium Family Plus membership for $25. All standard membership benefits apply.
Note: We require that distribution logs be maintained for individual tickets and membership vouchers to track basic audience demographics.
Individual tickets and membership vouchers are valid for one year from the date they were printed and may be distributed to staff members of partner organizations if said staff qualify for services the organization provides.
Tickets and membership vouchers should never be used as rewards, incentives or donation items for fundraising. They do not have a cash value, are nontransferable, should never be sold and are not to be given to employees or non-qualifying individuals for personal use.
The Seattle Aquarium provides multiple opportunities for programs in the community, including but not limited to:
- Beach Naturalist program: Schedule a time to join us on a local shoreline at low tide for a beach animal program.
- Cedar River Salmon Journey: Schedule a time to join us along the Cedar River or at the Ballard Locks as we watch sockeye, Chinook and coho salmon head upstream to spawn.
- Programs at your location: we can come to your site to host a booth or give an educational program or presentation on an as-available basis. For more info on themes, programs and logistics, please contact us.
For those interested in ocean conservation careers, we also have opportunities to enhance your group visit to the Seattle Aquarium. For more information on our outreach opportunities, please email email@example.com.
**See note regarding COVID-19 below
How to join the Connections program
- Organization name and address
- Contact information for the designated contact from your organization
- Website address
- An organization description and/or mission statement
- A description of the demographics and/or populations you serve, as well as the number of people you serve
- Nonprofit federal tax ID number
- Estimated number of tickets you anticipate requesting per year
For information on our other discount programs, please see our discounts and group rates page.
To request Seattle Aquarium Connections tickets and vouchers, your organization must be a current partner in good standing. All Aquarium ticket requests must go through your designated primary contact to authorize free admission.
When distributing individual tickets and membership vouchers, you must complete the associated distribution log. Please fill out as much information as you can, as this allows us to get a better understanding of which audiences we are reaching and identifies areas of improvement. To support our sustainability efforts, we encourage community partners to make group reservations when applicable. This option is for groups of 10 or more people visiting the Aquarium on the same day, at the same time.
All group reservations, printed individual tickets and membership vouchers can be requested by the designated primary contact using our Connections partner tickets or group visit request online form.
For more detailed instructions on how to use the online form, please see the following documents:
2021 Program offerings for community partners through the Connections program
Live virtual tours
Take a live, interactive, 45-minute virtual tour of the Seattle Aquarium, with staff leading you through habitats in real time and answering your questions along the way. Explore the amazing marine animals that inhabit Puget Sound and our world’s one ocean. Get up close and personal with some of your favorite marine life in a virtual setting.
At-home Cedar River Salmon Journey kit
Spark empathy and understanding for salmon by connecting with their journey and learning about their life cycle. Enjoy these salmon-related activities for some family fun. Plus, receive a pair of polarized glasses to cut the glare from the river as you look for spawning salmon along the Cedar River or another local river where salmon return in the fall and winter.
Cedar River Salmon Journey outreach program
Interested in having your community group join our trained naturalists to look for spawning salmon and learn about the salmon life cycle and all the things we can do to help these fish? Then this program is for you! During the fall and winter, salmon return to the Cedar River in the Renton, Washington, area, and our Cedar River Salmon Journey program has five locations along the Cedar River to view them.
At this time, you can order as many tickets as your organization can effectively distribute and record on the distribution logs. Please note that printing tickets does incur costs, and before your next order is filled, we will look at your redemption rates and number of tickets distributed in your logs to evaluate if they are being used.
Seattle Aquarium Connections tickets are valid during all open hours at the Seattle Aquarium. The Seattle Aquarium is open daily from 9:30am to 5pm (last entry at 5pm; exhibits close at 6pm). Exception: The Seattle Aquarium is closed each year on December 25 (Christmas Day).
*Please note: Due to current health guidelines, we are requiring that all guests enter the Aquarium with a timed ticket. Currently, individual printed tickets distributed through the Connections program are not timed tickets and community members using these tickets will need to enter the Aquarium and follow signs for the non-timed-ticket line. Our guest services associates will then make a reservation for the next available slot. While the wait time typically doesn’t exceed 15 minutes, we can’t make any guarantees.
A membership voucher obtained through a community partner must be redeemed in person at the Aquarium. The name of the primary adult on the membership must be written on the voucher. Valid identification and payment of $25 are required to redeem the membership.
The membership provides unlimited admission for one or two named adults, up to six of their children/grandchildren (ages 18 and under), and one free guest every visit. See our Connections Membership page for a full list of benefits and policies.
For information on our discount programs for individuals, please see our discounts and group rates page.
The Seattle Aquarium has worked closely with local health experts to provide a safe and fun experience for visitors. To be able to reopen and protect the health of our animals, guests, staff and volunteers, we’ve made some changes you need to know about before visiting. All this information and more can be found on our reopening webpage, as well as answers to frequently asked questions.
Some things to note for our Connections community partners: Due to current health guidelines, we are not accepting group reservations and requiring that all guests enter the Aquarium with a timed ticket. Currently, individual printed tickets distributed through the Connections program are not timed tickets and community members using these tickets will need to enter the Aquarium and follow signs for the non-timed-ticket line. Our guest services associates will then make a reservation for the next available slot. While the wait time typically doesn’t exceed 15 minutes, we can’t make any guarantees.
Outreach programming is paused as we reassess and evaluate our outreach offerings given current circumstances.