Daily activities

There’s so much to do and see when you visit us!

A Seattle Aquarium volunteer holding a replica whale tooth out to a group of children, pointing to it while giving information about whales.

Learn From Our Experts

You'll find friendly and helpful staff and volunteers throughout the Aquarium who are happy to answer your questions and help you learn more about our many amazing animals and habitats. Just look for the folks in blue!

Protecting our birds from avian influenza: We're taking extra precautions to protect the birds in our care from avian influenza (bird flu). Access to our bird habitats may be limited during your visit. Thank you for helping our birds stay healthy by following all signs and directions from staff.

Daily presentations

A group of people listening to an Aquarium staff member talk in front of the Window on Washington Waters habitat at the Seattle Aquarium.
All About Our Washington Waters

Window on Washington Waters

Times:
10am, 11:45am, 12:15pm, 3pm

Come experience the Window on Washington Waters habitat, devoted to marine life found in our local waters. You’ll meet the inhabitants of the rocky reef and kelp forest ecosystem found in the Salish Sea.

Sea otter eating with a deceased crab sitting on its belly, eating a leg of the crab held in its front paws.
Marine Mammal Feeding

Marine mammal habitats

Times:
11:30am

Join us for a feeding at one of our marine mammal habitats: harbor seals, sea otters or northern fur seals. The location changes daily—ask a Seattle Aquarium representative about which animals are scheduled to be fed when you arrive for your visit. 

Three young children standing at the harbor seal habitat at the Seattle Aquarium looking at a seal through a viewing window.
All About Our Harbor Seals

Harbor seal habitat

Times:
2:15pm

Get to know the harbor seals that call Seattle Aquarium home! Learn how we care for them, and hear amazing facts about the most common marine mammals in the Salish Sea. 

A sea otter floating on its back with its front paws above water as it looks towards the camera.
All About Our Sea Otters

Sea otter habitat

Times:
4:15pm

Join us for an introduction to our sea otters! Get to know more about this iconic endangered species and learn how we care for the individuals that call the Seattle Aquarium home.

Find your way around the Aquarium

Virtual reality experience: swim with humpback whales

Who: Aquarium visitors (must be at least 42” tall)
Where: Family Activity Center, adjacent to the Underwater Dome habitat.
When: 10–11:45am and 1–5:15pm daily; last session at 5:15pm. Schedule subject to change. 
Cost: $7 per person for Aquarium members; $9 per person for non-members.
Tickets: Available from the Guest Services counter at the Aquarium’s main entrance and in the Family Activity Center

Be mesmerized by our new virtual reality experience! With state-of-the-art motion seats and VR dive goggles that provide a full 360° view, you’ll feel like you’re really below the surface, swimming alongside majestic humpback whales. 

This immersive, six-minute experience, guided by a marine scientist who studies humpback whales, focuses on behavior patterns of mothers and their calves—and also features inspiring stories of recent humpback conservation efforts. 

Check ticket availability when you arrive for your Aquarium visit! Space for these virtual reality experiences is limited to four people per session, with sessions offered every 15 minutes. Seats and goggles are fully cleaned between sessions.

A pod or orca whales breeching the surface of the ocean as they swim through the water.

In many places around the world, including here in the U.S., only professionals with legal permits are allowed to approach marine mammals on boats, in the water or on beaches. For your safety and the safety of the whales, please delight in the behaviors of our marine mammal friends from a distance. 

Here in Washington, please stay 400 yards/366 meters from orcas—and give them more space whenever possible. You can learn more about our work in advocating to hasten orca recovery on our Ocean Policy and Advocacy page. We also encourage you to explore Be Whale Wise, a partnership of governmental agencies, nonprofits and other stakeholders in British Columbia and Washington state to research, implement and educate regarding laws and best vessel practices to protect the unique and fragile marine resources found in the area. 

Thank you to our virtual reality experience partner, Immotion.
 

More to see and do

Porcupine pufferfish swimming in its habitat at the Seattle Aquarium
Animals

Get to know the amazing fish, invertebrates, birds and mammals that make their homes with us! As you explore the Aquarium, you may have the opportunity to see animal feedings or even animals being trained to voluntarily participate in their own health care. And our friendly staff and volunteers are always at the ready to answer questions and help you learn more. 

A young child leaning over a tide pool habitat at the Seattle Aquarium, reaching out with one finger to touch a sea star under the water.
Life On The Edge Tide Pools

Step up, lean over and reach in—watch what happens when you gently stroke a sea cucumber. Test your fingertips against the prickly spines of a sea urchin. Follow the scuttling steps of a hermit crab. Notice how, even though they seem to be completely still, sea stars are always moving. Inhale the rich scent of seawater.

Staff and volunteers are always nearby to identify the animals in the tide pools, answer questions and deepen your knowledge about Puget Sound. Even if you opt not to get your hands wet, you’ll still be enriched by the beautiful sights, smells and sounds of this habitat.

Two children standing in front of the large glass window of an underwater habitat at the Seattle Aquarium. A scuba diver is interacting with the children from behind the window and within the habitat.
Scuba Divers

Be on the lookout for our scuba divers, who take to the water at different times throughout the day in our Window on Washington Waters habitat!

Wearing specialized masks, the divers are able to talk back and forth with Aquarium interpreters on the outside (or “dry side”) of the habitat and answer your questions. You'll have the chance to learn more about the various fish that you can find in our Washington waters during these unique encounters.

Limited-Time Special Engagements

A pod of orcas swimming along the surface of the ocean.

Orca Tuesdays at the Seattle Aquarium

We’re proud to participate in Orca Action Month! Please join us for special programming on Tuesdays in June.

Every Tuesday in June: Receive one of our orca trading cards upon admission to the Aquarium.

Tuesday, June 7: Meet Granny (J2), the long-lived matriarch of the southern resident orca J-pod. See our inflatable, life-size model in Puget Sound Hall and learn about orca families, their adaptations for survival and how we can help these endangered whales. 
 
Tuesday, June 14: orca-salmon connection diver shows. Join us at 11:45am, 12:15pm and 3pm at our Window on Washington Waters habitat to explore the connection between two Pacific Northwest icons: salmon and orcas.
 
Tuesday, June 21: shore-based wildlife viewing. Head to the outdoor walkway leading to our harbor seal habitat to learn about the Whale Trail and discover tips for viewing whales and other wildlife from shore. (Not sure where that walkway is? Check our exhibit map.)
 
Tuesday, June 28: Meet Granny (J2), the long-lived matriarch of the southern resident orca J-pod. See our inflatable, life-size model in Puget Sound Hall and learn about orca families, their adaptations for survival and how we can help these endangered whales. 

*All activities subject to change.

A large bear standing in a river bites down onto a salmon, causing the salmon to release eggs into the air with the text an Alaska state of mind, The Salmon Way, Amy Gulick

The Salmon Way: An Alaska State of Mind

The Salmon Way: An Alaska State of Mind is a photographic celebration of Alaskan wild salmon—now through August 2022.

To conduct research for her book of the same name, photographer and author Amy Gulick spent five years in Alaska exploring the web of human relationships that revolve around wild salmon. In Alaska, it’s more than just their “way”—it’s their way of life.

The inspiring photographs depict the diversity of Alaskans living a “salmon way of life.” With images ranging from Alaska Natives to commercial fishing families to sport fisherfolk, the exhibit honors one of the last places where wild Pacific salmon are still abundant and shows deep-rooted ties between human and fish, between Alaska and Washington, and across generations and communities.

“Alaska shows us what is possible if we restore wild salmon and their habitat in places where they are threatened and endangered. Where salmon thrive, so do ecosystems, communities, cultures and economies,” says Amy.

Experience The Salmon Way alongside the Life on the Edge habitat during your next visit to the Aquarium!