Scenic Overlook Closed for Renovations

The Scenic Overlook is closed for construction, with a new deck expected to reopen this fall. The Nature Trail between the buildings remains open.

A parent and two children explore the Chesapeake Bay touch pool with a staff member

Interested in becoming a Member? We've put together a handy guide with all the special perks and helpful hints you need to make the most of your Membership. 

Year-Round Benefits

  • Unlimited admission.

  • FREE parking year-round.

  • 20% off at the Aquarium Stores.

  • 10% off at the Aquarium Cafés.

  • Discounts on Boat Tours.

  • Discounts on Virtual Reality Pod tickets.

  • 10% discount on Photogenic photos.

  • Discounted admissions tickets for additional guests not covered by your Membership. 

Members enjoy early-access, discounted admission to our annual events such as Mermaids, FantaSeas, Fins & Frights, and Holi-Rays, along with free admission to regular events like Sharks After Dark and Sensory Friendly Mornings. We also host Member-exclusive experiences such as our Member Night as well as Member-only early openings for new exhibits.

Are there young learners in your household? A Membership also offers early ticketing and registration access to our day camps during summer, spring break, and school holidays!

Beyond the Aquarium

The benefits don’t end inside our walls! Thanks to our accreditation with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, Virginia Aquarium Members have reciprocal Membership with other AZA-accredited facilities, meaning you can enjoy 50% off admission year-round to over 150 other zoos and aquariums across the country. This includes the Virginia Zoo, the Virginia Living Museum, the North Carolina Aquariums (Pine Knoll Shores, Fort Fisher, and Roanoke Island), and the Smithsonian Zoo! Just be sure to call any reciprocating AZA organization in advance to confirm their admissions process, as well as ticket availability for the day you wish to visit.

Reserving a Visit

We offer three convenient ways Members can reserve a visit to the Aquarium.

Online Assured Admissions

We set aside a select number of entry slots just for our Members! Reserve yours online in advance for assured entry on the day and time you wish to visit.

Call-Ahead Admissions

We welcome Members to visit even if Online Assured Admissions slots have sold out for the day and time you wanted. Call Guest Services at (757) 385-3474 to reserve your preferred date and time to visit. Members who call ahead will receive an email confirmation with their tickets after completing their reservation with us, which can be scanned via smartphone at the Exhibits Gallery entry OR printed out by our team upon arrival.

Walk-In Admissions

Another option for Members if Online Assured Admissions slots have sold out for the day and time you wanted. Stop by Admissions with your photo ID to reserve the next available walk-in time (Note: Members who visit as walk-ins may need to wait before they are granted entry).

When You Arrive

Members will receive a hand stamp at the beginning of their visit that provides access to either building without needing to rescan their tickets at the entrance. An adult Member named on the Membership must be present with a photo ID for every visit. 

Tips and Tricks

There are several helpful tips and tricks for Members to enjoy the best possible experience during each visit.


Member parking is free for the full term of your Membership once your license plate is registered here . You may park and begin your visit at either building. To access the other building, you may walk on the Nature Trail, or drive from the first building to the next. The trail generally closes 20 minutes before the Aquarium. If you walked the Nature Trail between buildings but find the trail has closed by the time you leave, you may walk back to the building to which you parked via the multi-purpose sidewalk along General Booth Boulevard.

Checking In

After parking, Members who have reserved tickets may proceed to the exhibit entrance with photo ID ready. Members should hang onto their tickets if they intend to travel between buildings. Members who arrive without ticket reservations may head to Admissions to check in with their photo ID.

Skip the Crowds

Want to enjoy a quieter experience with fewer guests? Avoid weekends or rainy days when we tend to see higher attendance. School field trips are most popular on weekdays between 9:00am and 2:00pm, particularly in April and May. We also see larger crowds during the summer and on holidays.

Day-to-Day at the Aquarium

Over time, Members become seasoned guests who are familiar with our programs, operations, and fun experiences throughout the year.

Toddler Programs

We host three toddler programs every week that are included in admission! Toddler Tuesdays offer little learners the chance to build early literacy skills through engaging animal stories. Discovery Garden, held on Wednesdays, allows young children to explore hands-on activities incorporating nature and science into playtime. Toddler Trek, held on Thursdays, brings toddlers onto the Nature Trail for a guided walk to practice counting, identifying shapes, singing songs, and more! Learn more on our Toddler Programs page.

Veterinary Procedures

The Windows into Animal Care exhibit in our newly renovated South Building includes an observation window looking into our Veterinary Care Center. This window has a whiteboard posted nearby with the upcoming schedule of medical procedures for our animals that guests can watch! Keep an eye on the board during each visit so you can experience our veterinary team in action (please note that procedure schedules are subject to change).


Our Dive team, made up of certified staff and volunteers, conducts dives to clean and maintain our exhibits throughout the week, beginning between 9:30am and 10:00am. Though dive plans are subject to change, the schedule is generally as follows:

Sunday: Rotating exhibits - either Harbor Seal Exhibit, Red Sea Aquarium, Norfolk Canyon Aquarium, or small animal exhibits

Monday: Red Sea tunnel

Tuesday: Light Tower Aquarium

Wednesday: Harbor Seal Exhibit, Red Sea tunnel, and Mediterranean Sea (across from the cobra and blue-tongued skink)

Thursday: Chesapeake Bay Aquarium and small animal exhibits

Friday: Norfolk Canyon Aquarium and Live Coral Aquarium (just past Red Sea)

Saturday: Rotating exhibits — either Harbor Seal Exhibit, Red Sea tunnel, Norfolk Canyon Aquarium, or small animal exhibits

Our Membership Plans

We have three unique Membership plans which include the same fin-tastic member benefits but vary in the number of people the plan covers for free admission. 

Individual: for a single cardholder planning to visit by themselves throughout the year. Individual Memberships pay for themselves within four visits to the Aquarium.

Individual +1: for a single cardholder interested in bringing one guest per visit throughout the year – a great option for couples! Individual +1 Memberships pay for themselves within three visits to the Aquarium.

Family: A friendly option for fish-loving families! This plan includes 2 adult cardholders (or 1 cardholder plus one guest) and all their children under the age of 18. Family Memberships for families with just one child pay for themselves within three visits to the Aquarium, but even sooner with more than one child!

Family & Friends: New for 2024! This plan includes either 1 named adult cardholder and up to 5 guests, or 2 named adult cardholders and up to 4 guests (limit 6 tickets per day). A Family & Friends Membership with at least three people in the party per visit will pay for itself within about three visits to the Aquarium, but even sooner with more guests! 

Military Discount: We offer 10% off Memberships to military members. Memberships must be purchased in person and the purchaser must show a valid United States Armed Forces ID card to receive the discount. Cannot be combined with other discounts or applied to gift certificates.

Locals' Discount: Beginning July 1, 2024, we will offer $20 off all Membership levels for Virginia Beach residents. Memberships must be purchased in person and the purchaser must present a valid photo ID, state-issued driver's license, or DMV ID card with a Virginia Beach address to establish proof of residency. Cannot be combined with other discounts or applied to gift certificates.

Foster Friendly Discount: We offer 10% off Memberships to guests who use the Foster Friendly app ! Memberships must be purchased in person and the purchaser must show proof they are a verified user to receive the discount. Cannot be combined with other discounts or applied to gift certificates.

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