School age children observe terrapins in the Coastal River Room

School Admission Rates

Self-Guided

$12
  • Admission

SOL-Based

$17
  • Program & Admission

Behind-the-Scenes Tours

$12
  • Plus $120 Flat Fee Per 30 Kids

Free Chaperone Ratios

  • Pre-K and Kindergarten | 1:5 ratio of chaperones to students
  • Grades 1-12 | 1:10 ratio of chaperones to students
  • Additional Chaperones | $18

How to Reserve

  • For self-guided field trips, please call Guest Services at (757) 385-3474, extension 3. 

  • For SOL-based programs & admissions, fill out the SOL-based request form below and you will be contacted to book a date. 

  • Please note: requests for programs must be submitted at least one month before the desired program date to be considered.

Interested in Grant Funding? 

Our Access Aquarium program offers grant funding to Title 1 schools which, if awarded, would cover 50% of your student cost for either a self-guided trip, Aquarium admission, or SOL program or outreach program. Please do not book a field trip until you are approved for grant funding if your field trip is contingent on this funding.

Onsite Programs

Our SOL-based onsite programs can easily be added to your field trip. Programs are available September 1, 2023 - June 17, 2024. If you would prefer a self guided field trip, please contact our guest services department at 757-385-FISH ext. 3 to book. Only Self Guided trips are available if visiting June 17, 2024- August 25, 2024. See below for more information about the programs available for your grade level.

Turtle Talk – Toddlers – 20 Minutes – Available: Onsite, Outreach, or Virtual

Use models and movement to help us learn the differences between sea turtles, land turtles, and aquatic turtles. Then we’ll learn how fun it can be to keep our oceans clean!

ELDS: ALP.1, ALP.3, CD.1

Turtle Talk – Pre-K – K – 30 Minutes – Available: Onsite, Outreach, or Virtual

Use models and movement to help us learn the differences between sea turtles, land turtles, and aquatic turtles. Then we’ll learn how fun it can be to keep our oceans clean!

ELDS and SOLs: ALP.1, ALP.3, CD.1, K.7, K.11

Mini Movers – Pre-K – Kindergarten – 30 Minutes – Available: Onsite, Outreach

Get your students up and moving while they learn how different animals move and why some animals don’t need to move to survive!

ELDS and SOLs: CD1.1, CD4.1, K.7

Water Wizards – Kindergarten – 2nd Grade – 50 Minutes – Available: Onsite

Get a little wet as your students pour, stir, and build to explore the properties of water, matter, and displacement!

SOLs: K.4, 1.3, 2.3

Sea Turtles from Egg to Adult – 1st – 3rd Grade – 50 Minutes – Available: Onsite, Outreach, or Virtual

Learn how a turtle’s life begins and the dangers it faces to survive. We will play a fun game to explore its life cycle from nest to adult. We will also discuss conservation efforts and brainstorm ways that we can help sea turtles survive.

SOLs: 1.5, 2.4, 2.5, 3.4

Fish Focus – 1st – 3rd Grade – 50 Minutes – Available: Onsite

Learn what makes a fish a fish through hands-on activities including a dissection and designing a fish of your own!

SOLs: 1.5, 3.4

Life in the Chesapeake Bay – 1st – 3rd Grade – 50 Minutes – Available: Onsite, Outreach

In this program we will learn about the Chesapeake Bay, and the important roles different organisms play in different estuarine habitats. Then, we will split into stations and learn about oysters, plankton, and build a creature perfectly designed for its habitat.

SOLs: 1.5, 2.5, 3.4, 3.5

Out in the Ocean – 3rd – 4th Grade – 50 Minutes – Available: Onsite, Outreach, Virtual, and Assembly

Go on an adventure through the zones of the ocean and observe changes in animal adaptations in each zone! Along the way, students will learn how ocean properties, animal adaptations, and ocean geology change with depth.

SOLs: 3.4, 3.8, 4.7

Geology Rocks – 5th Grade – 50 Minutes – Available: Onsite

Get a hands-on look at the different types of rocks, how they form, and what we can learn about the Earth’s geological history.

SOLs: 5.8

Bay Watch – 4th – 6th Grade – 50 Minutes – Available: Onsite, Outreach

Get an in-depth look at the Chesapeake Bay and the organisms that make up its food web. We will split into stations, and dissect an oyster, investigate planktonic organisms, and build a food web model.

Sols: 4.3, 4.8, 6.8, 6.9

Wandering Through the Watershed – 4th – 6th – 50 Minutes – Available: Onsite, Outreach

Join us as we explore the many environments of the Chesapeake Bay watershed! Students will use models to learn about the environments and processes that impact the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

SOLs: 4.8, 6.8, 6.9

Sea Turtle Rescue – 4th – 12th Grade (Does not fit 5th grade SOLs) – 50 Minutes – Available: Onsite, Outreach

Become a stranding technician with the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Team! Get a hands-on look at what it takes to rescue a stranded sea turtle, and how we study deceased stranded sea turtles to help conservation efforts.

SOLs: 4.8, 6.9, LS.9, BIO.8

Inside the Squid – 6th – 12th Grade – 50 Minutes – Available: Onsite, Outreach

In this program, we’ll investigate the classification of squid, looking at the defining characteristics of different invertebrate phyla to see where the squid fits in. Then we’ll dissect the squid to show how it fits in with other mollusks!

SOLs: LS. 3, LS.11, BIO.6

Behind the Scenes – 7th – 12th Grade – 45 Minutes – Available: Onsite

An amazing behind-the-scenes glance at how an aquarium runs, how we care for our animals, and different career paths in the Aquarium industry!

Life Cycles – Pre K – 2nd Grade – 50 Minutes – Available: Onsite, Outreach

Join us on our journey through the life cycles of different animals. We’ll learn about sea turtles, butterflies, frogs, and more!

SOLs: K.7, 1.5, 2.4

Compare and Contrast Animal Groups – 2nd – 4th Grade – 50 Minutes – Available: Onsite

What makes a mammal a mammal? Do birds have fur? What’s the difference between a reptile and an amphibian? Come learn all this and more as we check out these fascinating vertebrates!

SOLs: 2.5, 3.4, 4.3

Out in the Ocean – 3rd – 4th Grade – 50 Minutes – Available: Onsite, Outreach, Virtual, and Assembly

Go on an adventure through the zones of the ocean and observe changes in animal adaptations in each zone! Along the way, students will learn how ocean properties, animal adaptations, and ocean geology change with depth

SOLs: 3.4, 3.8, 4.7

Adaptations – 3rd – 8th Grade (Does not fit 5th grade SOLs) – 50 Minutes – Available: Onsite, Outreach

We’ll show you fascinating biofacts and have student volunteers help illustrate the adaptations of some animals that allow them to thrive in a variety of ecosystems.

SOLs: 3.4, 4.2, LS.7

Live Animal Encounters – All Ages – 20 Minutes – Available: Onsite

Come meet some of our Animal Ambassadors! We’ve got reptiles, amphibians, mammals, you name it! We’ll tell you all about its life history, and about how we care for them here at the Virginia Aquarium.

Our summer programs are fun adaptations of our school-year programs, designed for a wider range of ages and a larger audience. The listed range is the optimal age group for each program, but the content will be engaging for all ages!

Turtle Talk – Toddlers – Kindergarten – 30 Minutes

Use models and movement to help us learn the differences between sea turtles, land turtles, and aquatic turtles. Then we’ll learn how fun it can be to keep our oceans clean!

Sea Turtles from Egg to Adult – Kindergarten – 3rd Grade – 50 Minutes

Learn how a turtle’s life begins and the dangers it faces to survive. We will play a fun game to explore its life cycle from nest to adult. We will also discuss conservation efforts and brainstorm ways that we can help sea turtles survive.

Adaptations – 3rd – 8th Grade – 50 Minutes

We’ll show you fascinating biofacts that help illustrate the adaptations of some animals that help them to move, find food, and protect themselves in a variety of ecosystems.

Class Boat Tours

Dolphins swimming at ocean surface

Dolphin Discoveries

Observe bottlenose dolphins, Virginia’s most common marine mammal, up close during this ocean excursion. Students will delve further into dolphin behaviors and marine mammal conservation. Biofacts and other visual aids add a hands-on element to the trip.

Humpback whale breaching in front of Virginia Beach skyline

Whales & Wildlife

Did you know that large whales visit the coast of Virginia each winter? Educators will share three decades' worth of knowledge, research, and experience with our local whales and wildlife. During this incredible tour, students will search out whales, dolphins, seals, and seabirds highlighting the diversity just off our coastline.

Aquarium educator on boat shows children a baby stingray collected during their Ocean Collections tour

Ocean Collections

Students will have the opportunity to assist in the collection of fish, invertebrates, and plankton using the same tools and methods as marine scientists. Observation and investigation help students identify adaptations that marine animals possess to survive their special habitat. This is our most interactive tour!

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