National Aquarium – Baltimore, MD

The National Aquarium, formerly known as the Baltimore Aquarium, is located in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore, Maryland. The Aquarium’s address is 501 Pratt Street, which is on Pier 3. It features thousands of animals and hundreds of species from the rain forest, to Australia, and more!

National Aquarium Parking

Parking for the National Aquarium is available in two nearby parking garages. While the Aquarium does not have its own parking facilities, the Parkway Lockwood Place and the LAX Inner Harbor Garage tickets can be validated for a discount to Aquarium guests. Ticket validation is completed by the staff member at the exit door of the Aquarium.

National Aquarium Entrance
National Aquarium Entrance

The Aquarium is also reachable by Amtrak and bus or ride share, as Penn Station for Amtrak is located one mile from the Aquarium. There’s also light rail, MARC Train or Metro Subway.

National Aquarium Discounts and Tickets

Timed and dated tickets for the National Aquarium are available for purchase online through their website. There is limited capacity, so book tickets in advance. There are typically discounts available for military, public health workers, and AAA members. When purchasing through a third-party, such as Tickets At Work, the voucher will need to be turned in at the Guest Services window for an Aquarium ticket.

National Aquarium Tickets

The Aquarium also has special overnight packages with some of the neighboring hotels. Check out their website for more information.

National Aquarium Stroller Policy

The National Aquarium does not allow strollers in their exhibits. After entering the building, there is a stroller parking desk immediately to the right.


There are many types of exhibits at the National Aquarium. There is an entire floor of the aquarium dedicated to the rain forest, and another to the continent of Australia. One of the favorite exhibits in the aquarium is the jelly fish.

Jelly Fish Exhibit
Jelly Fish Exhibit

It’s entry is beautiful, with columns full of bubbles. It’s a great introduction to the beauty of the sea.

Jelly Fish Entrance
Exhibit Entrance

Another interesting exhibit at the Aquarium is the Blacktip Reef. This exhibit is full of aquatic life, from blacktip reef sharks to rays to other types of fish and colorful coral.

National Aquarium Reef
Overview of Reef

Shark Alley

The Aquarium has several main exhibits, but one of the best and scariest is Shark Alley. In this part of the building, lights are dim and sharks swim around in the windows all around the walkways and ramps.

National Aquarium Shark Alley Sign
Shark Alley Entrance

It is possible to avoid Shark Alley, if you’re with a young child who may be afraid.

National Aquarium Shark
National Aquarium Shark

Touch Tanks

The National Aquarium has two touch tanks. One of the tanks is full of jelly fish. Be sure to listen to the instructions on how to properly touch them. While these jelly fish stings don’t hurt (or so they say!), it is possible to harm the jelly fish by touching them improperly.

Jellyfish Touch Tank
Jelly Fish Touch Tank

The jelly fish touch tank is easiest for small children to access. There is another longer touch tank beside the jelly fish. This tank has horseshoe crabs. Due to the depth of the water, and the location of the crabs at the bottom, it is difficult for a child to touch the crabs without getting their shirt sleeve wet.

Horseshoe Crab Touch Tank
Horseshoe Crab Touch Tank

4D Immersion Theatre

For an extra charge, you can experience the Aquarium’s 4D Immersion Theatre. At specific times of the day, there are shows about sharks, dolphins, and octopus. Tickets can be purchased at the desk across the hall from the theatre.

4D Immersion Theatre
4D Immersion Theatre

Dining Options

There are several kid-friendly dining options across the street from the Aquarium, including Chick-Fil-A and Chipotle.

Food is available inside the Aquarium at the Harbor Market Cafe. The menu includes fried fish, pizza, cheesy mac, tater tots, and more. Kid’s meals are available, and include either cheesy mac or uncrustables PB&J.

Harbor Market Cafe
Harbor Market Cafe

Other Inner Harbor Attractions

The Inner Harbor is also home to the Maryland Science Center and Port Discovery Children’s Museum. During the warmer months, paddle boat rentals are available. There’s also shopping and more restaurants in the area. Check out this post about kid-friendly things to do near Baltimore Inner Harbor.

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Post Author: karenbeth24