Join Aquarium Guides and Explore Behind the Scenes
Offered 10:30 a.m. daily, space is limited. Pre-purchase recommended as tours sell out in advance.
- Must be ages 8+
- Must be wearing closed-toed shoes.
Please read the FAQs below for more information about requirements and mobility access.
Public: $35 + General Admission
Discounts or coupons cannot be applied.
Growing Up Seahorse: 10:30-11:30 a.m. daily
Take a sneak peek behind the scenes at the unique and diverse world of seahorses. See seahorse babies, learn about Birch Aquarium’s renowned breeding program, and understand what it takes to care for these unusual fish. Find out how all the pieces of the seahorse conservation puzzle come together on this first-of-its-kind behind-the-scenes tour!
Tours may sell out in advance, so pre-purchasing your tour and general admission tickets is recommend.
1. When is the tour offered?
Growing up Seahorse Behind the Scenes Tour is currently offered daily at 10:30am. The guided tour lasts one hour and includes 30 minutes behind the scenes in areas not open to the public.
2. How much does the tour cost and does it include general admission?
Tickets for Growing up Seahorse Behind the Scenes Tour are $30 for aquarium members and $35 for non-members. Please note, this price does not include general admission.
3. How do I purchase tickets?
Tickets can be purchased online, in person at the Visitor Services Office, or by calling 858-534-3474.
4. Where and when do I meet to check-in?
Ticket holders should meet in the Hillgarth Education Courtyard a minimum of 10 minutes before your scheduled tour time to check-in and receive an audio headset. The tour will begin promptly please be on time for your experience.
5. Is there an age restriction?
Participants must be at least 8 years old, and children 8-17 must be accompanied by a paying participating parent or guardian.
6. What should I wear?
Closed-toed shoes are required, rubber sole shoes such as sneakers are recommended. For your safety, heels, sandals or flip-flops are not permitted on this tour. Please wear comfortable clothing and something you don’t mind getting dirty or wet.
7. May I bring large bags or backpacks on the tour?
Large bags and backpacks are not permitted on the tour. They may be left in the Visitor Services Office during the tour.
8. Is this tour ADA accessible?
Most (but not all) behind-the-scenes areas are ADA accessible. In some areas, a wheelchair can access but will not be able to turn around and will need to back out to exit the space. Some tours may include small ladders and/or stairs with a few steps which are not ADA accessible. Be prepared for dim lighting and potentially wet floors.
9. Are Service Animals permitted on the Behind-the-Scenes Tour?
Yes, but the aquarium reserves the right to exclude service animals from these areas if they pose a direct threat to our animal population. Please note: access to behind-the-scenes areas requires stepping on foot bath pads which contain sanitizing chemicals that pose a hazard if ingested and should be rinsed off if skin contact occurs.
10. Can I reschedule or receive a refund for my behind-the-scenes tour experience?
Refunds are not available, however, if you cancel before the start of the tour and space permits it may be possible to reschedule to a future date. Please note: non-members would need to purchase general admission for their new tour date.
11. Will I be allowed to take pictures?
Only during the first half of the tour; once the tour goes behind-the-scenes photography and video recording are not allowed. No exceptions.
12. Can my family/friends watch me participate?
Those in your party who are not participating in the experience are not permitted to follow along in behind-the-scenes areas. Please arrange a time and place to meet with your party after your experience.