New York Aquarium Tickets, Prices, What to expect and more

The New York Aquarium is one of the oldest continuously operating aquariums in the United States, having opened in Castle Garden in Battery Park in 1896.

Now located in Coney Island, Brooklyn, the New York Aquarium is run by the Wildlife Conservation Society and is home to over 350 species of aquatic wildlife.

Popular exhibits at the New York Aquarium include the sea lion pool, the shark tanks and the coral reef display with its colorful fish and vibrant coral. 

The aquarium also has an outdoor area with walruses, sea otters, and penguins on display.

As the first aquarium in New York City, it has a rich history and continues to be an exciting place for all visitors. 

Read this article to learn more about New York Aquarium tickets, what to expect, hours, and more.


Hours: Summer- 10 am to 6 pm; Winter- 10 am to 4.30 pm

Last entry: 45 minutes before closing time

Time needed: 2 to 3 hours

Best time to visit: 10 am on Weekdays

Ticket cost: $30


602 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224. Get Directions.

What to expect at the New York Aquarium 

The New York Aquarium is a fun and educational place for families to explore marine life. 

Located in Brooklyn, it’s part of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The aquarium houses a variety of fascinating sea creatures, from playful sea lions to colorful fish and even mesmerizing jellyfish. 

You can learn about the importance of ocean conservation and get up close to marine animals through interactive exhibits and shows. 

It’s a fantastic destination for kids and adults to discover the wonders of the underwater world while supporting marine conservation efforts. 

Don’t forget to catch a sea lion show and enjoy a day of aquatic adventure.

Where to buy New York Aquarium tickets

It’s a good idea to get your New York Aquarium tickets online and ahead of time. 

You can also buy them at the ticket counter, but there are often long lines, and you might not get the time you want.

When you purchase tickets online, you can save a lot of time on the day of your visit, especially during the busy season when lines can be up to 2 hours long. 

Online booking allows you to pick a time that works best for you.

Plus, online platforms may have special deals and discounts or package deals you won’t find at the ticket counter. 

This means you can save money and get extra benefits during your visit.

Sometimes, people outside the Aquarium may sell unauthorized tickets, leading to problems. 

So, by buying your New York Aquarium tickets online, you can have a stress-free visit, save time, ensure your entry, and enjoy exclusive offers.

New York Aquarium entry tickets 

The New York Aquarium is one of the most fascinating attractions in the city. Its breathtaking array of aquatic life, both native and exotic, is sure to thrill any visitor. 

Explore the depths of the sea and its many inhabitants with a New York Aquarium entry ticket.

The New York Aquarium entry ticket lets you skip the ticket counter waiting lines and enter the venue immediately. 

You’ll have access to the exhibitions, animal interactions, and more by purchasing an entry ticket to the aquarium.

Ticket includes:

  • Entrance to the aquarium
  • Admission to all exhibitions and animal interactions 

Ticket Prices:

AgeTicket price
Adult ticket (13+ years) $30
Child ticket (3 to 12 years) $26

Infants between ages two and younger enter for free.

How to Reach the New York Aquarium

New York Aquarium is located in  Brooklyn, NY 11224. 

Address: 602 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224. Get Directions. 

It is a great place to explore the city’s marine life and learn more about the creatures that live in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Here’s how to get to the New York Aquarium: 

By Subway:

For subway travelers, there are several accessible routes leading to the New York Aquarium:

F or Q Train: Disembark at the West 8th Street station on Coney Island, Brooklyn.

N or D Train: Get off at the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue Station and walk two blocks east on Surf Ave.  

By Bus:

West 8th Street is the closest bus stop to New York Aquarium.

Bus routes B36 and B68 are primary options for reaching the aquarium:

B36: Take this bus to Surf Ave. and West 8th St.

B68: Ride to Neptune Ave. and West 8th St., then walk south along West 8th to Surf Ave.

Other bus routes in Brooklyn and various boroughs intersect with B36 and B68, offering additional connectivity options.

By Car

Navigating by car? Here’s a breakdown of the route and parking instructions:

  • Summer Season Traffic Regulations: Surf Avenue only permits a LEFT turn into the Aquarium parking lot.

    Ensure you approach the Aquarium heading WEST ALONG SURF AVENUE from Ocean Parkway.

  • Lane Instructions: Join the left lane on Surf Avenue after crossing Sea Breeze Ave.

    Attempting to switch lanes after West 5th Street may result in denial of access.

  • GPS Instructions: If using GPS, input the address 602 Surf Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11224, to reach the parking lot directly.

Directions from Various Locations:

From Manhattan: Utilize the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel (I-478) to the Brooklyn-Queens Expwy (I-278 West), Exit 22 to the Belt Pkwy East. 

Exit 7 (Ocean Pkwy), turn right onto Ocean Pkwy and continue to Surf Ave. for the Aquarium.

From Long Island & Queens: Take Belt Pkwy West to Exit 7B (Ocean Pkwy). Turn left onto Ocean Pkwy and continue to Surf Ave.

From Connecticut, Westchester County & The Bronx: Travel south on the Hutchinson River Pkwy (I-678), over Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, then Belt Pkwy West to Exit 7B (Ocean Pkwy). 

Turn left onto Ocean Pkwy and proceed to Surf Ave. for the Aquarium.

From Staten Island: Drive east on Staten Island Expwy (I-278) across Verrazano Narrows Bridge to Belt Pkwy East. Take Exit 7S (Ocean Pkwy South), and follow Ocean Pkwy to Surf Ave. for the Aquarium.

From New Jersey: Take the New Jersey Turnpike to the Goethals Bridge (Exit 13), onto Staten Island Expwy (I-278). 

Follow directions from Staten Island to reach the Aquarium.

By Ferry

You can take the NYC Ferry to the Brooklyn Army Terminal. 

Once you disembark, take the B36 or B64 bus to the stop at West 8th Street and Surf Avenue. From there, you can walk to the main entrance of the New York Aquarium. 

New York Aquarium Opening Hours

From November 5, 2023, to March 28, 2024, the New York Aquarium is open from 10 am to 4.30 pm.

From March 29, 2024, to May 24, 2024, the aquarium is open from 10 am to 5 pm. 

The opening hours of the New York Aquarium are from May 25, 2024, to September 2, 2024, from 10 am to 6 pm. 

Between September 3, 2024, and November 2024, the New York Aquarium will be open from 10 am to 5 pm. 

The last admission is one hour before the aquarium closes for visitors. 

The New York Aquarium is open every day of the year except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. 

Here is a detailed list of opening hours of the New York Aquarium: 

MonthsOpening HoursLast Entry
November 5, 2023 to March 28, 202410 am to 4.30 pm3.30 pm
March 29, 2023 to May 24, 202410 am to 5 pm4 pm
May 25, 2024, to September 2, 202410 am to 6 pm5 pm
September 3, 2024, and November 202410 am to 5 pm4 pm

Best Time to Visit the New York Aquarium

The best time to visit the New York Aquarium is mornings, as they tend to be less crowded as soon as the aquarium opens, rather than midday and afternoon. 

Arrive right when the doors open to see exhibits like the Pacific Coral Reef, shark tanks, and penguin habitat before crowds accumulate. 

This is also the best opportunity to view the penguin breakfast feedings and interact with animal handlers as they feed and train other creatures. 

Later at night is also less crowded than the middle of the day, so early evenings just before closing in the summer and fall months can also be ideal.

Weekdays, especially Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, draw smaller crowds than weekends. 

If you can visit while kids are in school, that’s your best bet. Schedule your trip on a Monday or Friday if weekends are easier for your plans. 

Tuesdays and Thursdays, however, do get occasional school groups. 

Holiday weekends around Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day also attract peak attendance, which is best avoided.

The peak season for the New York Aquarium is June through August, when kids are on summer vacation and families flock to Coney Island. 

Large crowds also accumulate on holidays and during local school breaks in the spring and winter. 

For the lightest attendance, plan to visit in March, April, May, September, October or November on a non-holiday weekday. 

The aquarium does close early or occasionally in January and February during icy conditions for animal care. 

Hence, spring and fall off-season visits are your best choice for manageable crowds and full exhibits.

How long does it take at the New York Aquarium?

On average, most visitors enjoy a visit of around two to three hours to the New York Aquarium. 

You can explore fascinating marine life, watch entertaining sea lion shows, and even touch aquatic creatures. 

You might want to stay longer if you’re a wildlife enthusiast or have curious kids. 

There are plenty of snack spots, too. So, whether it’s a quick stop or a day trip, the New York Aquarium offers a sea of fun for everyone.

Animals and Sealife You Can See at the New York Aquarium 

Animals and Sealife You Can See at the New York Aquarium
Image: Newsday.co.tt

The aquarium houses over 350 species and offers engaging exhibits, shows, and interactive encounters that aim to entertain and educate.

You’ll encounter a dynamic mix of fish, reptiles, birds, amphibians, and marine mammals at the New York Aquarium. 

Visitor favorites include green moray eels with wide, toothy grins, endangered green sea turtles rescued from illness and injury, snowy little beluga whales, and clownfish. 

Puffins, cormorants, seals, and sea lions also call this aquarium home.

Of course, no aquarium is complete without sharks! 

Sand tiger, sandbar, and nurse sharks gracefully swim by, along with local species like smooth dogfish sharks. 

Safely get your shark fix from outside the glass at the  New York Aquarium. 

The Aquarium is divided into various zones/exhibits and here is a brief look into all the zones you can explore: 


Spineless showcases jellyfish, octopuses, cuttlefish, squid, and other invertebrates. 

You’ll discover these often-elusive animals up close within illuminated tanks. 

Hypnotize yourself while watching pulsing jellyfish or try counting an octopus’ eight arms as it swims by.

Ocean Wonders

Ocean Wonders transports you to a coral-filled lagoon where sharks, sea turtles, eagle rays, and hundreds of brightly-colored tropical fish thrive together. 

Walking through the glass tunnel surrounded by water, fish, and sharks is a highlight of this zone and Aquarium.

You’ll gain an appreciation for the beauty of coral reef ecosystems after visiting the Ocean Wonders at the New York Aquarium. 


At the outdoor aquatheater, trained sea lions and walruses show the audience their natural behaviors and talents, with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop. 

You’ll laugh at their silly antics while learning about marine mammal intelligence and adaptations.


The indoor, interactive PlayQuarium provides younger kids with endless hands-on activities like puppet shows, games, and arts and crafts. 

The little ones can expend energy while acquiring knowledge about creatures like seahorses and sharks. Parents benefit from a play area ideal for toddlers.

Sea Cliffs

Sea cliffs mimic the rocky intertidal zones of New York with their crashing waves and wildlife found along the Atlantic coastline. 

See puffins, sea otters, harbor seals, and even rescued sea turtles and dolphins in this zone. 

Many of the animals were rescued and recovered at this facility.

Conservation Hall

Conservation Hall emphasizes how we can help marine species and habitats thrive. 

Interactive games for kids, panels on sustainability efforts, and information on the aquarium’s conservation partners give actionable steps visitors can take to give back.

Atlantis Surgeon

The dimly-lit Atlantic Surgeon exhibit displays rescued surgeonfish and bioluminescent animals like flashlight fish and glow-in-the-dark mushrooms. 

Witness the magical neon glow from aquatic creatures and land-dwelling fungi within this exhibit.

Sea Change

Sea Change provides rotating, limited-time exhibits focused on raising awareness of marine issues. 

Past exhibits have covered coral reef destruction, shark finning, and sea level rise. 

Prepare for an impactful, eye-opening experience on humanity’s relationship with ocean habitats.

Experiences at the New York Aquarium

The New York Aquarium offers more than passive animal viewing. 

Special experiences allow visitors to dive deeper into marine themes through multimedia, performances, touch encounters, and exclusive animal meet-and-greets.

Here are some of the best wildlife experiences at the New York Aquarium: 

4D Theater

The 4-D Theater provides extra sensory dimension with special effects like seat rumbling coupled with 3D aerial footage exploring marine habitats. 

Short 4D movies shed light on topics like shark habitats or the annual migrations gray whales make each year along the Pacific coast.

Aquather shows

Daily educational Aquatheater Shows last 20-30 minutes each and highlight trained rescue animals. 

You can see Harbor Seals showcase their natural behaviors and adaptations and friendly walruses charm with their whiskery smiles and loud vocals.

Sea lions steal the show with their playful personalities and agility, performing front flips off their 40-foot platform!

Exhibits Chat and Shows

Throughout the day at specific exhibits, aquarists give short and captivating Exhibit Chats about featured animals while answering visitor questions. 

It’s your chance to learn cool facts about creatures like Pacific octopuses or poison arrow frogs up close from true animal care experts.


Handheld electronic Quests send explorers ages 4+ on educational adventures throughout the aquarium to unlock animals’ stories and conservation challenges. 

This self-guided tour makes learning about marine science interactive and engaging for kids through “secret agent” style missions and rewards.

Touch Pool

At scheduled times, younger kids can gently touch marine animals like horseshoe crabs and sea stars under supervision at the Touch Pool experience inside the Conservation Hall.

You can enjoy hearing about animal adaptations and habitats from educators at the Touch Pool.

It’s the perfect opportunity for little ones to handle intriguing ocean creatures up close carefully.

Wild Encounter

Wild Encounters allows a limited number of visitors to go behind the scenes of habitats and have incredible exclusive animal interactions backstage. 

You can feed and touch gentle sharks and rays at Shark Encounter and help train and play with adorable sea lions at Sea Lion Encounter.

You can also assist aquarists during Penguin Encounter as these tuxedoed birds waddle around your feet. 

These once-in-a-lifetime, intimate encounters are unforgettable.

FAQs about the New York Aquarium

1. Is the New York Aquarium worth it?

Yes, the New York Aquarium is worth it! 

With over 350 species of aquatic life, interactive exhibits, and educational programs, the Aquarium offers hours of entertainment and learning opportunities for all age groups.

2. How much are the tickets for the New York Aquarium?

The ticket prices for the New York Aquarium vary depending on the type of ticket you wish to purchase. 

General admission tickets start at $30 for adults and $26 for children (ages 3-12). Children ages two and under are free.

3. Is the NY Aquarium free?

The New York Aquarium offers free admission after 3 pm on Wednesdays. 

This offer is available with advance-timed tickets, allowing visitors to explore the aquarium without paying the regular admission fee.

4. Does the New York Aquarium have parking?

Yes! The New York Aquarium has a parking lot located nearby. 

The parking lot is open from 10 am to 4 pm daily. 

Rates are based on the duration of the stay.

5. What time does the New York Aquarium close?

The New York Aquarium closes between 3 pm and 5 pm based on the time of the year.

6. How big is the New York Aquarium?

The aquarium spans 14 acres.

It is home to over 350 aquatic wildlife species worldwide, including sharks, turtles, walruses, penguins and other marine animals.

7. Can you bring food to the New York Aquarium?

Yes, visitors to the New York Aquarium can bring food and beverages on-site. 

However, certain restrictions apply. 

All food and beverages must be consumed in designated picnic areas or the Aquarium’s terraces. 

No food or beverages are permitted inside the Aquarium’s exhibits or galleries.

8. Things to do near the New York Aquarium?

Here is the list of things to do near the New York Aquarium:
1. Coney Island Boardwalk
2. Luna Park
3. Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park
4. Brooklyn Bridge
5. Brooklyn Boulders
6. Jane’s Carousel
7. Prospect Park
8. Brooklyn Museum
9. New York Transit Museum
10. The High Line

9. How long does it take to walk through the New York Aquarium?

It may take you only one hour to hurry through, but it will usually take three to five hours to experience all there is to offer. 

Ensure you don’t miss out on the New York Aquarium Sea Lion show and Talk & Feed lecture series.

10. What animals are at the New York Aquarium?

The New York Aquarium features a variety of species, including

• Harbor seals
• Walruses
• Sea lions
• Penguins
• Sand tiger sharks
• Electric eels
• Sea turtles
• Jellyfish
• Various fish species

11. Are there sharks in the New York Aquarium?

Yes, there are sharks at the New York Aquarium. 

The aquarium has several different species of sharks, including sand tiger sharks, blacktip reef sharks, and smooth dogfish.

Featured Image: Commons.wikimedia.org

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