What are Aquarium hours of operation?

The Aquarium is open daily from 9 a.m.—5 p.m, with the last entry at 3:30 p.m. The Aquarium is open until noon on Christmas Eve (12/24), with the last entry time at 11 a.m. The Aquarium is closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas day (12/25). Please note, on Aquarium Aglow dates, the Aquarium is open from 9 a.m.–4 p.m., with the last entry time at 2:30 p.m.

What is the price of admission?

The South Carolina Aquarium utilizes a dynamic ticket calendar to determine daily admission prices. This model allows guests to plan their visit on a date that fits both their schedule and budget. Ticket prices fluctuate based on a number of factors including weather, holidays, local events, school calendars and attendance patterns.To view the ticket calendar and buy tickets, click here.

How do I get to the Aquarium, and where do I park?

Information on directions and parking can be found by clicking here.

How does the Aquarium address accessibility and sensory needs?

The Aquarium is committed to providing engaging and full experiences for all! Click here to learn more about all accessibility measures in place.

How long does a visit to the Aquarium take?

Many guests enjoy the Aquarium for two or more hours. We suggest allowing at least 90 minutes to visit all the exhibits the Aquarium offers. All guests are permitted to stay until our building closes at 5 p.m. daily.

Are all of the exhibits indoors?

The majority of our exhibits are indoors. Three exhibits, Mountain Forest, Saltmarsh Aviary and The Shallows, are partially exposed to the elements and may be temporarily closed during inclement weather.

Does the Aquarium offer any ticket discounts?

The best way to save on admission is by purchasing a year-long Aquarium membership. For example, a Family membership pays for itself in just two visits!

  • We do offer free admission to South Carolina certified K-12 teachers with proof of eligibility shown upon entry. Please note, if you wish to visit with paying guests, they must reserve a dated and timed entry here.
  • We also offer $40 Angelfish Family memberships to South Carolina residents who qualify via SNAP/EBT (a copy of your card), digital WIC card (screenshot that includes your name), SC Voucher Program letter and photo ID. P-EBT not accepted for eligibility. Please email [email protected] with proof of eligibility.

Does the Aquarium offer refunds?

There are no refunds available for purchased tickets.

When is the best time to visit to avoid crowds?

Weekends and school holidays tend to have the highest volume of guests, so if you would prefer experiencing the Aquarium with smaller crowds, we suggest visiting on a weekday. We can have large groups at any time, but school groups typically visit on Thursday and Friday mornings.

Are there special rates for group visits to the Aquarium?

Click here for more information on group visits.

I am unable to come in on my reserved ticket date and/or time. Can I change these tickets to a different date and/or time?

Tickets may be exchanged if you contact the Aquarium prior to your scheduled visit and capacity is available. Additional charges may apply. Please contact us by calling our Customer Service Center at (843) 577-FISH (3474) x 3 or by emailing [email protected]. We will need the order number along with the name and phone number under which your tickets were purchased. A new ticket confirmation with an updated time will be sent to your e-mail.

What do I do if I didn't receive my tickets via email?

Please double-check your spam/junk folder in case the email was filtered there. If you still do not see your tickets, please call us at (843) 577-FISH (3474).

Does the Aquarium provide wheelchairs?

Complimentary wheelchairs are available to rent for the duration of your visit with a picture ID at any of our ticket windows. Please note that these are handed out on a first-come, first-serve basis. Due to the limited quantity, we are unable to accept reservations for these.

Can I bring a stroller, diaper bag or backpack into the Aquarium?

Yes. We recommend smaller strollers for ease of navigation throughout the Aquarium. Diaper bags and backpacks are also allowed. Please note, we do not offer stroller rentals at this time.

Can I bring food and drinks into the Aquarium?

Only small snacks and personal water bottles are allowed into the Aquarium. There is seating throughout the Aquarium, indoors and outdoors, as well as space to enjoy a meal or snack in Liberty Square in front of the Aquarium. Please dispose of all garbage in properly marked bins.

Is there a place to purchase food inside the Aquarium?

Yes! Our Sea Turtle Café is open from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. daily.

Is there a private location where I can change/nurse my child?

If you would like a private location within the Aquarium to change or nurse your child, feel free to take advantage of our secure area, the Nursing Station. This is located on our first floor across from the Gift Shop.

I think I lost an item during my visit. Does the Aquarium have a lost and found?

We do! Please email [email protected] with a description of your lost item and your contact information. Our team will review any found items from the day of your visit and contact you if it is with our security team and ready to pick up. If your item has not yet been turned in, we will keep your description on file and contact you if it is turned in at a later date.

Is re-entry into the Aquarium allowed?

Yes. Your ticket is valid for the entire day of your visit. If you leave the building with plans to return, be sure to notify admissions before you leave.

Can I go into the Aquarium Gift Shop only?

Due to its location inside of the Aquarium, we are unable to offer free visits to go into our Gift Shop only. If you have a question about our Gift Shop, you may call (843) 805-8465 or email [email protected], or click here to shop a selection of gifts online.

Are cameras and video cameras allowed inside of the Aquarium?

Cameras and video cameras are permitted in the Aquarium for your personal use. No tripods or monopods are allowed. Please contact our Public Relations department for written permission to take commercial footage. Please note there are certain exhibits where flash photography is not allowed. All Aquarium guests must follow the rules posted on signage throughout our exhibits. Please review our Code of Conduct for more information.

Are pets allowed inside the Aquarium?

To ensure the safety and health of the animals at the South Carolina Aquarium, pets and emotional support animals are not allowed. Service animals are welcome at the Aquarium. They are defined as dogs or miniature horses that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Please review our Code of Conduct for more information.

Are private birthday parties or overnight programs available at the Aquarium?

At this time, the Aquarium is not offering private birthday parties or overnight programs. Click here for information on different options for your group, and keep an eye on our calendar of events to see any upcoming overnight programs.

Can I request Aquarium tickets for my fundraiser?

Click here to find the Aquarium’s guidelines for ticket donations to be used at special events.

Is the South Carolina Aquarium accredited with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)?

Yes, we are both accredited by and a member of AZA. We have been accredited since September 2001 and continue to meet and exceed the rigorous standards of animal care set forth by the organization.

Do you have reciprocal admissions/discounts with other certified AZA Aquariums and Zoos?

We do not currently offer reciprocal admission or discounts with any other zoos or aquariums. If you are a professional member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), you qualify for complimentary admission with your AZA card and photo ID. Please call our Customer Service Center at (843) 577-FISH (3474) for details.

Are my tax dollars going toward the support of the Aquarium?

The Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We rely on the support of our paying guests, members, foundations and the generosity of our donors.

How can I help support the Aquarium financially?

In addition to visiting the Aquarium or becoming a member, we have several ways to contribute! Through this page, you can find many different options on how to get involved, no matter your contribution size. All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Our tax ID number (EIN) is available upon request.

What method of payment can be used at the Aquarium?

We accept cash, all major credit cards, ApplePay and Visa Checkout throughout the Aquarium. Checks are accepted only for the purchase/renewal of memberships and for scheduled group reservations. Any transaction completed online or via the Customer Service Center will require a credit card. Please note, at this time, all ticket purchases must be made online.

Does the Aquarium have an ATM?

We do not have an ATM on property. The closest ATM is the TD Bank, located on the corner of East Bay Street and Charlotte Street.

Is smoking/vaping allowed in the Aquarium?

The South Carolina Aquarium is a tobacco-free, smoke-free facility. This includes all types of electronic cigarettes/vapes as well. There is no smoking allowed on any Aquarium property, including locations that are beyond our admissions area, all outdoor ramps and terraces. Please review our Code of Conduct for more information.

What is the Aquarium’s weapon policy?

The South Carolina Aquarium has established – and strictly enforces – a “No Weapons” policy. This includes concealable firearms, knives and other weapons. This policy is created to ensure a safe and comfortable experience for all of our guests, staff and animals. Please be advised that Aquarium staff will not be responsible for safeguarding any weapons for our guests. Signage has been placed on our property stating that firearms are not permitted. Please review our Code of Conduct for more information.

Can I get a schedule of upcoming sea turtle releases?

Once determined fit for release, our sea turtle patients have a very quick turnaround from the Sea Turtle Care Center™ to life back in the ocean. Each turtle’s journey is unpredictable, so we are unable to anticipate release dates. You can find out more about the Sea Turtle Care Center by clicking here.

Why doesn’t the Aquarium have dolphins, manatees or whales?

As a result of the Marine Resources Act of 2000, which was adopted by the state of South Carolina, marine mammals cannot be used “for any exploratory, experimental, scientific, educational, or commercial display purposes,” thus making it against the law in our state to have them on exhibit. South Carolina and North Carolina are the only states in the country that do not allow marine mammals to be displayed in their aquariums.

Will you accept my pet now that I am no longer able to take care of it?

The Aquarium does not accept surrendered animals of any kind.

Where can I find out about job opportunities at the Aquarium?

Click here to view open staff positions and apply online. We respectfully ask that all applicants use our online system. Please do not call with inquiries or follow-ups.

How can I become a volunteer?

Because our volunteers play such a major role in the work we do here at the Aquarium, we have a dedicated Volunteer Services Department set up to work with our current and future volunteers. If you would like to be a part of this special group, click here.

How can I become a high school intern?

Click here to apply for a high school internship.

Code of Conduct

In order to ensure a safe and engaging environment for all at the South Carolina Aquarium, all Aquarium guests, vendors and employees must abide by the Aquarium’s Code of Conduct.

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