Field Trip FAQ

Browse answers to our most frequently asked questions about field trips below. If you have additional questions or would like further assistance, please call our Customer Service Center at (843) 577-FISH (3474), ext. 3.

How many people must be on my field trip to qualify for group tickets?

Field trips must have 10 paid guests to qualify for group tickets.

How do I book a field trip?

Begin your reservation or inquire about a quote by completing the online inquiry form here.

When should I book my field trip?

Most groups book their reservations anywhere from a month to a year in advance. A minimum of 48 hours notice is preferred, but we may be able to accommodate groups on shorter notice.

How many teachers and chaperones are included with my reservation?

Certified South Carolina teachers receive free admission. Complimentary admission is given to one adult chaperone per 10 students. Additional chaperones are $15 each. Please note: We highly recommend one chaperone per five students of elementary age and younger.

How can I make changes to the number of attendees on my reservation?

Please call our Customer Service Center at (843) 577-FISH (3474), ext. 3 to make changes to your reservation details up to one week in advance of your visit.

Where can I park my bus or van?

Buses and oversized vehicles may park in the Bus Lane behind the Aquarium Garage, located at 24 Calhoun Street. Please note: All oversized vehicles other than school buses must have a valid permit from the City of Charleston to park here. Learn more about permits here.

To park, turn left on Washington Street from Calhoun Street and follow the signs for bus parking.

Will my visit be led by a tour guide?

No, your field trip will be self-guided at your own pace. Education interpreters throughout the building can help you learn more about the animals and habitats you see along the way. Our Onsite Activities include Scavenger Hunts (available to print before your visit) as well as Exhibit Activities and Discovery Bins that can be reserved for the day of your visit. Learn more here.

How do I reserve Onsite Activities for my visit?

When you call to make your deposit or final payment, let your Customer Service Center representative know you want to reserve an Onsite Activity during your visit. Learn more here. Please note, Onsite Activities are recommended for smaller field trip and group sizes.

Are there other resources I can use with my group prior to our visit?

We offer standards-based online curriculum (for Pre-K through twelfth grade) to supplement the topics your group can learn about at the Aquarium. View our curriculum options here.

What time should our group arrive?

Your group should arrive at least 30 minutes before your reservation time to allow for restroom breaks and orientation.

Does the Aquarium offer special programs and shows?

We host programs throughout the day, from animal encounters to dive shows. View our current Daily Programs here.

Do I need to purchase separate tickets to visit Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery™?

No, admission to the entire Aquarium, including Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery, is included in your reservation!

Can my group eat lunch inside the Aquarium?

No, but your group may pack lunches or arrange for boxed lunch delivery and eat in a sheltered area of Liberty Square or the arrival area of the Aquarium Garage (24 Calhoun St.), located across from the Aquarium. Please note, we cannot store group lunches in the Aquarium.

Can students visit the Gift Shop?

Students may browse the Gift Shop in small groups with the supervision of a chaperone. Please note: No backpacks are allowed in the Gift Shop.

Do you offer education programs for groups in the evenings?

Science at Sunset allows your group to explore the Aquarium’s exhibits and galleries, learn about our natural world and come face to face with live animals. These programs are highly customizable and great for scout groups working toward badge requirements. Learn more here.

What if my headcount changes the day of arrival?

Deposits and final payments are non-refundable (overpayments or cancellations following payment will be held as a credit toward a future reservation for one year). All chaperones excluded from the final confirmed headcount will be charged general admission upon arrival. Additional students above the confirmed headcount must be paid for via credit card upon arrival.

Do you offer specific resources for students with accessibility needs?

All areas of the Aquarium are wheelchair accessible, and two guest elevators are available to move between floors. If a member of your group has sensory sensitivities, we offer complimentary KultureCity sensory bag checkout upon entrance. Please contact us prior to your visit should you have a specific accessibility need or request. Learn more about our accessibility resources here.

Can students or chaperones use their membership to the South Carolina Aquarium for free admission with the group?

Memberships cannot be used in conjunction with a group visit. Aquarium members wishing to join your party must NOT be included in the group’s headcount and are required to reserve separate member tickets under their account online at They are not permitted to partake in the group’s check-in process, orientation or handle any Onsite Activities that may be checked out by the group.

How long will my field trip last?

The average field trip experience is around two hours. Field trips may be booked between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Please note, field trips may only be booked between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Aquarium Aglow dates in November and December.

How do we pay for our trip?

We accept checks by mail (with a tracking number) and credit card payments over the phone. We are unable to accept purchase orders, ACHs or third party online payments at this time. To pay by phone, call (843) 577-FISH (3474), ext. 3.

Where can I view an Aquarium map?

Click here to view our digital Aquarium map!

Read about the different exhibits at the Aquarium before you visit!
Find out how the Aquarium participates in conservation initiatives statewide.
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