Insider Tips: The National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland

Wed, Mar 25, 2015 @ 08:03 AM Dawn M. Smith Military Life, PCS Moves, Travel Tips

aquariumThe National Aquarium is less than one hour from Washington, DC and is very accessible as a day trip if a vacation to the nation’s capital is the destination for your vacation plans. Newly renovated, the aquarium holds 17,000 animals. The dolphins, sharks, and a rescued 500-pound green sea turtle named Calypso make up just a few of the favorites who reside there.

Tickets and Activities

  • For reduced ticket fares and short entrance lines, make an easy stop at nearby Fort Meade’s MWR. Adult tickets are $31.00 and $21.00 for children. MWR is not open on Saturday or Sunday.
  • Avoid the long lines and buy tickets from The National Aquarium's website to be picked up at will call.
  • Fridays After Five is the reduced price program for evening hours between 5 - 9:30 p.m.
  • 4-D Immersion films are free for active duty military.
  • Arrive at day’s opening to see the aquarium with the least amount of visitors.
  • Strollers are not permitted. They may be stored, and back/front pack kid carriers are available.
  • Head to the dolphin presentation at 10:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. The morning viewing is less crowded and full of information and dolphin play. The afternoon talk features the trainers feeding and interacting with the eight bottlenose dolphins.
  • There isn’t an official dolphin show anymore, but educational talks are offered periodically throughout the day in the pool area.
  • The Inner Harbor area is adjacent to the aquarium and provides food, shopping, and other activities and tours.
  • Make a weekend trip and hit a baseball game at historic Camden Yards, which is an easy walk from the aquarium.
  • Get a hand stamp for reentry and dine on kid friendly fare at the new Chick-fil-A and Shake Shack.
  • Only steps away, the Hard Rock Café offers a kid-friendly menu and with purchase of $25.00 or more, a free souvenir.
  • Recharge with a coffee break next door at Barnes & Noble.

Transportation and Lodging

Public Transit Options

  • Metro Subway: Shot Tower/Market Place Metro Subway Station
  • Light Rail: Convention Center and Camden Yards Light Rail Stops
  • MARC Train: Camden Yards and Penn Station MARC Train Stops
  • Amtrak Rail: Penn Station: 1500 N. Charles Street is just over a mile from the aquarium. Taxi and Charm City Circulator service is available.
  • Charm City Circulator: Free with convenient aquarium stop on the Orange Line.


  • Parking is expensive and difficult to find, other than parking garages. Use hotel stays to park and walk.
  • Reduced fees by $4.00 or $5.00 at Lockwood Place Garage (124 Market Place, Baltimore, MD 21202) with validated ticket from aquarium’s information desk.


  • There many national hotel chains within walking distance of the aquarium to include Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt, and Four Seasons.
  • View each hotel’s website for aquarium specific deals, for example: Reserve the National Aquarium package at the Hotel Monaco and receive two tickets to the Aquarium (additional discounted tickets are also available), a deluxe guest room for two adults (and children stay FREE), continental breakfast for up to four guests and a 10 percent discount on lunch or dinner at the B&O American Brasserie restaurant.

Make the most of your family’s spring break and summer travel by using military discounts where they apply! PCS-Lodging provides helpful relocation information with searchable hotel inventories near your destination.

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photo credit: IMG_6614 via photopin (license)