The New York Aquarium offers a diverse collection and superb viewing experiences for all our guests. Whether you're getting a snorkeler's-eye-view of a coral reef, or cheering on California sea lions at the Aquatheater, you'll find plenty to see and do during your visit.


CONSISTENT WITH NY CITY/STATE AND CDC GUIDANCE, masks are required for all indoor areas for guests over the age of 2, regardless of vaccination status. All guests are also required to wear masks in the Aquatheater. Guests over the age of 2 who are not fully vaccinated are also required to wear a mask in all outdoor areas where social distancing of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained. Face coverings remain optional for fully vaccinated guests in outdoor areas.

WCS recognizes that some guests may have a disability that may limit their ability to wear a mask. Current accommodations include:

  • Face shield: For those guests with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a cloth or disposable mask, a face shield can be an appropriate alternative face covering in areas where masks are required during their visit.
  • Frequent breaks outdoors: For those guests with a medical condition who are unable to continuously wear their face covering for the duration of their visit but who are able to wear a mask for short periods of time, we encourage frequent outdoor breaks in between short, indoor experiences. The park has many outdoor areas to practice appropriate social distancing where guests may remove their masks.
  • Social distancing: For those unvaccinated guests with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask or face shield during their visit, as recommended by the CDC, those guests should maintain physical distance of 6 feet or more from unrelated guests.
    • Aquatheater: If an unvaccinated guest who is unable to wear a mask or face shield needs distanced seating arrangements at the Aquatheater, please let a staff member know at the theater entry. Guests with disabilities can also contact Guest Relations in advance for a Guest Assistance Card, which can be used to help staff identify the guest as needing this supportive assistance for their visit.

Face coverings are required to visit the 4-D Theater. Guests unable to wear cloth or disposable mask, or face shield, will not be able to enter the theater at this time.

This webpage identifies the accommodations we are broadly able to provide. For additional questions, or assistance with visit planning, please contact Guest Relations at or 718-220-5103. Due to high volume of correspondence, we recommend reaching out at least 7 days prior to a planned visit.


As of Dec. 14, proof of vaccination will be required for all guests 5+ to enter the park. In compliance with NYC regulations, the “Key to NYC”, and due to the Aquarium entrance and most experiences being indoors, all guests age 5 and older must show proof of vaccination (at least 1 shot) in order to enter the park. Children under the age of 5 are permitted into indoor exhibits wearing a mask and accompanied by a vaccinated adult chaperone. As of Dec. 27, all guests age 12 and older must show proof of being fully vaccinated.

WCS recognizes that some guests may be unable to show proof of vaccination due to a disability. Current accommodations include:

  • Visit one of our Zoos for an all-outdoors experience. Guests age 5 and older that are unable to show proof of vaccination can visit the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo or Queens Zoo for all the outdoors experiences at those parks. Indoor locations at the zoos that are used for quick and limited purposes require masks but do not require proof of vaccination, including: restrooms and café takeout.
  • Wait for a future in-person aquarium visit. If you are age 5 and older, and have a medical disability that prevents you from being able to be vaccinated against COVID-19, we will not be able to have you visit the NY Aquarium at this time. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we navigate these new city regulations and unprecedented safety challenges as responsibly as we can.
  • Visit with us virtually: If you are not able to join us at the park right now, we have a number of ways to experience WCS zoo and aquarium stories, and enjoy our animals virtually: Watch our docuseries on Animal Planet; Catch sea lions, penguins, sea otters and more on our Live Cams; Follow us on social media for new stories and animal announcements.

All Aquarium buildings and exhibits are wheelchair-accessible.

Exhibit Stairs Rough Terrain Assistive Listening Touch Exhibit Low Light
Conservation Hall X X
Glover's Reef X X
Sea Cliffs X
Aquatheater X
Ramp Accessible
4-D Theater X X


Accessible restrooms are located just past the Aquatheater.

Service Animals

Only working Service Animals, in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), are allowed at the park. Under the ADA, “a service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to work or perform tasks for assisting a person with a disability.” Service dogs are working animals, not pets. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. Pets, comfort animals, emotional support or therapy animals are not permitted at the Zoo.

Upon arrival at the park, please check in with Admissions so a supervisor can review some logistical items with you and issue a Service Dog Admission pass*. Guest/handler for the service dog is solely responsible for the care and control of their animal. Thank you for your cooperation to ensure a safe and successful visit for yourself, your service dog, the animals cared for at the zoo, and other park guests.

*As stipulated by the ADA, Zoo staff may request that a service dog experiencing difficulty or demonstrating problematic behaviors, such as barking or lunging, be removed from the Zoo immediately. We ask that you promptly comply with any such request for the safety and welfare of all.


The NY Aquarium partnered with KultureCity to improve the park’s ability to assist and accommodate guests with sensory processing needs. The objective is to provide an inclusive and seamless experience for every guest, regardless of age and ability, including those with sensory processing disorders (SPDs). The Aquarium has installed signage identifying quiet zones and headphone zones to help visitors as they explore the grounds.



Sensory bags containing fidget tools, noise-canceling headphones and other resources, are available for checkout (at no cost by leaving an ID) from the Admissions staff at the entrance lobby.


Due to the compact layout of the park, we encourage guests to use the variety of benches spread out around the main Plaza as a good area for a break.

PLEASE NOTE – due to current construction planned for the area between Aquatheater and the Plaza, some benches may be relocated. Thank you for your understanding.

Coming Spring 2022 – indoor Quiet Area at Spineless/Playquarium.


We have identified areas that are noisy and where guests tend to linger as “Headphone Zones.” These areas include: area along Sea Cliffs outdoor exhibits (animal sounds from sea lions and penguins); at Aquatheater show (outdoor amphitheater with music playing during sea lion show); 4D Theater (located outside the park in front of the main entrance.)


A family restroom is located inside Ocean Wonders: Sharks! exhibit – close to the exit of the building.


Another aspect of the KultureCity partnership involved training Zoo staff members to increase understanding of SPDs, informing them about the efforts the aquarium is making to better serve the community and to discuss strategies each department can implement to support this initiative.

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