Please refer to visit information below. For additional questions, use the web form on our Contact Us page so we can assist you directly.

COVID-19 Park Policies FAQs

Am I required to be fully vaccinated to visit the aquarium?

In following the NYC mandate, and due to the Aquarium entry 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 New York Aquarium. Children under the age of 5 are permitted to visit with vaccinated adult chaperone.

Effective December 27, all guests age 12 and older must show proof of being fully vaccinated - two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Why can’t I visit the aquarium outdoor areas if I am unvaccinated?

The entrance to the NY Aquarium is an indoor building, and the majority of our available experiences are indoors. Due to the New York City mandate, we must comply with only permitting guests 5 and older that are vaccinated. Children under the age of 5 are permitted to visit with vaccinated adult chaperone.

Can children under 5 visit the aquarium?

Yes. Children under the age of 5 are permitted to accompany vaccinated adults to visit the Aquarium. Masks continue to be required for all guests, regardless of vaccination status, when indoors and when in the Aquatheater. Unvaccinated children age 3 to 4 years are also required to wear a mask at all outdoor areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.

What if I am not vaccinated and already purchased tickets for after December 14?

We understand that the NYC Executive Order, requiring vaccination for all guests age 5 and older, will impact access to the NY Aquarium for some guests. Here are options to consider if you already have reservations for Dec 14 to 31:

  • Give to a friend: One-day paid tickets are not guest-specific, so if you are not able to visit you can feel free to share them with a friend or family that may want to use your reservation instead. (Please note - all member reservation tickets are non-transferrable. Any promotion code that requires presentation of credentials does require an appropriate individual to use.)
  • Wait for a future visit*: Exchange your December 14-31 date-specific tickets for a Ticket Voucher to be redeemed for a future visit. Vouchers will be valid for 1 year from date of issue. Send an email to onlinetickets@wcs.org with subject "Aquarium September" and be sure to include your ticket order number, plus the name and email of the purchaser.

For any specific concerns or unique circumstances, please reach out to our customer care team at guestrelations@wcs.org. We appreciate your understanding and support.

*This applies only to ticket reservations purchased prior to December 9, 2021, and only for visit dates of Dec 14 to 31, 2021. All information regarding the vaccination requirements was posted by December 9. By purchasing tickets for a visit after that date, guest agreed to all policies, terms and conditions, including mask and vaccination requirements. All ticket sales are final. No refunds, cancellations or rescheduling."

What do I need to show as proof of vaccination?

Proof of vaccination may include CDC Vaccination Card (or photo), NYC COVID Safe App, New York State Excelsior Pass, NYC Vaccination Record, or an official immunization record from outside NYC or the U.S. Read more details at NYC.gov

Guests 18+ must also show an official form of identification with name and photo or date of birth, such as driver's license, non-driver government ID card, IDNYC, passport, or school ID card.

Proof of vaccination for vaccines administered outside the U.S: show official immunization record that includes: First name and last name; Date of birth; Vaccine product name; Date(s) administered; Site where the vaccine was administered or person who administered the vaccine.

I am unable to get a COVID-19 vaccination. Can I visit?

We are currently reviewing the NYC Emergency Executive Order released on 8/16, and will be adjusting our process and policies accordingly. Once confirmed, we will post details on our Accessibility webpage. Please check nyaquarium.com/access for updates.

Do I have to wear a face mask at the aquarium?

Masks are required for your visit. Consistent with NY City/State and CDC guidance, MASKS ARE REQUIRED INDOORS* FOR ALL GUESTS over the age of 2 years, regardless of vaccination status. All guests are also required to wear masks when in the Aquatheater.

Unvaccinated guests over the age of 2 years are also required to wear a mask at all outdoor areas where social distancing cannot be maintained. Face coverings remain optional for vaccinated guests in outdoor areas.

*Arrival to the Aquarium is an indoor building. Masks are required for admission to the park. Indoor locations also include exhibits, restrooms and gift shops.

What if I cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition?

We are currently reviewing the NYC Emergency Executive Order released on 8/16, and will be adjusting our process and policies accordingly. Once confirmed, we will post details on our Accessibility webpage. Please check nyaquarium.com/access for updates.

Tickets & Admission FAQs

Can I buy tickets when I get to the aquarium?

All tickets must be purchased, and Member reservation tickets, must be made online in advance. Do not come to the park if you do not have a timed ticket for entry. If you have difficulty completing your online reservation, please email us at onlinetickets@wcs.org. Due to high message volume, you may experience longer than usual wait times, and we greatly appreciate your patience and understanding.

I didn’t get an email with my tickets – what do I do?

We are sorry for the difficulty. Please first check to confirm that the purchase was completed on your credit card. If the charge is in “Pending” status, that might mean that the transaction was not completed and there is no order made.

If the charge was fully processed, and you do not receive the order email, then check your junk/spam folder. If you do not find it, you can contact us to resend your tickets. Please reach out to the Reservation Center to ask for the tickets to be resent: Phone: 800-433-4149 or email (if visit is more than 7 days away): onlinetickets@wcs.org. Be sure to include the name, email and phone number associated with your purchase.

We strongly recommend getting the tickets resent prior to your visit to ensure that your order was processed. If you do arrive on site without the ticket PDF it is a risk that you may not have an order reservation, and if we are sold out you will not be permitted entry. An order can be looked up by order number, or purchaser name, or email, or phone number.

How do I get a timed ticket if I already have a ticket that is not for a specific date? (unused Aquarium ticket or courtesy ticket, etc.)

Use our online web form for assistance from the reservation center. If you have an unused "open" ticket – such as an AnyDay or Value ticket that expired during our closure - you will need to apply that to a timed ticket before arriving to the aquarium. You must have your ticket order number, and the name, email and phone number associated with that order. We are experiencing a high volume of correspondence – PLEASE plan at least 2 weeks in advance of your requested visit date to allow for ticket requests to be processed.

I cannot go on the date I selected, can I reschedule for another day or get a refund?

All ticket sales are final. There are no refunds, cancellations or rescheduling. Due to capacity restrictions we must adhere to the ticketing policies which were stated prior to purchase. This includes the terms and conditions acknowledgment that all sales are final and there are no revisions for credit, refund, rescheduling, exchange or cancellation. If you purchased non-Member tickets and cannot make your scheduled time, we recommend sharing your tickets with a friend or family member to use.

It is going to rain; can I get a refund or change my ticket date?

All tickets are final sale. Due to capacity limits, we cannot provide refunds, cancellations or rain checks due to weather conditions or animal visibility. We understand weather may affect that day’s experience; however, all exhibits and experiences are always subject to unforeseen conditions and not guaranteed. Please plan ahead for the weather, and enjoy your day.

Do Members need a reservation or timed ticket to visit?

Yes! In order to manage the park capacity and allow for social distancing, all guests, including WCS Members, must have a timed ticket for entry. Reservations for your free member tickets must be made online in advance. Use the Member portal for your reservation.

Is there a day/time when admission is free?

Admission is free after 3L00pm on Wednesdays at the Aquarium. ADVANCE TIMED TICKETS ARE REQUIRED. The Wednesday Afternoon Ticket Store will open on Monday at 3:00pm for that Wednesday’s reservations. DO NOT come to the aquarium without a reserved ticket.

Does my school or group need to make a reservation to visit the Aquarium?

ADVANCE RESERVATIONS REQUIRED for all schools or camps, and for all groups of 10 or more people. No walk-up tickets. Contact the Group Sales Department at (800) 433-4149 or wcsgroupsales@wcs.org.

Does the Aquarium offer military discounts?

Yes! Active US military and veterans are eligible to receive a complementary Admission ticket for themselves and 50% off tickets for up to 3 guests. Advance ticket reservation required. Please use promotional code MILITARYNYA for active personnel and VETERANNYA for Veterans during checkout. Military member must be present with valid ID on entry. Group must stay together on arrival. Not transferable to spouses.

To use these promotional codes, you must purchase your tickets here.

Discount code must be entered at the time of checkout. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Not applicable towards prior purchases.

Do I get in free if I'm a member of another zoo?

WCS does not honor reciprocal memberships from other zoos and aquariums. However, by becoming a WCS member, you can enjoy free admission to all four of our New York Zoos in addition to the Aquarium. Find out more about the benefits of membership!

Does the Aquarium have parking?

Yes. Rates are based on duration of stay. Parking lot is open from 10:00am – 4:00pm daily. All vehicles must exit by 5pm.

0 – 3 hours


3-4 hours




Can I use a Museum Council pass?

Yes! Museum Council Passholders are eligible for two complimentary admission tickets. Advance ticket reservation required. Please use promo code MUSEUM during checkout. Must present valid Museum Council pass card on entry along with ticket(s).

To use this promotional code, you must purchase your tickets here.

Discount code must be entered at the time of checkout. Cannot be combined with any other discount or promotion. Not applicable towards prior purchases.

What's the easiest way to get to the Aquarium?

We are located near numerous subway and bus stops. You can take the F or Q train to the West 8th Street station in Coney Island, the B36 to Surf Ave. and West 8th St., or the B68 to Neptune Ave. and West 8th St. Visit our directions page for further information and driving instructions.

I’m an NYC School Teacher or Camp Counselor. What is the admission fee for my students/campers?

ADVANCE RESERVATIONS REQUIRED for all schools, camps and groups of 10 or more people. Contact the Group Sales Department at (800) 433-4149. No walk-up tickets.

Can my teenager visit the aquarium without me?

Adult supervision is required. All guests age 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult chaperone age 18 or over.

Park Visit Experience FAQs

Have your hours changed?

From November 7, 2021 through late April 1, 2022, park entry is 10am – 3:30pm, daily.

How long can I stay in the aquarium?

You will be prompted to select an entry time window during the ticketing process. This designates when you are able to arrive at the park. Once you’re here, you are welcome to stay as long as you would like. Based on the available exhibits and amenities, we expect the average visit to be 1-2 hours.

Will it be possible to practice social distancing at the aquarium?

Yes, in many areas. We continue to manage capacity for our guest experience but still expect some lines or gathering at animal viewing areas. Please note that Aquatheater seating is at full capacity.

Will the 4-D Theater be open?

Yes, the 4-D theater is open. In compliance with the Key to NYC vaccination mandate, all guests age 5 and older must show proof of vaccination (at least 1 shot) in order to enter the 4-D Theater. One (1) 4-D admission included with NY Aquarium ticket and Aquarium-specific Membership levels. Please note that Seating capacity is reduced. All seats will be assigned prior to entry. Not included in Wednesday Donation Admission (3pm-Closing), additional fees required.

4-D Theater and 3-D glasses are cleaned and sanitized prior to every show.

Masks required at all times. Social distancing will be maintained at all times.

What exhibits will be closed when I visit?

  • Due to state regulations and mandatory capacity restrictions, the Aquatheater seating is limited and not all guests will be able to attend a show.
  • The main restaurant is closed due to continued construction work. We look forward to it opening later this summer.

For a complete list of experiences, check the Know Before You Go page. We will not have printed map handouts, but have a mobile site for all the info you need when you visit! Go to nyaqaurium.com/today on the day of your visit for park map, GPS wayfinding, and up-to-date status on exhibits and amenities.

Will there be any changes to restrooms or water fountains?

All park restrooms will be open. Water bottle filling stations are open. Beverages are available for purchase from food and snack stands.

When will Spineless and PlayQuarium open?

We look forward to sharing PlayQuarium with you in the future. This is intended to be a highly interactive exhibit, and we appreciate your understanding that we will not be opening this space in 2020. Please check back for updates on when we will open PlayQuarium.

Can I bring a stroller?

While personal strollers are permitted, we recommend leaving them at home for your visit. The aquarium is not a large space, and most guests will not need a stroller during the visit. Strollers must be parked in a designated stroller area when visiting the Aquatheater and indoor exhibits. Always take your belongings with you, as stroller and contents are left at your own risk.

Can my child use their scooter in the aquarium?

No. PLEASE leave scooters and skateboards at home! This is a significant safety problem and we need all guests to comply with our rules that prohibit scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, and bicycles from the park.

If I leave the Aquarium grounds, can I re-enter later in the day for free?

No. Due to capacity limitations, all tickets are single entry.

What should we do for lunch?

While our primary restaurant is still under construction, visitors can enjoy a quick-serve menu items from the Food Truck on the plaza or a variety of snacks and beverages at our outdoor food carts.

Can I rent a wheelchair?

A limited number of free wheelchairs are available for loan on a first come, first served basis.

Do you have lockers available for rent?


Does the Aquarium close during the winter? Is it open on holidays?

The aquarium is open 365 days a year, and the animals are on exhibit all year round. Aquatheater shows are weather-dependent.

Are service dogs or therapy dogs allowed at the Aquarium?

Yes, for Service Dogs; No, for therapy dogs.

We only allow working Service Animals, in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). 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 aquarium.

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*. Thank you for your cooperation to ensure a safe and successful visit for yourself, your service dog, the animals cared for at the aquarium, and other park guests.

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

I'm a member of the media and would like to arrange a visit or take some photographs. Who should I contact?

Commercial photography or filming is prohibited without express permission of WCS Public Relations. The PR department can be reached at jdelaney@wcs.org or 718-265-7908

Will the Aquarium accept an animal I cannot care for?

Every year, the New York Aquarium receives many inquiries from people who would like to donate wild animals or exotic pets; however, we are not able to accept them. If you have an animal in need of a new home, please contact local and regional rescue organizations that specialize in caring for unwanted pets, such as the ASPCA. Plans for a pet should always include care for its entire lifespan. Remember that exotic animals almost never make good pets.

Do you offer behind-the-scenes tours?

Currently, our Wild Encounters programs are temporarily cancelled. But please check out the new Virtual Encounters from the Bronx Zoo for exclusive animal experiences.

What times are the Aquatheater shows?

The sea lion shows at our Aquatheater are year-round, but weather permitting. Show schedule varies seasonally. Shows are spread throughout the day, with generally 2-3 shows per day in Winter, and 3-4 shows per day in Spring/Summer/Fall. For day-of show times, use the mobile site or check the posting in the Lobby when arriving at the park.

If you missed seeing a show when you visit, you can always check out a session on IGTV.

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