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Kids learning at Aquarium

Education FAQ

Do I need advance reservations?

Yes. We recommend you book at least 2 weeks prior to your visit. Our education programs are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The earlier you schedule, the more choice you will have with date and time selections. Please note that many of our May and June dates are completely booked by the end of February. Groups who do not make reservations in advance will be asked to pay regular admission rates upon arrival.

How do I reserve a field trip or experience?

To schedule your visit, email us at or call 216.862.8803 x 7715. Please view our Cost & Scheduling page to see what information you will need to provide when you make the reservation.

How many chaperones do I need?

We require you bring 1 chaperone for every 10 students. Chaperones are admitted free and may include teachers and/or parent volunteers. If you bring additional chaperones (above the 1:10 ratio) and include them in your initial count and payment they will be charged the adult group rate of $14.95. If they are added at the door on the day of the tour, they will be charged the regular admission rates of $13.95 per child and $19.95 per adult.

For groups serving students with special needs, we require 1 chaperone for every 5 students. Chaperones are admitted for free and include teachers and/or parent volunteers. If you bring additional chaperones (above the 1:5 ratio) they will be charged the special needs group rate of $8.95.

Can my parent chaperones pay individually upon arrival?

To receive the education group pricing rates, students and chaperones must be included on a single payment transaction (i.e. one check, one credit card, one money order, or one purchase order). Parents and or students wishing to pay individually upon arrival will be charged the regular admission rates of $13.95 per child and $19.95 per adult. We do not accept cash for education group rates.

How many students can I bring?

We require a minimum of 10 students to run an education program. For groups larger than 100 students, we may ask you to split your visit among several days. Our lab programs have additional size restrictions. Please see School Field Trip Programs for additional details.

Are bus drivers admitted free?

Yes. Bus drivers are admitted free to the Aquarium during the time the group is on site.

Where do we park?

There is a large parking lot in front of the FirstEnergy Powerhouse where the Aquarium is located. Buses may drop students off at the front door by the maroon-colored awning and then park in the back of the lot.

Is there a parking fee?

There is no fee for buses. The parking vendor typically charges a $3 cash fee during week days and a $5 or $6 cash fee on weekends for non-bus vehicles. Pricing is subject to change.

Can my students bring money for the gift shop and café?

Yes. However, please notify education staff of this upon making your reservation. Lines will move more quickly if we are able to notify our staff in advance.

How long are the programs?

Many of our programs run 90 minutes (not including lunch). Lab classes are often longer. Please check the School Field Trip Programs for details.

Can we eat lunch at the Aquarium?

Space in our shared group lunch area is reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Groups are welcome to bring their own packed lunches. You are welcome to store lunches in the group area during your education program. (Please note, there is not a refrigerator or microwave available.)

Groups wishing to purchase lunches from the Nautica Café in the building should notify education staff upon making their reservation. Lunch orders are a separate payment transaction made through the café directly.

Can I book more than one program on a single day?

No. You may only book 1 program per day. If you have specific requests or cannot decide between classes, please ask our education staff for accommodations and/or recommendations.

Do we get to touch the stingrays?

We build in time to visit the touch pools in almost every education program we offer.

Why are lab classes more expensive?

Lab classes include a hands-on lab component (i.e. water quality experiment, private animal encounter and craft, squid dissection, behind-the-scenes tour, etc.).

What programs can I attend with my scout group?

Please visit our Scout & Youth Groups page for details.

What programs can I attend with my homeschool group?

Check out our Homeschool Programs page for details.

What if we do not want a program or a guided tour?

Groups interested in a self-guided experience are welcome to make a reservation through Group Sales.

Can we come on the weekend?

Aquatic Trek tours are offered during the week and on weekends. As is the case with all our programs, reservations must be made in advance to ensure we have tour guides available. All other education programs are offered Monday – Friday.

When do I need to pay for the visit?

We calculate the final total for your visit on the day of the trip when you arrive. We charge only for the exact number of people who attend. You are welcome to bring payment the day of the trip in the form of check, credit card, purchase order or money order.

Please note: We do not accept cash for education group rates. If you prefer to pay in advance, you may. However, if changes in attendance result in balance due, we require the additional payment be made on the day of the visit. If pre-payment exceeds balance due, refunds will be issued but may take several weeks to process through our corporate office.

What happens if the number of people I bring does not match my reservation paperwork?

We calculate the final total when you arrive. We charge for the exact number of people in attendance. If you anticipate your head count will differ significantly from your reservation, please let education staff know in advance so we can prepare for your visit accordingly.

Can I pay with cash?

No. We do not accept cash as payment for education group rates.

Is the Aquarium accessible for groups with special needs?

Yes, the Aquarium is accessible for groups with special needs. Please inform education staff of the specific needs of your group upon making your reservation and we will do our best to accommodate.

What if there is a snow day on the day of our visit?

If school is cancelled due to snow or other natural disasters, please call the Aquarium. We will be happy to reschedule your visit as our calendar allows.

Where can we store our coats and jackets?

Groups may store coats and jackets in the group lunch area during their education program. The Aquarium is not responsible for lost or stolen items. Valuables should remain with you at all times. Weekend groups may hang their jackets on the coat racks by the Aquarium entrance.

What if I need to reschedule or cancel our visit?

If you need to reschedule or cancel your visit, please let us know at least a week in advance to avoid the cancellation fee. The cancellation fee equals the cost of 10 students. We will do our best to reschedule your group as our calendar allows. Groups cancelling due to snow days or other natural disasters will not be charged a cancellation fee.

How many tour guides will be assigned to my group?

The number of guides assigned to your group can vary with your group size and program selection. If you like to assign chaperone groups in advance, please let us know upon making your reservation and we will be happy to provide you with a specific number.

Still have questions?

Email us at or call 216.862.8803 x7715. We are happy to answer questions.

Funding provided by our partners:

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District
OH Lottery