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“Fun on a rainy day”
Review of National Aquarium

National Aquarium
Ranked #4 of 230 things to do in Baltimore
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Considered one of the world's best aquariums, the National Aquarium's mission is to inspire conservation of the world's aquatic treasures. It champions environmental initiatives by engaging with visitors, volunteers, education groups and schools to actively participate in the preservation of the world's natural resources and living systems. The National Aquarium delivers meaningful experiences through its living collection of more than 17,000 animals from more than 750 species of fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, marine mammals and sharks, as well as through exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences like sleepovers and tours, science-based education programs and hands-on experiences in the field.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fun on a rainy day”
Reviewed 25 March 2012

We knew it was going to be rainy and chilly day so we took a day trip to the Baltimore Aquarium. They added new things since I was there last It was a lot of fun. The only part that we could have done with out is batty kids not waiting there turn and jumping in frount of you...lol...but that not the Aquarium fault. Loved the attractions.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank bigspades76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Very interesting, but not for kids. Save your money.”
Reviewed 23 March 2012

I live in DC and read an article in one of the airline's magazines about "A Weekend in Baltimore". It occurred to me that although I live just down the road, I had never visited Baltimore. So, I targeted a weekend, grabbed my two grandsons for the day, and traveled down the road to Baltimore. Overall, Baltimore was a pleasant surprise - clean, small enough to negotiate, good public transportation (the "Charm City Circulator" has four key routes that cover most visited areas and it is free), and it sports a very pleasant inner harbor area.

One of the highlights of the city cited in the magazine article was the National Aquarium. Touted as a "must see". So, I parked at the end of one of the bus-lines (parking is ridiculously expensive in the inner city) and rode the free Charm City Circulators to the Aquarium. Now I understand that things cost money and I certainly was prepared to pay for admission to the Aquarium, but I was somewhat taken back when I was charge $20 each for my 3 year old and 5 year old grandsons and $25 for me. $65 - ouch. But, hey, I'm used to DC. So off we went into the Aquarium. Now I will confirm that the Aquarium has a phenomenal collection of fish and marine animals. And, in the center of the Aquarium is a large pool that is home to a sea turtle, some smaller sharks and a couple larger fish. Very marginal. But the displays on the other hand are very interesting and informative. They depict the aquatic, flora and small animal life that would be found in different environs. Unfortunately, the displays are relatively small and their view is easily blocked by just a few people pausing to enjoy them. So, back to the center pool to see the one turtle and the few small sharks. And so went the routine throughout the rest of the visit.

To give Baltimore its due, the National Aquarium is worth seeing, but not with children (even children into their early teens). It's just too tight a place to enjoy what it has to offer. It would be a great place to visit on a Thursday afternoon when no one else is there. And even then not with young kids but with a date. But on a weekend, with the crowds and tight space, all you'll really see enough to enjoy is the center pool with that one sea turtle and those few small sharks. Save your money. Enjoy the docks around the harbor and let your kids chase the ducks and try and catch the pigeons.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank JBVOIGT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colleen D, Public Relations Representative at National Aquarium, responded to this review, 25 March 2012
Thank you for your feedback. As you mention, we are often celebrated as a premier destination for families so we are particularly sorry to hear that your visit did not live up to your expectations in terms of the volume of visitors. Because the aquarium is a popular destination on the weekends in particular, we work hard to balance the wait time and the density of visitors by offering timed entry and constantly reevaluating visitor flow. We are glad to hear that you enjoyed Wings in the Water (the center pool) and that you found our displays interesting and informative. We hope that you'll consider visiting us again on a weekday - or on a weekend after 2pm - for the more intimate experience that you may have been seeking. Thank you again for taking the time to write a review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Timonium, Maryland
Level 6 Contributor
228 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Fun visit”
Reviewed 23 March 2012

Had a great time with our 3 year old granddaughter, with lots to see and do, and very interesting dolphin show . Had fun watching the divers feed the fish. renewed my membership after 20 years!!

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank mark o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Very interesting”
Reviewed 23 March 2012

I really liked the exhibits and the aquarium is laid out so nicely. The mammal tank was very big and you could see everything. The guides in the exhibits were knowlegable and quick to point out interesting animal behavior and answer questions. I was disappointed with the dolphin show. The seating was very tight and you had no choice of where you sat -- they herded us in and herded us out. The dolphins and trainers were great, but the seating really was awful. Overall, I would go again, but I would line up for the Dolphin show early.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Lajes1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“great aquarium”
Reviewed 22 March 2012

This is a really top notch aquarium with wonderful exhibits. the only disappointment was the "4D experience" which was short (about 15 minutes) and lame. Skip that part and enjoy all the fabulous tanks and exhibits.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank cds_SanFrancisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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