Florida Aquarium

Florida Aquarium, the place that allows anyone to stay dry, all the while experiencing the underwater world and witnessing the marine animals in their natural states.

701 Channelside Drive,
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 273-4000
flaquarium.org

Hours

  • Day Open Close
  • Monday 9:30 AM 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 9:30 AM 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 9:30 AM 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 9:30 AM 5:00 PM
  • Friday 9:30 AM 5:00 PM
  • Saturday 9:30 AM 5:00 PM
  • Sunday 9:30 AM 5:00 PM

Directions & Map

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the Florida Aquarium introduce the Dive with the Sharks program?

The aim of Florida Aquarium is to educate people about the harmless nature sharks through interactive sessions.

Is the program safe?

Absolutely! The sharks are not at all aggressive. Plus, there are dive masters to guide the divers at all times.

How often is this program available?

The Dive with the Sharks is currently available every day at 9 AM.

What should one bring with him/her?

The person is only required to bring a swimsuit, a SCUBA certification card, and a photo identification.

Is the Swimming with the Fishes program safe?

The fishes are not aggressive as well. Plus, the dive team members are all trained in CPR, oxygen administration and first aid.

How long is the swim?

One will spend about 20 minutes in the water. The whole session will last 45 minutes altogether.

Who are allowed to sign up?

Anyone aged 6 years and above is allowed to take part in the program. Although, participants aged 6-8 are required to be guided by an adult.

What does one need to bring for the program?

One just needs to bring a swimsuit and a towel, anything else that might be required will be provided.

f I want to bring a group to Florida Aquarium, what size should my group be to avail the special offers provided to a group?

The group must consist of at least 15 people.

Is there a need for a deposit?

Yes, one is required to pay $100 at the time of reservation.

Description

For the people who love the ocean and are mesmerized by the deep-sea marine life, the Florida Aquarium presents them with the opportunity of cozying up to the fascinating aquatic beings, all the while staying dry. Not only are these exhibitions a treat to the eyes, but will also undoubtedly expand one’s horizon with its abundance of interesting facts and knowledge. To paint a more vivid picture, the aquarium being an established education resource, it received its 1-millionth student in 2011. This 250,000-square-foot aquarium accommodates more than 20000 aquatic flora and fauna from Florida and all over the world. During its time of revival, the aquarium has stated that its primal mission is to provide entertainment, all the while raising awareness and educating people about the significance of Florida’s natural resources.

In the recent times, the aquarium educates 100,000 school children. Florida Aquarium is divided into 8 distinct areas; this allows the visitor to not only view the animals in their natural habitat, but also learn about the environments highlighted. The areas and the environments that are featured are- Wetlands, Aqariumanina, Bays and Beaches, No Bone zone, Coral Reefs, Dragons Down Under, Sea Hunt and Explore a Shore. To make the experience even more intense, the organization has introduced a program, Dive with the Sharks. It is a unique opportunity for certified scuba divers who are above 15 to get to see this amazing predator from up close in the warm and clear water, while their friends and family observe them from the exhibit gallery. There is also another similar program, Dive with the Fish, unlike the Sharks here one doesn’t need a certificate to be eligible for diving. However, here is a short description of some of the most popular attractions of the Florida Aquarium.

Wetlands:

The Wetlands is on the second floor; under a glass dome is a menagerie consisting of all the inhabitants that can be found in the Florida Wetlands. Alligators, birds that are free to fly, owls, otters, in other words, it is a small but accurate depiction of the Florida wetlands. There’s a Wetlands Animal Stage, where live shows take place. Next, the Bay and Beaches section features many of the creatures that are mostly found in the beaches and coastal areas of Florida. The exhibition presents the Florida coastal marine life to the visitors and ends with an interactive experience; one can actually touch a sting ray too.

Coral Reef Exhibition:

Next up is the Coral Reef Exhibition. Here one will surely be enchanted by the vivid and beautiful panoramic view of the coral reefs; sharks and other oceanic creatures swimming by. It is more like a sneak-peek into the lives of theses marine animals and catching them in their truest being.

Dragons Down Under:

There is also a section with a curious name, ‘Dragons Down Under’ dedicated to a special kind of Australian marine animal. These amazing animals known as Australian Sea Horses, in order to camouflage themselves from predators, grow extra spines. A variety of seahorses and pipefish are also found here. The deadly predators are all located in corner known as ‘Sea Hunt’. These deadly, and at times poisonous, marine animals each have a distinct way of bringing down their prey. In this tank can be found- sharks, groupers, ratfish, eels, lionfish, octopus, and clownfish.