Tips for a Successful Visit

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  • Make your reservation early. All our requests are on a first come, first served basis. Place a request early as our calendar fills up fast. Requesting a date in the fall or winter also gives you the best shot at your first pick. Late spring dates are usually the first to be booked.
  • Review Aquarium of the Bay’s expectations with students and chaperones prior to your visit. Reviewing the Behavior Agreement and Chaperone Guide with students and chaperones will ensure a smooth visit for all.  Print our Behavior Agreement (Eng.) (Span.) and Chaperone Guide (Eng.) (Span.). They are also included with your teacher packet.
  • Provide chaperones and students with name badges. Name badges help our staff and your students!
  • Take advantage of our Estuary Exploration Guides. Print and bring our new Estuary Exploration Guides with you on your self-guided tours to enhance your Aquarium of the Bay experience!
  • Dress for cool weather and bring layers. The San Francisco waterfront is almost always cool and breezy, even when it is hot in other parts of the Bay Area. Your students will have to wait outside the building while you are checking in, so please be prepared for variable weather.
  • Have students store their lunches in their backpacks or leave them in the car or bus. Aquarium of the Bay does not have storage available for lunches or personal belongings. If your group is bringing bag lunches on the day of the fieldtrip, be aware that there is no indoor area for eating. There is, however, a park area with benches located along the waterfront immediately east of the Aquarium.
  • Arrive 10-15 minutes before your scheduled tour or class time. This will give you time to use the restrooms (located between Aquarium of the Bay and PIER 39, on PIER 39 near the Sea Lion Center, and in the Aquarium’s gift shop), check in, and help us stay on schedule. If you arrive more than 15 minutes late, we may not be able to accommodate your group at your reserved time. If your group is running late, please call our Education Department at 415.623.5342.
  • Know what to do when you arrive. Upon arrival, groups participating in Exploration Tours or Aquarium Self-Guided Tours should line up behind the sign outside of the Aquarium’s main front entrance. Please do not bring the group into the lobby area. Have a designated group leader check in at the front desk, bringing your confirmation letter and behavior agreement with you. Any additional payments for extra adults will be made during check in. It is important that you know the correct number of students and chaperones when you check in (for every 5 students, 1 chaperone enters free). Any additional adults need to pay at this time ($10.00 per person). Any chaperones arriving separately may not receive the group rate.
  • Where to go for Sea Lion Center Programs. Groups should head directly to the Sea Lion Center 10-15 minutes before the start of their program. Please wait on the West upper deck outside the main Sea Lion Center entrance. If your Sea Lion Center Program is accompanied with an Aquarium Self-Guided Tour, follow the instructions above for that portion of your visit.