Fort Lauderdale Aquarium: A trip to Florida just isn’t complete without experiencing its incredible wildlife — especially marine wildlife!
For some, that will mean taking a trip to the beach, dipping their toes in the water, and hoping fish scatter out of the way as they wade their way deeper into the ocean.
But that isn’t quite enough for you in your family. During your visit, you want to see Florida’s native (and not-so-native!) wildlife up close and personal. You want to make a trip to an Ft. Lauderdale aquarium.
Fortunately for you, you’ve got several options, from aquariums right in the city to some only a short drive away. Below we’ll cover the particulars of these different venues, including details about each aquarium and its location, price, and hours.
Hooked yet? Then let’s get you schooled on aquariums near Ft. Lauderdale.
Aquariums near Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale Aquarium where you can view fish and marine wildlife in beautiful tanks: the Museum of Discovery and Science and the Anne Kolb Nature Center.
Museum of Discovery and Science
The Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale Aquarium is more than 40 years old and has a variety of permanent exhibits. Most relevant to you, however, is going to be the Florida Ecoscapes Exhibit.
This exhibit features a variety of native plants and animals, each of which lives in different habitats in Florida. In addition to native organisms, visitors can learn about invasive species that have been introduced to the state’s various ecosystems.
Some of the marine and wetland animals individuals can expect to see during their visit include sharks, turtles, coral, alligators, and snakes. Additionally, the museum has an exhibit that allows you to observe North American river otters. This habitat is two stories tall and features both indoor and outdoor habitats.
The Museum of Discovery and Science is open seven days a week and most days of the year. It’s closed on Thanksgiving day and during several annual events, including its Annual Gala. You can visit the museum from 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday and from 12 PM to 5 PM on Sundays. The museum is located close to downtown Ft. Lauderdale at the address listed below:
401 SW 2nd St
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
If you’re ready to purchase tickets, you can choose between an all-in-one day ticket (which includes access to the museum, live demonstrations, and an IMAX showing) or a membership pass. The prices for daily tickets are listed below.
|Age Demographic||Ticket Price|
|Child (age 2-12)||$19|
|Infant (0 to 23 months old)||Free|
Anne Kolb Nature Center Fort Lauderdale Aquarium
You may also consider visiting the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Ft. Lauderdale, which has small aquariums in its nature center. The Anne Kolb Nature Center is a 1501-acre park that’s been around since 1996.
During your visit to the park, you can take a hike around the property and then stop in at the visitor center. At the center, take a peek at various aquatic creatures that call Florida home, from anemones to sea urchins to crabs.
The park doesn’t have an entry fee, making this a budget-friendly option for the family. Anne Kolb Nature Center is open from 8 AM to 6 PM every day, with the offices open from 9 AM to 5:30 PM. You can find the park at the address below:
751 Sheridan St
Hollywood, Florida 33019
It’s located on the coast just south of Ft. Lauderdale in Hollywood, Florida.
Aquariums Near Ft. Lauderdale
If you’re up for a bit of a drive, you may also consider visiting aquariums near Ft. Lauderdale. Two venues are just a day trip away in Miami: the Frost Science Museum and the Seaquarium.
Frost Science Museum
The Frost Science Museum is a combination of an aquarium and planetarium and is located just north of downtown Miami. The aquarium has three different levels, including the Royal Caribbean Vista, the Dive, and the Deep. Each level features marine life that lives in that specific habitat or ecosystem.
While visiting the Royal Caribbean Vista, enjoy learning about (and seeing!) wildlife found in the Gulf Stream, Mangrove Forests, and Everglades. If you’re especially interested in seeing fish (and sharks!) you’ll enjoy the Gulf Stream’s enormous 500,000-gallon aquarium.
This aquarium also features several touch exhibits, including one located in the Royal Caribbean Vista and another on the Dive level. On the Dive level, you can get a whole new perspective of the same tank you saw on the Royal Caribbean level (looking up!).
You can find the museum at the following address:
1101 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33132
Parking is available in the museum’s parking garage. You can also pay for street parking nearby. Ticket prices for the museum are listed in the table below.
|Age Demographic||Ticket Price|
|Youth (ages 3-11)||$21.95|
|Children (0-2 years old)||Free|
Seaquarium Fort Lauderdale Aquarium
Last but certainly not least, you may also consider taking a trip to another aquarium near Ft. Lauderdale: the Seaquarium. From the moment visitors enter the venue, they’re confronted with Florida’s incredible wildlife.
Upon entering the park, individuals get to see Caribbean flamingos in a tropical habitat. After that, visitors can visit the aquarium’s multiple exhibits, including touch pools and a tropical reef aquarium. On any given day, someone can see dolphins, stingrays, tropical fish, killer whales, turtles, manatees, and more.
Not only does this aquarium offer visitors the chance to see Florida’s marine life: you can swim with them, too! The Seaquarium provides visitors the opportunity to swim or interact with dolphins, seals, and penguins in its various animal encounter packages.
The Seaquarium is open from 10 AM to 5 PM each day. It’s located in Miami on Biscayne Bay at the following address:
4400 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, FL 33149
Tickets cost $49.99 for adults and $39.99 for children aged 3 through 9. This covers the cost of all shows and presentations. If you’d like to participate in one of the animal encounters, you need to purchase additional tickets for an added fee.
Now that you know all about Fort Lauderdale Aquarium the challenging part starts: choosing how you’ll fit in a visit to each of them during your limited time in the area! Whether you choose to stick close to Ft. Lauderdale or venture out to Miami, you’re sure to have a wonderful time viewing Florida’s exotic marine life.