Aquarium of Niagara

<br />view of the Aquarium of Niagara building and entrance
Are you fascinated by the mysteries of the underwater world? Do you want to explore the wonders of the ocean without even getting wet? Look no further than the Aquarium of Niagara! Located in downtown Niagara Falls, New York, this non-profit public aquarium is dedicated to the education and conservation of aquatic life. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, it offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors of all ages.

a live performance of a seal and its adorable trainer

A Brief History of the Aquarium of Niagara

The Aquarium of Niagara has a rich history that dates back to its founding in 1965. Originally privately owned by a group of chemists and scientists, the aquarium aimed to create an artificial seawater formula for inland aquariums. This formula, known as Instant Ocean, revolutionized the industry and is now used by aquariums worldwide.

In 1977, ownership of the aquarium was transferred to the Sea Research Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to marine research and education. Finally, in 1994, the Niagara Aquarium Foundation took over ownership, ensuring the continued operation and development of the aquarium.

Video presentation

Exploring the Exhibits

At the Aquarium of Niagara, you can embark on a journey to discover over 128 species of fascinating marine life. From playful California sea lions to graceful jellyfish, there is something for everyone to marvel at. Let’s take a closer look at some of the major exhibits:

California Sea Lions

One of the highlights of the aquarium is the California sea lion exhibit. These charismatic creatures are known for their agility and playful nature. Watch as they swim, dive, and interact with their trainers during daily shows. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

Harbor Seals and Gray Seals

Another popular exhibit at the aquarium is the harbor seals and gray seals habitat. These adorable marine mammals can be seen basking in the sun or gracefully gliding through the water. Learn about their behavior, natural habitat, and the conservation efforts being made to protect them.

Humboldt Penguins

The Humboldt penguin colony at the Aquarium of Niagara is a sight to behold. These captivating creatures captivate visitors with their distinctive markings and playful antics. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness their daily feedings and learn more about their unique characteristics.


Step into a mesmerizing world of tranquility as you observe the graceful movements of jellyfish. The aquarium features a dedicated exhibit where you can marvel at these delicate creatures as they float and glide through the water. It’s a truly mesmerizing experience!

Freshwater and Marine Fish and Invertebrates

The aquarium is also home to a diverse array of freshwater and marine fish and invertebrates. From colorful tropical fish to fascinating coral reefs, you’ll be amazed by the beauty and diversity of these underwater ecosystems. Take your time to explore the various tanks and learn about the different species that inhabit them.

Educational and Interactive Experiences

The Aquarium of Niagara is not just a place to observe marine life; it’s also a hub for learning and discovery. The aquarium offers a range of educational and interactive experiences that cater to visitors of all ages.

Behind the Scenes Tours

Ever wondered what it takes to run an aquarium? Join a behind-the-scenes tour and get an exclusive glimpse into the inner workings of the Aquarium of Niagara. Learn about the care and maintenance of the exhibits, the feeding routines, and the conservation efforts being undertaken. It’s an opportunity to see the aquarium from a whole new perspective.

Animal Feedings and Training Sessions

Witness the incredible bond between trainers and animals during the animal feedings and training sessions. Watch as the sea lions showcase their intelligence and agility, and learn about the training techniques used to ensure their well-being. It’s a truly awe-inspiring experience that will deepen your appreciation for these amazing creatures.

Encounter Programs

For a truly unforgettable experience, consider participating in one of the encounter programs offered by the aquarium. Get up close and personal with sea lions and penguins as you learn about their behavior, habitat, and conservation status. It’s a unique opportunity to connect with these incredible animals and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Educational Talks and Presentations

Throughout the day, the aquarium hosts educational talks and presentations led by knowledgeable staff members. Learn fascinating facts about the different species, their habitats, and the challenges they face in the wild. These talks are not only informative but also inspire visitors to become advocates for marine conservation.

Additional Experiences

The Aquarium of Niagara also offers a range of additional experiences, including seal encounters, penguin encounters, and the Trainer for a Day program. These immersive programs provide a deeper understanding of marine life and allow visitors to actively participate in the care and conservation efforts.

How much time will I spend at the Aquarium of Niagara?

The time you would spend at the Aquarium of Niagara can vary widely depending on a number of factors:

  1. Interest: If you’re an oceanography or marine life enthusiast, you could easily spend several hours at the aquarium. If you’re more casually interested, you might only need a couple of hours.

  2. Exhibits and Shows: The Aquarium of Niagara has various exhibits and often hosts shows such as sea lion presentations. The timing of these can influence how long you’ll stay.

  3. Crowd Levels: The number of other visitors can affect how long you spend at the aquarium. If it’s very busy, you might have to wait longer to see exhibits and could end up spending more time overall.

  4. Interactive Programs: If you participate in any interactive programs, behind-the-scenes tours, or other special offerings, this could also lengthen your visit.

  5. Children: If you’re visiting with children, the pace could be slower, and you might spend more time at the aquarium.

On average, visitors tend to spend 2-3 hours at similar-sized aquariums. However, this is just an estimation. Your personal experience might be different, so it’s best to allow ample time for your visit. Make sure to check the aquarium’s schedule for the day of your visit to plan accordingly.

Car FAQs

How far is the Buffalo Zoo from Aquarium of Niagara?

The distance between the two is approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers), depending on the route you take. The drive typically takes about 30 minutes to an hour, again depending on the specific route and traffic conditions.

Hours of Operation

  • May 29 through June 30, 2023: 9am-5pm daily
  • Beginning July 1, 2023: 9am-6pm (Sunday-Thursday), 9am-7am (Friday & Saturday)


  • Adult: $19.95
  • Senior (Ages 60 and over): $17.95
  • Child (Ages 3-12): $14.95
  • Infant (Ages 2 and under): Free


Parking is a daily flat fee. The following rates apply (valid year-round):

  • $5 Cars
  • $20 Buses / RVs / Campers



nicole valerio

Hey there, adventure seekers! I’m Nicole Valerio, your personal guide to the awe-inspiring world of Niagara Falls. With a background in Environmental Science and a pen that never rests, I’m on a mission to take you behind the mist and into the heart of one of Earth’s most spellbinding natural wonders. Join me on this unforgettable journey as we explore every nook and cranny, capturing moments that will leave you in awe. Get ready to be spellbound by the power and beauty of Niagara Falls!

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