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Austin Aquarium

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

13530 US-183 #101, Austin, TX 78750, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 8:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Colm
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit the Austin Aquarium during feeding times for an extra special experience; you can find the schedule on their website and sometimes they allow visitors to help feed some of the animals! Also, consider purchasing a membership if you're a local and plan to visit more than twice a year; it quickly pays for itself and offers additional perks like discounts at the gift shop."

What is Austin Aquarium?

The Austin Aquarium is a vibrant underwater kingdom in the heart of Austin, Texas, serving as a home to a diverse collection of marine life from different parts of the world's oceans, as well as some exotic terrestrial animals. It's a place where visitors of all ages can enjoy interactive experiences, such as feeding and touching some of the animals, deepening the connection between humans and the aquatic inhabitants. The establishment offers an immersive experience that feels like plunging into the depths of the sea, without ever getting wet.

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It's one of the few places in Austin where you can encounter a myriad of aquatic creatures up close. For me, one of the most captivating sights is the delicate and hypnotic dance of the jellyfish. If you stick around long enough, you'll notice those little details that a cursory glance simply won't reveal, like the intricate patterns on a starfish or the playful antics of the otters.

History of Austin Aquarium

The Austin Aquarium opened its doors in December 2013, and since then it has been a constant source of fascination and learning for the local community and tourists alike. From the beginning, it has been dedicated to fostering an environment where visitors can interact firsthand with wildlife. The founders' impetus was creating a family-oriented attraction that educates and entertains simultaneously, aiming to inspire a new generation of ocean enthusiasts and conservationists.

Throughout its existence, the aquarium has expanded its exhibits and variety of species, developing programs that encourage wildlife education and conservation. Despite facing initial controversy and skepticism regarding its operations and animal treatment, the aquarium has worked to improve its facilities and establish itself as a reputable center for aquatic life appreciation and animal rescue missions.

Why is Austin Aquarium Important?

The Austin Aquarium holds significance as a place of learning and conservation in an inland city quite distant from the natural habitats of many of its residents. It gives locals and visitors alike a chance to experience the wonders of the ocean without traveling to the coast. Education plays a huge role here, especially for the younger visitors who learn about marine biology, environmental issues, and the importance of preserving biodiversity.

It is also important as a community resource. The interactive exhibits and the opportunities for direct experiences with aquatic creatures help to foster a deeper appreciation and respect for these animals. By providing rescue and sanctuary for certain animals, the aquarium also contributes to wildlife conservation efforts, taking part in the larger global efforts to protect vulnerable species.

Things to Do & See at Austin Aquarium

Visitors to the Austin Aquarium can indulge in a wealth of activities designed to delight and educate. One of the favorites is animal feeding, where guests can feed stingrays, sharks, and even birds. The touch tanks are especially popular, providing a tactile connection to sea urchins, starfish, and anemones. I always encourage guests not to miss the interactive talks and feedings—the insight from the staff during these presentations is priceless.

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For those who love a thrill, there's a chance to engage with Iguanas and non-venomous snakes, providing a broadened perspective on the animal kingdom beyond marine species. Another unique offering is the "Morning Rounds" experience, giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the day-to-day operations of running an aquarium, including the care routines for different animals.

Children and families can make lasting memories with the various themed events held throughout the year, such as the Halloween bash and the magical winter wonderland. And don't forget the gift shop, where you can find unique souvenirs to remember your visit—everything from plush versions of your favorite sea creature to educational books and unique decor.

Ultimately, the Austin Aquarium is more than just an exhibition of aquatic life; it's an invitation to discover, learn, and engage with the natural world in a hands-on, immersive environment. Whether you're a local or a visitor, each trip can offer a new discovery, a new story, and a newfound respect for the wonders of the aquatic realm.

Frequently asked questions

What are the operating hours of the Austin Aquarium?

The Austin Aquarium typically opens 7 days a week. The general operating hours are from 10 am to 8 pm, but these hours can vary, so it's best to check the aquarium's official website or contact them directly for the most accurate and current information.

What types of exhibits can be found at the Austin Aquarium?

The Austin Aquarium features a variety of exhibits including both marine and freshwater aquariums. There are interactive touch tanks, exotic bird and reptile exhibits, and a rainforest room, among other attractions where visitors can learn about and observe a diverse range of aquatic and terrestrial animals.

Can you feed the animals at the Austin Aquarium?

Yes, the Austin Aquarium offers interactive experiences including animal feedings where visitors can feed stingrays, sharks, and even some of the land animals like birds and reptiles. Token purchases may be required for feedings and it's advised to check the rules and schedule upon arrival.

Are there educational programs available at the Austin Aquarium?

The Austin Aquarium provides educational programs for visitors of all ages including field trips, camps, and behind-the-scenes tours. They offer a hands-on learning experience with a focus on marine life and conservation efforts.

Is the Austin Aquarium wheelchair accessible?

The Austin Aquarium is designed to be accessible to visitors with disabilities, including those using wheelchairs. Their facilities include accessible pathways and exhibits. However, it's always a good idea to contact the aquarium ahead of your visit to ensure that all your accessibility needs can be accommodated.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

13530 US-183 #101, Austin, TX 78750, USA

Opening Hours

10:00 AM - 8:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps