I am sure I speak for other Aquarium staff when I say that one of the most fulfilling aspects of our jobs, especially after a rough day, is to live vicariously through our visitors – witness their anticipation as they enter the Aquarium beneath a 35-foot replica of a Maryland waterfall, experience their enthusiasm as they see our new Blacktip Reef exhibit, hear all about the dolphins or sharks from the excited (and excitable) children in the parking garage elevator.
The Aquarium experience is made even more inclusive as the weather gets colder and the crowds filling the Inner Harbor get smaller. The coming of autumn signals my favorite time of the year – affordable access season at National Aquarium.
Despite our “national” designation, we are still very much Baltimore's Aquarium. To celebrate our local roots and to give back to the community that has given us so much, the Aquarium is proud to host a number of programs that allow locals to visit their Aquarium for less:
- Fridays After Five has been a cornerstone of the National Aquarium for decades in the fall and winter as college students visit for the first time, families from around the Baltimore region come back to see what’s new and couples on first dates share a romantic stroll through the world’s aquatic treasures. Visitors pay just $12 on Friday evenings between September and March.
- Launched last fall, Maryland Mornings provides Maryland residents with $10 off for adults and $5 off for children from September through February, Sunday through Friday, with entrance before noon – all with just a valid proof of state residency.
- Annual Dollar Days (the first weekend of December) provide access to close to 20,000 animals for – you guessed it – $1.
So brave the brisk weather, be a tourist in your own backyard and take advantage of these terrific programs. Bring a date, bring a friend, bring the entire family – just don’t forget your driver’s license!