Great Lakes Aquarium supports life-long learning. We believe that learning and discovery happens every day. We welcome all teachers and learners to use the Aquarium’s exhibits, classes and free curriculum kits as part of a student’s enrichment and coursework.
Advance reservation (24 hours prior to the visit) is required to receive the discounted homeschool rate. This discount will not be given at the door without a reservation.
Please call our reservation department Monday-Friday at 218-740-2000 (reservation staff are not available on the weekends).
We will need to know the following information:
- Name of your group (i.e. The Johnson Family)
- Group leader’s first and last name
- Contact phone number
- Contact email address (if you would like a confirmation email)
- Date and time of your visit
Reservations must be made 24 hours prior to your visit to receive the discounted rate. This enables us to support your visit as a school group. We are then also able to connect you to free resources to enhance your group’s learning experience at the Aquarium.
Youth (Grades pre K-12): $7
Parking in Aquarium lot: $5/vehicle
The home school rate is exclusively intended for home school students and their parent(s) or their legal guardian(s). This rate does not apply to any additional guests (e.g. visiting relatives, grandparents, nanny). If you would like to make a reservation for a group of 10 or more, please indicate this when you make your reservation.
A family membership is another great way to access Aquarium resources all-year round.
Why is the “homeschool” rate different than the “school” rate?
This discounted homeschool rate is offered without a group minimum. It provides a price break for those families schooling in a variety of ways. Our expectation is that you are using this rate to visit the Aquarium as part of your learning and curriculum. It is a perk that is not offered to all families visiting the Aquarium together. Some groups have taken advantage of this rate which jeopardizes this benefit for others.
Both adults and children pay to visit the Aquarium as a home school because it is an enriching experience for all parties. Great Lakes Aquarium is a educational non-profit organization with a mission to connect people to Lake Superior and waters of the world. Admission and program fees support the care of the animal collection and on-going development of educational programming.
Public, private and on-line schools receive a further discounted rate ($5/student). This is due to the larger number of tickets sold for most school visits. These schools must also budget for transportation. Our goal is to make it possible for all youth to visit the Aquarium as part of their learning and discovery.
Groups of students and parents are welcome to book a class or animal encounter with Aquarium staff. These classes and experiences are designed to encourage questions, hands-on exploration of themes and collaboration. A minimum fee of $20/class and an advance reservation is required. For groups with students in more than three consecutive grade levels, the best option is typically an animal encounter or selection of two separate age appropriate classes.
View the list of available class themes here.
Contact our education department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 218-740-2000 to learn more or make a reservation.
Whirligigs and Polliwogs
Weekly nature based classes are available for 3-5 year old children. Each summer weekly programming is available to 5-6 year old children that have completed kindergarten. Learn more about early childhood opportunities here.
Curriculum and Kits
Props, curriculum and unique learning tools are available through our Teacher Resource Center for free. Contact our education department via email at email@example.com or 218-740-2000 to learn more.
Is your child interested in careers in science or working with animals? They may enjoy shadowing our animal care staff for a morning. Children in grades 5 and higher are welcome to arrange a job shadow with our staff. Job shadows typically run from 7 a.m. – Noon. Contact our education department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-740-2000 to schedule.
Summer day camps and vacation day camps offer youth an 2-5 day Aquarium experience related to water, wildlife and animal care.