Tactile Tours

An Aquarium educator and guest touching a life-size statue of a moose.

A tactile tour of Great Lakes Aquarium allows guests with vision loss to experience our galleries and live animal collections through detailed descriptions and artifacts or models to touch. 

Each tour is led by an Aquarium educator and includes five stops, with some flexibility depending on participants’ interests. We welcome up to four additional family members or companions on the tour. Tours are offered at 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to avoid peak traffic on the exhibit floor. Tours must be scheduled at least one week in advance.

Tactile tours are available for groups of people who are blind or have vision loss. Please give us at least two weeks’ notice to schedule multiple educators to support a group setting. Note: groups of more than 5 individuals with vision loss will be divided into multiple tour groups to ensure the best experience. 

There is no fee for tours providing access to guests with vision loss. Contact our Visitor Engagement Team, aberke@glaquarium.org or 218-740-2013 with questions or to arrange a tour.  

Tour Themes

Vertebrates of Minnesota – Learn about Lake Superior fish, common snapping turtle, raptors or birds of prey, frogs, and river otters and/or moose. 

Fish Diversity – Learn about electric eels, seahorses, sharks, lake sturgeon, and sea lamprey, covering fresh water and marine species with stories of unique native species and invasive species.

Interested in other animals? Passionate about other subjects? Let us know when you schedule your tour!

Tours will not include stops at the touchpools, so we recommend saving time to explore on your own. Touchpool staff will be excited to guide touch experiences with sharks, horseshoe crabs, sturgeon, moon jellies and tidepool invertebrates.   

Ready to plan your visit?  Contact Alexis Berke, Director of Learning and Engagement at (218) 740 – 2013 or aberke@glaquarium.org