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Animal Encounters

Dive deeper into the Aquarium experience with an animal encounter! These one-of-a-kind opportunities bring you up close and behind the scenes to learn directly from our animal keepers. You will walk away with a greater fascination and connection to these special creatures.

Guests are welcome to capture the moment with photo and video. Space is limited, so call today to book your encounter during your next Aquarium visit. Restrictions apply.

Penguin Encounters

Meeting our Gentoo penguins up close is truly a unique and fun adventure. First, you’ll participate in fun activities while learning all about Gentoo penguins – where they are from, what they eat, their adaptations for survival in an Antarctic habitat, and more – in an educational setting. Then, your family will suit up in Penguin Encounter parkas and go behind the scenes to meet our playful penguins up close. The penguins will waddle into the Penguin Encounter room from their habitat, and you’ll have the opportunity to feed them capelin fish by hand. The entire Penguin Encounter lasts approximately 50 minutes, allowing you plenty of time with our penguins, getting to know their individual personalities.

Limit 10 people per encounter. All guests, including children, must have a Penguin Encounter ticket. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Children ages 5 and under are required to sit on an adult’s lap. Close-toed shoes required. Face coverings are required throughout the animal encounter including instructional portions of the experience.

Book Your Encounter

Penguin Encounter

1:00 p.m. Sundays and Tuesdays
Guests are required to check in early.

Available on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays beginning January 1, 2022

Regular: $49.95 per person

Member: $39.95 per person

Private Group Penguin Encounter

1:00 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays
Guests are required to check in early.

Available on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays beginning January 1, 2022

Regular: $399.90 per group

Member: $319.90 per group

*Aquarium Admission ticket is also required with a Penguin Encounter Ticket

Encounters may be canceled for a full refund up to one week before the encounter date. The encounter date may be changed (pending availability) with no penalty up to 48 hours before the original encounter date. Changes within 48 hours of the encounter date are not permitted. For assistance call 801-355-3474 ext. 222. No refunds will be given for late arrivals or no-shows.

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Stingray Encounters

Get up close with stingrays in the Ocean Explorer habitat touch pool and interact with them just like our animal care team! Stingray Encounters last about 20 minutes. Guests are invited to feed a variety of stingrays and fish, and learn about their unique adaptations and dietary needs.

Guests must be at least 48” tall to participate in a Stingray Encounter or stand in the feeding area. Guests under 14 years old must have a chaperone present at the touch pool. Chaperones are only permitted in the feeding area if they purchased a Stingray Encounter ticket.

Limit 10 people per encounter. Provided gloves are required to be worn throughout the animal encounter experience. Face coverings are required throughout the animal encounter including instructional portions of the experience.

*Aquarium Admission ticket is also required with a Stingray Encounter ticket.

Stingray Feeding

Book Your Encounter

11:30 a.m. Thursday – Tuesday
Guests are required to check in early.

Regular: $9.95 each

Member: $8.95 each

Encounters may be canceled for a full refund up to one week before the encounter date. The encounter date may be changed (pending availability) with no penalty up to 48 hours before the original encounter date. Changes within 48 hours of the encounter date are not permitted. For assistance call 801-355-3474 ext. 222. No refunds will be given for late arrivals or no-shows.


Virtual Animal Encounters

(Limited Time)

Virtual Encounters are a unique way to meet some of the amazing animals that help teach guests about ecosystems from around the world. Many of our Ambassador Animals are not typically viewable with a regular visit to the Aquarium since they travel to classrooms throughout Utah, so this is a special opportunity to meet new animals including snakes, lizards, tortoises, amphibians, parrots, and more. Our cameras will give you closer views than you would typically get in person. This format will also allow us to showcase some behaviors and enrichment activities that may otherwise be unavailable in a public setting, including animal feedings.

For more details, or to request a virtual encounter, click below.

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