can you bring a backpack into the aquarium?

Hey there, fellow aquarium enthusiasts! If you’re like me, you’re probably super excited about your upcoming visit to the aquarium. But you might be wondering, “Can I bring my trusty backpack along for the adventure?” Well, my friend, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive deep into this question together and explore the backpack policies of some of the most incredible aquariums across the United States.

Are You Allowed to Bring a Backpack into Aquariums?

Before we start exploring the specifics of each aquarium, let’s tackle the fundamental question: Are backpacks even allowed inside aquariums? The answer isn’t as straightforward as we’d like, as each aquarium has its own set of rules and regulations. But worry not, I’ve done the research for you, and I’m here to share the scoop.

National Aquarium

Our journey begins at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, a true gem among aquatic attractions. The good news is that you can absolutely bring your backpack with you. However, there’s a tiny catch: your backpack should not exceed the dimensions of 11 inches in length, 15 inches in height, and 4 inches in width. Oh, and here’s something important to note: all bags, including your trusty backpack, might be subject to inspection upon entry. It’s just a security thing, so don’t be surprised if they give it a quick once-over.

Boston Aquarium

Next up, we have the New England Aquarium, a must-visit spot for marine life enthusiasts in Boston. The fantastic news is that they’re backpack-friendly too! Just keep in mind that it’s best to choose a backpack that won’t take up too much space. Oversized backpacks can disrupt the flow of visitors and, trust me, you wouldn’t want to miss out on those mesmerizing exhibits.

Georgia Aquarium

Now, let’s head down to Atlanta and explore the marvelous Georgia Aquarium. Good news – they’re all for backpacks! However, they’ve got a little request for you: please keep your backpack with you at all times. You see, they don’t provide storage facilities, so your backpack will be your trusty sidekick throughout your adventure.

Shedd Aquarium

Ah, Chicago – home to the Shedd Aquarium, a place where aquatic wonders await. Guess what? They’re totally cool with backpacks! But, and it’s a gentle but, your backpack should play nice and not exceed 18 inches in length, 18 inches in width, and 12 inches in height. Larger ones will need to hang out at the coat check for a while.

South Carolina Aquarium

Now, let’s journey south to Charleston and visit the South Carolina Aquarium. You can absolutely bring your backpack along, but there’s a teeny-tiny condition. To ensure the safety of marine life and other visitors, they kindly ask that you wear your backpack on both shoulders at all times. It’s a small price to pay for a fantastic aquarium experience.

Baltimore Aquarium

Back to Baltimore, but this time, we’re talking about the renowned Baltimore Aquarium. Great news – they’re backpack-friendly too! Just remember, your backpack should stay within the dimensions of 11 inches in length, 11 inches in width, and 15 inches in height. And yes, they might take a quick peek inside for security purposes.

Adventure Aquarium

If you’re planning a trip to Camden, New Jersey, the Adventure Aquarium should be on your list. And guess what? They’re all for backpacks! Just make sure yours doesn’t go beyond 18 inches in length, 18 inches in width, and 13 inches in height. Oh, and if you’d rather not carry it around, they’ve got lockers you can rent to keep your stuff safe.

Aquarium of the Pacific

Heading west to Long Beach, California, we find the mesmerizing Aquarium of the Pacific. The good news is that they allow backpacks, but they recommend smaller ones. After all, you’ll want to navigate the aquarium’s wonders with ease, right?

Tennessee Aquarium

Chattanooga calls, and the Tennessee Aquarium beckons. The good news is that they’re backpack-friendly too! However, they’ve got one rule to keep in mind: wear your backpack on both shoulders. This helps maintain a safe environment for the marine life and fellow visitors.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Florida’s Clearwater Marine Aquarium, famous for its friendly dolphins and marine creatures, welcomes backpacks. Just remember to keep your backpack within a reasonable size, and you’re all set for an aquatic adventure.

What Is the Best Backpack for the Aquarium?

Now that you know where you can bring your backpack let’s chat about finding the perfect backpack for your aquarium escapade. Picking the right backpack can seriously enhance your experience, especially if you’re visiting with a toddler or need to carry a bunch of essentials.

When shopping for the ideal aquarium-friendly backpack, consider these crucial factors:

1. Size Matters

First things first, make sure your backpack fits within the size restrictions of the specific aquarium you plan to visit. This is your golden ticket to a smooth entry experience.

2. Comfort Is Key

You’re going to be wearing your backpack for a while, so comfort is non-negotiable. Look for padded shoulder straps and a comfy back panel to keep you happy and comfortable throughout the day.

3. Compartments Galore

A backpack with multiple compartments is your best friend. Trust me, you’ll appreciate the organization, especially if you have kiddos in tow and need quick access to snacks, diapers, or other essentials.

4. Waterproof Wonders

Aquariums can be wet places, and you never know when a sneaky splash might happen. Opt for a backpack made from water-resistant materials to keep your belongings dry and happy.

5. Built to Last

Your backpack will face the rigors of a day at the aquarium, so don’t skimp on quality. Sturdy construction and high-quality zippers are a must.

6. Easy Access

Choose a backpack with easily accessible pockets for your camera, tickets, and other frequently used items. No one wants to dig through their bag in the middle of an exciting exhibit!

7. Style Points

While functionality is king, you can find a backpack that suits your personal style. After all, you’ll be taking plenty of photos, and you want to look good doing it!


In a nutshell, the rules about bringing a backpack into an aquarium vary from place to place. While many aquariums do permit backpacks, they often have size restrictions and guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety and enjoyment.

Before you embark on your aquatic adventure, check the official website of the aquarium you plan to visit for the most up-to-date information on their backpack policy. Armed with the right backpack, you’ll be ready to explore the wonders of marine life, stunning exhibits, and interactive displays without a hitch.

Is It Possible to Use an Aquarium as a Terrarium?

Using aquariums as terrariums is a common practice among hobbyists. With proper adjustments, an aquarium can provide a suitable environment for various land-dwelling creatures, like amphibians or reptiles. However, it’s important to consider factors such as ventilation, temperature, and substrate. By ensuring the right conditions, aquariums can successfully serve as unique and eye-catching terrariums.


Q1: Can I bring my backpack into the aquarium if I have a toddler with me?

A1: Absolutely! Most aquariums allow backpacks even if you have a little one in tow. However, do check the specific backpack policies of the aquarium you plan to visit. They might have size restrictions or additional guidelines to ensure the safety of both your toddler and the marine life.

Q2: Are there locker facilities available at aquariums if I don’t want to carry my backpack around?

A2: Many aquariums offer locker facilities for visitors who prefer not to carry their backpacks throughout their visit. These lockers are usually available for a small fee and provide a secure spot to stow your belongings while you explore. Check the aquarium’s website or inquire at the entrance for details on locker availability and pricing.

Q3: Can I bring outside food into the aquarium?

A3: Generally, most aquariums have policies against bringing outside food to protect the safety and health of marine animals. You’ll often find on-site cafes or snack bars where you can purchase food and beverages. If you have specific dietary needs or restrictions, it’s a good idea to contact the aquarium in advance to inquire about their food policy and whether they can accommodate your needs.

Q4: Can I leave the aquarium and re-enter on the same day with my general admission ticket?

A4: Some aquariums may allow re-entry on the same day with a general admission ticket, while others may not. It’s best to check the specific re-entry policy of the aquarium you plan to visit before your trip. If re-entry is allowed, make sure to retain your ticket and get your hand stamped as instructed to facilitate re-entry. Enjoy your visit!

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