• Mote Marine Aquarium features touch pools for stingrays and other sea life, a 135,000-gallon shark habitat, dolphin, manatee, and sea turtle exhibits, and more than 100 species of marine life. Must Do Visitor Guides, MustDo.com
  • Mote Marine Aquarium features touch pools for stingrays and other sea life, a 135,000-gallon shark habitat, dolphin, manatee, and sea turtle exhibits, and more than 100 species of marine life. Must Do Visitor Guides, MustDo.com
  • Mote Marine Aquarium features touch pools for stingrays and other sea life, a 135,000-gallon shark habitat, dolphin, manatee, and sea turtle exhibits, and more than 100 species of marine life. Must Do Visitor Guides, MustDo.com

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Mote Marine Aquarium features touch pools for stingrays and other sea life, a 135,000-gallon shark habitat, manatee, sea turtle, river otter, and more exhibits, plus more than 100 species of marine life. Experience the Immersion Cinema that features a 40-foot-wide HD screen and interactive console that allows you to affect the outcome of the movie. This Sarasota, Florida aquarium also features a turtle rehab hospital and is a world-renowned research and conservation facility.

Shark Zone is The Aquarium’s 135,000-gallon shark habitat and is also home to the world’s largest grouper species (the goliath grouper) and other popular Florida game fish. Narrated training sessions take place at 11 a.m. each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Learn how Mote cares for the sharks and the training methods they use to keep them healthy.

Breakfast with the Sharks, Shark Encounter, kayak trips, and interactive hands-on eco-boat tours are just a few of the ways to experience this Sarasota family fun attraction. Mote Marine Aquarium also hosts special kids holiday-themed events. Read our blog article about our visit to Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.

Special Presentations & Fun Learning Opportunities

Kids and adults can learn more about the animals that live in Mote Aquarium, and get the inside scoop on breakthrough research happening at the facility during their 90-minute Morning Rounds tour. Participants age 10 and older will meet Mote biologists, can assist in feeding animals, and learn how Mote keeps the marine animals healthy while spending some time behind the scenes as the staff prepares The Aquarium for the day. This small up-close and personal experience is limited to five guests each morning. Advanced reservations are required.

Morning Rounds is offered on most Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30 to 10 a.m.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium also offers the following special presentations that allow visitors to learn how they care for some of the animals that call Mote home, these sessions are free with regular admission.

Shark Exhibit – 11 a.m. (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)
Manatees – 1 p.m. daily
River Otters – 1:30 p.m. daily
Crocodilians – 2 p.m. daily
Sea Turtles – 3 p.m. daily

Get a hands-on, behind-the-scenes guided tour of the world of seahorses and learn about Mote Marina Aquarium’s conservation and care of these amazing creatures. Kids and adults can assist in feeding during this fun and educational tour. The small and personal tour requires a minimum of two registered participants for the program to occur. A maximum of 5 guests can participate per tour.

Seahorse Tours are offered on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Advance reservations are required.

Guests younger than 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult. No one under the age of 10 is permitted to participate in this program for safety reasons. Call 941.388.4441 ext. 348 for additional questions about this program. Admission to Mote Marine Aquarium and the exhibits in the Ann and Alfred Goldstein Marine Mammal Research and Rehabilitation Center is included in the price of this family fun activity.

Virtual Reality Pods

Visitors to Mote Marine Aquarium can swim with humpback whales, travel through a shipwreck in the Bahamas, or select from nine total VR experiences! The VR pods are located in the “Exploration Gallery” section of the–indoors, near Molly the Mollusk. Each VR experience lasts 4-5 minutes and is recommended for ages 5 or older. The cost of the VR experience is $6 per person per experience.

Deep Sea Diner Restaurant

Mote Marine Aquarium’s casual, 50’s-style diner offers visitors an opportunity to get a snack or lunch. The Deep Sea Diner restaurant features an old-fashioned soda fountain where you can get hand-dipped ice-cream, shakes, and ice-cream sundaes. The affordable menu offers soups, salads, hamburgers, veggie burgers, hot dogs, chicken fingers, and french fries. Inside and outside dining is available.

General admission includes access to Mote Aquarium and the Ann and Alfred E. Goldstein Marine Mammal Research and Rehabilitation Center.

Admission: (Effective 2020)
Adult: $24
Youth (children age 3-12): $18
Children age 2 and under: Free
Active U.S. Military: Free – A current ID must be presented to qualify.
Mote Marine Aquarium Members: Free.

COVID-19 UPDATES: Mote Aquarium staff and all guests over the age of 5 will be required to wear a CDC-recommended face covering. Disposable masks will be provided to those who don’t have them already.

Tickets available online in advance, only. Each ticket will be timed to a 30-minute window when the guest will need to arrive, and the last arrival window will be at 4 p.m. daily. No reciprocals, discounts, coupons or special offers will be accepted at this time.

Mote Member admission is free, but advance online registration is required.

Enjoy a touchless visit.

  • Many aspects of operations have been redesigned to limit contact.
  • Most doors will remain open for touchless entry/exit.
  • Interactive (hands-on) exhibits, touch pools, the hurricane simulator, and the virtual reality experience are closed.

Remain at least 6 feet apart (except from those who are in your party) and avoid gathering in groups larger than 10.

  • Mote staff and Aquarium guests will be expected to practice responsible social distancing measures as described within CDC guidelines and recommendations. To support social distancing, they are operating at “low tide”—reducing ticket sales per hour so that Mote Aquarium will operate below current statewide capacity requirements.
  • Mote has also restructured the Aquarium entryway and posted social-distancing and directional signs.
  • Note: The animal narrations and special experiences are closed to avoid convening groups.
  • Mote personnel are social distancing too: staying 6 feet apart and reducing their movement around the facilities to those necessary for our operations, only.

Responsible dining, shopping and eco-boat tours.

  • Mote Aquarium’s Deep Sea Diner will allow guests to purchase meals at a window and use limited outdoor seating, spaced to accommodate social distancing. Meals will be brought to guests to keep the ordering area clear.
  • The gift shop, diner and eco-boat tour management partners will be required to comply with all health-safety measures described for Mote staff above.
  • Transactions at the diner and gift shop will be by credit card (no cash) and hand sanitizer will be used by staff and available to guests with each transaction.
  • Eco-boat tours must be booked in advance online or by phone. Guests will be grouped by their party and required to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines, with parties at least 6 feet apart.

More About Mote: Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is an independent, nonprofit, 501(c)3 research institution founded in 1955. Mote began and flourished through the passion of a single researcher, Dr. Eugenie Clark, her partnership with the community and philanthropic support, first of the Vanderbilt family and later of the William R. Mote family.

Today, Mote is a top attraction based in Sarasota, Florida, with five campuses stretching from Sarasota to the Florida Keys. Mote has more than 20 world-class research programs studying oceans locally to internationally, with an emphasis on conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. Mote’s vision includes positively impacting public policy through science-based outreach and education. Showcasing the Lab’s research is Mote Aquarium.

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