Coney Island, NY Aug. 17, 2020 – The New York Aquarium will reopen to the public on Thursday, Aug. 27 after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 16. Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) member-only days will be Aug. 24-26.

The aquarium’s decision to reopen follows New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement on Friday that museums and other cultural institutions can open in New York City starting on Aug. 24. Many of the indoor exhibits and spaces at the four WCS zoos will also reopen. Information on the opening of indoor exhibits at the zoos will be reported on the zoos’ websites. All reopening plans will be adjusted as needed based on state guidelines and COVID-19 indicators.

“We are thrilled to once again welcome guests back to the aquarium,” said New York Aquarium Director Jon Forrest Dohlin. “We will debut a new exhibit, Spineless, along with a harbor seal and two sea lion pups. We are pleased to once again welcome guests to Ocean Wonders: Sharks! and all of our exhibits which highlight marine species and stories from New York waters and around the globe.

“As we reopen, I want to offer special thanks to our essential staff who have been working every day since the closure in March to provide world-class care for our animals while keeping park operations running smoothly. They are a credit to our organization and are looking forward to once again receiving visitors at the aquarium.”

The aquarium’s reopening coincides with the public debut of Spineless, a new exhibit highlighting the diversity of marine species such as octopus, squid, jellyfish, and other species that lack backbones.

Highlights of reopening guidelines for the New York Aquarium:

  • The aquarium will be operating with limited capacity.
  • Tickets must be purchased online for a specific date/time.
  • No walk-up admission/on-site ticket sales will be available.
  • Healthcare Heroes will receive free admission to the New York Aquarium through September 30.
  • Members and Healthcare Heroes must obtain tickets online and these tickets too will be date and time specific.
  • The traditional free Wednesday afternoon at the New York Aquarium will begin Sept. 2 and require advance tickets.
  • Masks/Face coverings will be required for all visitors ages 3 and up while in the park.   
  • Social distancing protocols will be in effect throughout the park.
  • Cleaning procedures will be enhanced, especially in high-touch areas.
  • Day camps and education programs will be available online and will be virtual.

Aquarium hours: from reopening through Monday September 7th, are 10am to 5pm daily (park closes at 6 p.m.). From Sept 8 to Oct 31, admission hours are 10am to 4:00pm Monday through Friday, and 10am to 4:30pm Weekends and holidays.  For all seasonal hours, click HERE.


Media B-Roll: HERE

Media Photos: HERE

Ticketing Information: HERE

Safety Guidelines/Know Before You Go Video: HERE