In person Animal Encounters are currently suspended. To book a Virtual Animal Encounter, click here

Get an up-close look behind the scenes of the fur seal and sea lion exhibit!

Feeding and playing with the seals at the Aquarium is hard work, but someone’s got to do it, and now you can see HOW they do it!

Go behind the scenes of the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center with one of our marine mammal trainers and learn what it takes to keep these charismatic marine animals happy and healthy. See where the seal and sea lions’ food is prepared, learn how (and why) ice toys are made, and get up-close looks at the animals’ favorite hangouts behind the scenes. Bring questions! This new behind-the-scenes tour is perfect for seal fanatics who want to know even more about these popular residents on Central Wharf.

mom and baby sea lion resting

How it works:

Check in at the Information Desk in the lobby by 1:30 p.m.  A trainer will meet you in the Aquarium lobby and escort you behind the scenes of the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center by 1:45 p.m.

A trainer will escort you through the behind-the-scenes spaces of the exhibit, including the food prep room and areas where the animals rest when not on the public side of the exhibit.  

After the 30-minute program, the trainer will escort the guests off the exhibit and they will be free to explore the rest of the Aquarium.

Program Details

Ages: 7 and older (Children ages 7 to 9 must be accompanied by an adult who is a paid program participant.) 
Maximum number of participants: 5
Program occurs: Daily 
$20 plus the cost of admission, admission required ($10 for Premium-level members, $18 for Standard-level members)

Program Guidelines

Wear closed-toe shoes with traction. High heels are not allowed. The entrance to this exhibit is outdoors so dress accordingly. Please note that you may get saltwater on your shoes and clothing, and the floors can be slippery. 

Cameras are allowed, but they must have a wrist or neck strap.

If participants do not arrive before 1:45 p.m., they will miss their program. There will be no refund for participants who do not show up or arrive late.