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Can You Bring a Backpack Into the Aquarium? 

 September 16, 2021

By  Diane Wuthrich

For visitors to stay comfortable while having a full day of fun at the aquarium, it’s recommended to bring a bag of essentials. This is especially helpful if you are taking kids along. However, it isn’t clear if it’s permissible to bring a backpack into the aquarium.

Visitors are permitted to bring backpacks inside aquariums as long as it complies with their bag size requirements. Most aquariums have a size restriction of around 12 x 12 x 12 inches in length, width, and height though it varies from one aquarium to another.

Since there’s no one-size-fits-all response, it’s helpful to understand the bag policy for popular aquariums before you visit. Read on below to learn more. 

Are You Allowed to Bring a Backpack Into Aquariums?

Aquariums are thrilling places to visit, particularly for kids and young adults. With all the incredible marine life to see as well as attractions and rides to discover, visiting aquariums is just as fun as visiting theme parks.

However, a full-day visit requires that you bring along some essentials in a bag. This is especially important if you have kids because you want to make sure that your whole family is covered when it comes to first-aid kits, hygiene, diapers, water, change of clothes, and other important belongings.

Having said that, different aquariums have their own backpack policy. While many follow a standard size of 12 x 12 x 12 inches in length, width, and height, aquarium backpack size policies ensure that they cater to individual and family needs. Bag size restrictions are put in place for security reasons while helping to speed up going through security checks for all involved.

Here’s what you need to know about the backpack policy for top aquariums:

National Aquarium

The National Aquarium in Baltimore allows small backpacks and book bags inside. Though they don’t have an explicit size restriction, all bags are subject to security inspections. In cases like this, it’s recommended to leave your big backpacks at home and only bring along the essentials.

The National Aquarium also offers guest lockers, which are found in the ground floor of Blue Wonders, inside the Main Entrance. You can bring along a belt bag for things you’ll need frequent access to throughout the day, such as your wallet, mobile phone, tissue, and sanitizers while leaving the rest of your belongings in the locker.

Boston Aquarium

The Boston Aquarium allows backpacks that are smaller than 12 x 12 x 12 inches in length, width, and height. However, they make exceptions for diaper bags and other carriers for medical supplies and equipment. All bags and backpacks will be subject to inspection at the security gate.

New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium permits backpacks for as long as they are not more than 12 x 12 x 12 inches in length, width, and height. Exceptions can be made for diaper bags, and bags that are used to carry medical supplies. The New England Aquarium will inspect all bags before entrance is permitted.

Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium allows bags and backpacks, but they do not have any strict size requirements. They explicitly state that anything you bring into the aquarium, provided it does not include illegal items, should be carried with you for the duration of your visit since they don’t offer lockers.

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium allows visitors to bring backpacks, as long as it’s not bigger than 12” x 12” x 12”. They do make exceptions for diaper bags, and other bags that are used to carry medical supplies or equipment. All backpacks will be subject to inspection before entry is permitted.

South Carolina Aquarium

The South Carolina Aquarium allows guests to bring backpacks, as well as diaper bags, inside. While they don’t have any explicit restrictions on size, it’s best to bring a bag that fits only what you need.

Baltimore Aquarium

The Baltimore Aquarium allows guests to bring small backpacks. Since they don’t have any explicit size restrictions, following the 12” x 12” x 12” general size restriction for backpacks mandated by other aquariums. In addition, you can rent out a guest locker to safely store things you don’t need immediate access to during the day.

Adventure Aquarium

The Adventure Aquarium allows guests to bring their own backpacks inside. However, they don’t state any size restrictions. In cases like this, it’s always advisable to bring only a small or medium sized day pack, though there is the option to rent a locker inside to keep the rest of your belongings.

Aquarium of the Pacific

The Aquarium of the Pacific allows backpacks, though they don’t indicate any size restrictions. For your comfort, bring only a backpack that fits just what you need for the day because they don’t have any locker facilities available. In addition, parents can borrow baby backpacks for their children, free of charge from the aquarium.

Tennessee Aquarium

The Tennessee Aquarium allows guests to bring backpacks inside. However, there are no lockers available to use, so it’s best to bring a backpack of just the right size for the day to ensure you’re comfortable.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium allows guests to bring in backpacks that are no larger than 24” x 15” x 18” inches in length, width, and height. All backpacks will be subject to screening and inspection before entry.

What Is the Best Backpack for the Aquarium

Here are some great examples of reasonably-sized backpacks for visiting aquariums:

-   Fjallraven Kanken Mini Classic Backpack
-   Herschel Mini Heritage Backpack
-   Jansport Half Pint Backpack

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you pack in your backpack when visiting the aquarium?

A trip to your local aquarium is always a great learning experience. Here are some essentials that will help you make the most of your day:

  • Phone charger
  • Snacks (if outside snacks are permitted)
  • Cash
  • Credit card
  • Water
  • Sunscreen (if there are outdoor areas)
  • Change of clothes (in case it’s hot)
  • Face mask
  • Sanitizing alcohol
  • Tissue paper
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