Bringing the ocean to Kansas City will not only dramatically enhance visitors' experience; it will also open new pathways to ocean conservation, education and research.
Scheduled to open in 2023, the aquarium will be situated near Helzberg Penguin Plaza, within easy distance of the front gate and accessible year-round.
Due to strong voter support for the Zoological District sales tax, admission will be included as part of a visitor’s regular zoo ticket. Residents of Jackson and Clay counties will continue to receive 50% off their ticket price as well as opportunities for four free visits a year. In addition, area schools will be able to add the Kansas City Zoo’s Aquarium to their list of field trips, which are free for Jackson and Clay county schools.
The aquarium will feature six major habitats supported by more than 30 smaller exhibits. The habitats will tell the story of how ocean currents connect animals across the globe. Visitors will begin at the warm-water shore habitat and go "deeper" through habitats that feature mangrove forests, sandy shores, tropical lagoons, coral reefs, and the deep ocean. Visitors will then "ascend" through a kelp forest, and end at a cold-water rocky shore habitat. Each habitat will showcase a wide variety of fascinating ocean life, immersing visitors in the experience of being at the ocean, despite being in the middle of the country.