Come Play with Penguins

Go behind the scenes of our Cold Water Quest gallery for an up-close-and-personal penguin encounter. You’ll learn all about how we care for them, as well as our conservation initiatives — all of which are supported by your ticket dollars and participation in this 30-minute program.

  • Georgia Aquarium does not require that all guests wear masks during their programs; however these animals can be susceptible to respiratory illnesses, and any participant managing respiratory issues (coughing, sneezing, runny nose) are asked to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth during the encounter.
  • Guests clearly symptomatic will be required to wear a mask through the duration of the program or be excused from the program. This is to ensure the safest environment for the animals, our staff, and fellow guests.

Minimum age to participate in the program is 7 years old. All guests 15 and under must be accompanied by a participating adult.  Limit 3 children 15 years old and under per each participating adult. 

All participants must be ticketed for the encounter. Parents or court appointed legal guardians must sign program liability waiver and animal interactive program guidelines for guests under 18.


For guests with special needs, every effort will be made in order to allow participation in our Encounter. Please call 404-581-4000 to make a reservation and let the reservists know you have special needs and someone from the program will call you prior to your visit to review your options.

CANCELLATION AND DATE CHANGE POLICY: The program fee is non-refundable; however, the program will be rescheduled whenever possible. The Aquarium will reschedule your encounter if given notice more than 48 hours in advance. There will be a change fee of $20 per ticket if notice is given within 14 days of the original reservation date. Cancellations and no-shows will not be refunded or rescheduled.

You'll Get To...

  • Meet a Penguin

    Under trainer-supervision, you'll get to see an African penguin.

  • Learn from a Trainer

    You'll learn about this endangered species, their natural habitats and our preservation efforts.

  • Take Home a Pic

    You'll get a professional pic with a penguin, so you'll never forget your experience.

See a Penguin Encounter in Action

My husband and I participated in a penguin encounter. It was a great experience. The whole encounter revolved around the animals (as it should). The handlers really cared about the penguins' wellbeing.

Mattison from Phoenix TripAdvisor

Recent Penguin Encounter Photos

  • Penguin Encounter 14
  • Penguin Encounter 13
  • Penguin Encounter 12

Unique Gifts from Georgia Aquarium

Bring the memories home with you! Stop by our gift shop for all your penguin gifts or shop online here.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What if I didn’t fill out my waiver for my animal interaction or encounter?
  • Do participants have to wear a mask?
  • My picture was taken by the professional photographers at Georgia Aquarium, how can I find it?
  • Can I buy shirts that look like the ones staff wears?
  • What is the purpose of this program/overview of the interactive experience?
  • Are you able to participate in a Penguin Encounter with special needs?
  • Are guests welcome to watch? Do they have to buy a ticket?
  • What happens if I am late or cannot make it?
  • Where do I go when I arrive?
  • How many participants can participate in a single program?
  • What are the age requirements?
  • How do I make a reservation?
  • What should I bring with me?
  • What do we get to do with the penguins?
  • What will I see, and how long is the program?
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