Dolphin In-Water Adventure

​​Have a dolphin close encounter!

T​he Indianapolis Zoo is the only place in the Midwest where you can get in the water with dolphins! Whether you reserve this experience for yourself or as a gift for a loved one, the Dolphin In-Water Adventure is a wonderful opportunity to step into the world of our dolphins and the amazing memories will last a lifetime! This 90-minute Dolphin In-Water Adventure program includes:

  • A backstage classroom session about dolphin characteristics, adaptations and training.

  • More than 30 minutes of poolside/in-water time with our trainers and dolphins. Participants will get a sampling of the different activities Zoo trainers carry out each day — feeding a dolphin, signaling for behaviors and lots of up-close, hands-on animal interactions.

  • Participants receive a souvenir towel and digital photograph of themselves with a dolphin!

Please note: This is a wade-in program and no swimming is involved. Each session includes up to eight participants.

Requirements for Participation

  • All participants must be at least 4 feet, 6 inches (54 inches) tall. Zoo staff will measure participants upon arrival and those who do not meet the requirement will not be able to participate.

  • Participants who meet the height requirement and are between the ages of 6 and 13 must be accompanied by a paid adult either as a participant or an observer. Those 14 or older can participate unaccompanied.

  • Observers must be at least 6 years old. Paid observers between the ages of 6 and 13 must be accompanied by a paid adult observer with a ratio of one adult per child.

  • Observers can only register in association with an In-Water participant. Only 2 observers may accompany each participant.

  • Observers experience the classroom session and are able to watch their participant from an area near the in-water activity. Only paid observers will be able to view the interaction.

  • To insure the health and safety of our guests and dolphins, those who are pregnant may only observe.

  • For the safety of our participants, dolphins and trainers, availability for individuals with special needs (behavioral, cognitive or physical) will be determined on an individual basis. Please email us at edustaff@indyzoo.com​ before registering 

  • On the date of their program, guests should arrive 15 minutes prior to their scheduled time to fill out paperwork in the Hix Institute, located directly to the right of the Zoo admission gates.

Pricing

Participant:
Zoo Member $235 — includes 1 observer and zoo admission for participant and observer
Non-Member $265 — includes 1 observer and zoo admission for participant and observer
Additional Observer:
Zoo Member $30 includes Zoo admission​
Non-Member $40 includes Zoo admission​

Payment in full is required at time of registration. Pricing is subject to change. There will be no refunds unless the Indianapolis Zoo has to cancel the program and guests cannot reschedule. Registration closes 14 days before the event date.

Sign Up Today!

About Dolphin In-Water Adventure 

Why do you have to be 4 feet 6 inches tall to participate?
This is a wade-in program and guests will be in water that is 3 feet 6 inches deep.

What if I am not feeling well the day of my Dolphin In-Water Adventure?
For the safety of both our participants and the dolphins, we prefer guests be in good health for the 24 hours leading up to their Dolphin In-Water Adventure. Please contact us if you need to reschedule

What if I need to reschedule?
Guests can reschedule up to 14 days before the program date. There is a $50 rescheduling fee. Your adventure cannot be rescheduled within 14 days of your program. However, the participant can give their space to another person who meets the requirements with no fees attached. Names and sizes are needed as soon as possible to make sure we have changing rooms ready. Please contact us if you need to reschedule.

Can you participate if you have special needs?
For the safety of our dolphins, trainers and participants, availability for individuals with special needs (behavioral, cognitive or physical) will be determined on an individual basis. We will make every effort to accommodate persons with special needs. Please email us edustaff@indyzoo.com​ before registering.

Can an interaction be purchased as a gift?
Yes. Please contact us to purchase or redeem a gift certificate for a Dolphin In-Water Adventure.

What days and times do you do interactions?
Days and times vary. Please check our calendar within online registration for available days and times.

For how many people can I make reservations?
Each program session will have a maximum of eight in-water participants and 12 observers. 
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What You Need to Know Before You Arrive 

Is swimming with the dolphins involved?
Participants will be submerged waist deep throughout the adventure. Although this program is similar to swimming with dolphins, you do not actually leave your feet. 

What do I need to bring?
Each shower holds a dispenser of body wash/shampoo. As part of the experience, participants will receive a keepsake Indianapolis Zoo Dolphin In-Water beach towel. Participants will need to bring a bathing suit and a bag to hold your belongings during the program, plus additional towel(s) and personal toiletries, if desired.

Are there changing rooms?
Yes, each guest will be provided with their own locked changing area, locker and shower.

What if I cannot remove my jewelry?
For the safety of the participants and the dolphins, all jewelry must be either covered by the wetsuit or removed.

Will my personal belongings be safe?
The locker room area will be locked by your Zoo staff liaison when the group leaves the changing area. However, the Zoo cannot be responsible for any lost or stolen items, so we recommended bringing a bag to hold your belongings and leaving any valuables inside your locked vehicle (or at home). 
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What Happens During the In-Water Adventure

What is included in the cost?
Program includes Zoo admission, a commemorative towel and digital photo. Guests will also have free use of a light weight wetsuit, life vest and sandals.

What is the pool like?
The In-Water experience takes place in the Dolphin Adventure pool located behind the main performance pool and stage area in the St. Vincent Dolphin Pavilion. This salt-water pool is 18 feet deep with a wide ledge that is 3 feet, 6 inches below the water. Stepped and ramped access to the ledge is available. The water temperature ranges from 78-81 degrees and may feel somewhat cool at first.

I can't swim. Can I still participate?
Participants who are uncomfortable in the water should inform the trainers in advance. All participants are required to wear a life vest and will be in water that is 3 feet, 6 inches deep. This is a wade-in activity and does NOT include swimming.

Can the participant take pictures?
For the safety of our dolphins, trainers and other participants, only observers can take pictures or video, and flash photography is permitted. Each participant will receive a digital photograph provided by the Indianapolis Zoo.

Can I bring my child if I hold them?
Each participant is required to be at least 4 feet 6 inches tall and to have their arms and hands unencumbered.

What about persons with special needs?
The Indianapolis Zoo's Dolphin Adventure has been specifically designed to accommodate as many people with special needs as possible. Our changing rooms are designed to follow ADA guidelines. Please contact us for more information.
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What To Expect From Our Dolphins

Do dolphins bite?
Dolphins are predators and have rather sharp teeth. Dolphins will bite one another when fighting or establishing dominance. Under the supervision of our trainers and provided that participants follow our guidelines while in the pool, you will most likely have a positive interaction with our dolphins.

Do dolphins like interacting with people?
Our dolphins are curious and playful and seem to enjoy interacting with people. They have been trained for this program for several years. They especially seem to enjoy being touched.

Do dolphins like people?
Some wild dolphins have displayed a natural curiosity about people. At the Indianapolis Zoo, our dolphins have bonded with their trainers and associate people with something positive.

What can I do to help dolphins in the wild?
Living upstream from the Gulf of Mexico, which has lost huge portions of its wetlands, sea grass beds and oyster reefs, Hoosiers have a lasting inpact on the health of the Gulf and the dolphins that make it their home. Indiana's Wabash River contributes 11 percent of the nutrients that are creating dead zones in the Gulf. You can help by supporting The Nature Conservancy's Gulf conservation efforts. 
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Contact The Zoo

To purchase or redeem a Dolphin In-Water Adventure gift certificate, to transfer a session, or for questions not answered above, please email us edustaff@indyzoo.com​ or call (317) 630-2000 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.