Dolphin In-Water Adventure

Dolphin In-Water Adventure

Experience the World of Dolphins!

The 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 once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet amazing marine mammals up close.

This 90-minute Dolphin In-Water Adventure program includes:

  • A classroom session about dolphin characteristics, adaptations and training.
  • Reserved seats to the Dolphin Presentation
  • 30 minutes of poolside and 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.

Read through the frequently asked questions below, or contact us for more information.

Have additional questions?

Contact Us
Dolphin In-Water Adventure


Payment in full is required at time of registration. 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.

Price per person:

Cost includes participant’s experience, one complimentary observer and Zoo admission for participant and observer.

  • Zoo Members $245
  • Nonmembers $275
Participation Requirements


  • Must stand 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.
  • Must be at least 6 years old. There is no maximum age. 
  • Participants ages 6-13 who meet the height requirement must also be accompanied by an adult either as a paid participant or an observer. Those 14 or older can participate unaccompanied.
  • 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 contact us before registering.
  • To ensure the health and safety of our guests and dolphins, those who are pregnant may only observe.


  • Must be at least 14 years old.
  • Only registered observers will be able to view the interaction.
  • Observers experience the classroom session and watch the in-water activity from nearby; they do not enter the water. 
Sign up for your Adventure!

Sign up now to secure your date. Registration must be completed at least 14 days before the event date.

About the Dolphin In-Water Adventure
What You Need to Know Before You Arrive
  • Is swimming with the dolphins involved?

    Participants will be submerged waist deep during the adventure. No swimming is involved.

  • 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).

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.

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 impact 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.

Give the Gift of a Dolphin in-Water Adventure!
  • Gift certificates allow the recipient to schedule their adventure on their own time.
  • Certificates are valid for one year from the date of purchase.
  • Certificates can only be purchased online.
  • Gift certificates must be purchased by December 20th to ensure the code is activated by Christmas.

Purchase a Gift Certificate

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