Penguin Encounter

Have you ever wanted to meet an African Penguin?

Now you can for just $44 per person!
Member Price: $39.60
Includes General Admission
Ages 6+
This unique opportunity is offered twice daily at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Mingle with one of our most recognizable birds during this popular interactive program! 

Immersive Experience

  • Meet one of the National Aviary’s penguin experts and hear cool stories about these tuxedoed birds, from how much of their favorite fish they can eat to colony stories at Penguin Point. 
  • Watch in wonder as an African Penguin waddles into the animal encounter space. Penguins are naturally curious and playful birds and are likely to walk right up to you to say hello.
  • Get the chance to touch and feel the difference of the penguin’s waterproof back and wing feathers.
  • Don’t forget to have your family member or friend snap a photo of your personal experience; or grab a selfie!
  • Ask questions! Our animal care experts are happy to share information about penguins in the wild, as well as answer questions about the individual birds at the National Aviary and their distinct personalities.
Video taken prior to 2020

Enhanced Safety

  • Each animal encounter is limited in size to allow for a personal experience and to provide ample space between participant groups. 
  • Seating is separated by 6 feet for individuals and families not in the same group.
  • Staff will wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth. 
  • Guests are also required to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth.
  • Guests are provided with hand sanitizer before and after any animal interactions.
  • The National Aviary is performing frequent cleaning and disinfection of surfaces throughout the day.
Book Now!

Email info@aviary.org or call 412-258-9445 for more information or with questions.


Additional Information

  • This one-of-a-kind experience is designed for those 6 years and older. Children 15 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult over 18 years of age. For younger kids, try our Junior Penguin Encounter.
  • Advance registration guarantees your experience. Same-day registration based on program availability and cannot be guaranteed.  
  • At the National Aviary, we give our animals the choice to participate in interactive experiences with caring guests, like you! If our animal ambassador needs a day of rest, we will contact you to reschedule your encounter, as the comfort and safety of our animals and our guests is always our top priority. Thank you for understanding.

In The News

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10 things to do with kids this week in Pittsburgh, from a tropical escape to a hot cocoa hike | Kidsburgh

Take the kids on a tropical retreat to the National Aviary, where bright macaws fly in a lush rainforest and flamingos pose in the wetlands habitat.

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Pet Tales: Aviary Welcomes New Chick | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

There’s a new penguin in town, but this one doesn’t swing a hockey stick.

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National Aviary offering in-person, virtual programming | TribLIVE

Travel may not be an option right now because of the coronavirus, but visiting the National Aviary can make you feel like you’re on a tropical retreat!

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National Aviary Welcomes First Chick of the Year | WTAE - ABC Pittsburgh

The National Aviary started its celebration of 2021 with the hatching of an endangered African Penguin to first-time parents Buddy and Holly.

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