Whether you're planning a wedding or planning your holiday festivities, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium has just the right venue to fit your needs. From mid-size rooms, to larger halls, to a chickee that provides a unique outdoor setting with a Southwest Florida-feel, our waterfront location showcases everything that is special about Sarasota and her islands.

Each year, millions of visitors travel to Sarasota to enjoy its beautiful beaches and exotic and fascinating marine life. At Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, we showcase the best that the region has to offer in several unique settings perfect for your wedding or other special event that doesn’t require you to get wet to have a great time! Mote Aquarium is one of Sarasota’s premier attractions, hosting more than 300,000 visitors each year. Our venues offer you and your guests a departure from the ordinary with spectacular animal exhibits and breathtaking views.

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium 
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Did you know that zoos and aquariums are becoming the most popular places for unique wedding experiences? Click here to learn more. At Mote, you can have cocktails at the reef, dinner among the sharks, luaus at a tiki-hut and rooms with great views. Mote venues are available for private rentals from 8 a.m. to midnight each day of the week, including weekends. Prices are reasonable, and — best of all — proceeds generated from rentals support Mote research and public education efforts.


Allison Whitten
(941) 388-4441 ext 139

*Ask us about our 10% member discount (six-person membership or higher)

New Pass Room

The New Pass Room in the Keating Marine Education Center is a 4,300 square-foot room featuring a 1,300 square foot balcony that provides spectacular views of Sarasota Bay, New Pass and the Gulf of Mexico. New Pass Room is also perfect for hosting seminars and includes complete A/V capabilities for an extra charge.

Theater Style Seating Max Capacity (200) Price includes 160 chairs.
Seated Dinner Max Capacity (150) A buffet and dance floor may fit a guest count of 120 at maximum.
Cocktail Style Max Capacity (175)

Hours Available: 8 a.m. - 11 p.m.

$2,500 4-hour Corporate or Private Event Rate

$150 Each additional hour

$600 Bereavement Rate (If room has not been booked, we can offer a Celebration of Life rate - may not be booked more than two weeks in advance)



The Chickee

Built by members of the Seminole Indian tribe, the Chickee picnic area is an outside covered pavilion next to beautiful Sarasota Bay. It’s one sure way to give your event an authentic Old Florida feel and is a wonderful place to hold birthday parties, company picnics or casual wedding rehearsal dinners. Picnic area includes electricity, water, wooden picnic tables with chairs, existing grill with two smokers and existing sea shell inlaid bar.

Ceremony Seating Capacity (80)
Seating Capacity for Existing Picnic Tables (56)
Cocktail Style/Hour Max Capacity (100)

Hours Available: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

$800 4-hour Event

$150 Each Additional Hour

$500 Ceremony & Cocktail Hour

$350 Ceremony Only



Aquarium & Courtyard

Mote Aquarium is perfect for an evening reception and rental includes access to all Mote Aquarium exhibits, such as the 135,000-gallon shark tank and reef fish exhibit. It’s a beautiful way to enjoy a get-together — watching the sunset and beautiful undersea creatures.

Courtyard Max Capacity (400)
Seated Dinner Max Capacity: Aquarium (50), Courtyard (350)
Cocktail Style/Hour Max Capacity: Aquarium (150), Courtyard (400)

Hours Available: 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

$2,250 1-75 guests
$2,750 76-150 guests
$3,250 151-250 guests
$3,750 251-350 guests
$4,250 351-400 guests



WAVE Center

Our newest venue is a large, multi-purpose location ideal for both conferences and special events. Located adjacent to our main laboratory building, the WAVE Center has value added enhancements that can transform your function into an event to remember. From full audio-visual capabilities and WiFi, we can accommodate your day or evening event.

Theater Style Seating Max Capacity (250)
Round Table Seating Max Capacity (150)
Classroom Style Seating Max Capacity (200)

Hours Available: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. or 5 - 11 p.m.

$2,300 4-hour event (Includes the following A/V: Use of screen, projector, and one microphone)
$150 each additional hour (Additional A/V time and services are available, requires a meeting with our A/V professional)


Mote requires that contracting guests select a caterer from the list provided. All venue rentals serving food require a catering staff member to be present on site. Deliveries and drop offs are not allowed.

Preferred Caterers: 

Deep Sea Diner
(941) 388-4441 ext. 511
Mote's in-house diner

Der Dutchman
(941) 955-8007

Harry's Continental Kitchen
(941) 383-0777

Hyatt Regency Catering
(941) 363-2643

Innovative Dining
(941) 373-5678

The Resort at Longboat Key Club
(941) 383-8821

(941) 921-3400

Metz Culinary and Catering Center
(941) 202-3684

Michael's On East
(941) 366-0007

Modern Events Catering
(941) 552-9650

Morton's Gourmet Market
(941) 955-9856

Nellie’s Catering
941) 924-2705

Pier 22
(941) 748-8087

Sarasota Catering Company
(941) 927-7675

Simply Gourmet
(941) 929-0066

Zildjian Catering
(941) 363-1709