June 29, 2012 by Carin
We are off and running again! This week we are visiting Sea-Life Minnesota Aquarium at the Mall of America (official Sea Life website). We picked this adventure expecting rain one Saturday afternoon; though it never rained we went anyway. Both of our kids love fish and after a visit to the Minnesota Zoo a few weeks ago and how thrilled Myles was with any and all fish, we thought the aquarium would be fun visit.
Sea-Life Minnesota Aquarium has been remodeled since we were last there in early 2011 and it is a lot more interactive now. There are touch and feel tide pools, eye-level tanks and a larger walk through tunnel. The kids were thrilled to put their hands in one of several tide pools and touch starfish and sea urchins. The sting ray pools at kid height allows for an easy and close up view of the awesome animals. My kids could have stood there all day watching them glide through the water. There are also several tanks with brightly colored tropical fish that unfortunately are not at little kid height which forced us to pick Myles up (he was not a fan), but beautiful none the less. The jelly fish tanks are truly a fun feature. The area the tanks are housed in is darkly lit with colored lights over the tanks to showcase the jellyfish; another fun attraction for the kids to watch the as they slowly drifted through the water at their own slow pace.
The 180 degree walk through tunnel is filled with turtles, sharks, fish, octopus, various fish, eels, ect. A little bit crowded which can be a little distracting when trying to wait and watch for a shark to come back around to your area, but we did choose a Saturday afternoon to check the place out, so maybe a weekday morning would be less crowded.
The aquarium is a bit expensive to visit so we opted to purchase an annual pass that works out to three visits during the year to cover the cost of the membership. I think we will use it more than that, especially during the winter months. We can escape to the mall for a few hours during the morning hours and walk through for bit if a tropical escape.
FYI, if you are planning on visiting , purchase your tickets online for $6-10 per ticket cheaper than if you walk up.
Overall it is a fun experience that you don’t find at many places here in Minnesota. Our kids love to see all the different fish and watch them swim through the water. Hopefully someday we can take them to a tropical locale and let them experience some of these animals up close, but until them we are happy to take them to Sea-Live Minnesota Aquarium and let them stand and watch, in awe!