They seemed to flutter right through the water, like a butterfly. As they got closer to the surface, their fins reached up as if to high-five the tiny hands. The velvety coat was smooth to the touch. Their friendliness startled me and caused my son to be a little apprehensive as they approached him. If you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m talking about the Sting Ray exhibit at the Sea Life Aquarium.
Our morning started off with the sad discovery that our beloved pet Beta fish had passed away over the night. After its burial at sea, we decided that we were in need fun adventure to lift our spirits. We decided that in our Beta’s memory, to go to the aquarium. We are lucky to have the Sea Life Aquarium close by, so we purchased tickets online and headed out.
Sea Life Aquarium
Our decision to go to the aquarium was shared by a lot of others in the city. It probably had to do with cold, blustery day we were having. We arrived a few minutes early for our selected admission time slot. As you go down the escalators in the mall you are transported into a new world, full of wonder. The staff is waiting there directing you to the hand washing stations and you are immediately presented with the opportunity to get your hands in the first display, sea anemones, and starfish. As you progress, you hand your tickets to the attendant and then get to see the livelier stingrays. If you want, you even have the opportunity to purchase some food and hand feed them.
After the touch and feel section, you move on to the different aquariums. They have a few varieties of Sea Horses to watch. The Jellyfish room was captivating. It’s a dark room with green spotlights. Inside each of the tanks, the fish floated and drifted in the currents. Each tank was lit with different colored lights. As the lights rotated, you could see the transparency and every detail of the Jelly Fish. The room was filled with a bunch of these tanks to wander through. You could get lost in the fish as the floated around.
As you moved on, you go through the trademark tunnel aquariums. The excitement started to build in everyone as they entered. You feel as though you are part of the underwater experience. The tunnels felt big and open. At the same time, the shape of the glass brought all of the sea creatures closer to you. You would see kids pointing in every direction. There were people calling out, “Look over there!” and “Look at that turtle!” What is unique about the tunnel is that you get to see the underbody of the fish too. You could see the details of the giant stingrays and count the rows of teeth as the sharks swam over you.
The aquarium has 300 feet of tunnels to explore. The tunnels are broken into 4 different regions of ocean floor: the Rainbow Reef, Atlantis, Amazon River and Sturgeon Lake. Each region has their own unique aquatics and sea floor. In addition to the different tunnels, they also have Rainforest exhibit showing crocodiles, frogs, and tortoises.
Our trip to the Sea Life Aquarium was just what we needed. It transported us into a unique world of the sea. It was a treat for the kids and at the same time, wore everyone out on the ride home.
Tips for Next Time:
- Go during the week, it will be less busy and you will be able to see more without the crowds.
- Buy your tickets online. Not only will you save a few dollars, but you will avoid the lines.
- Check out the feeding times online before you go.
- SEA LIFE Aquarium at the Mall of America, Minnesota. Book online and save up to 25% off standard admission!