The Georgia Aquarium is the world’s largest aquarium located in Atlanta, but that’s not why I’ll visit there again. I’ll take all five kids again and again simply because this aquarium makes it easy and painless to see the exhibits.
When my husband and I decide to venture out to parks, games, zoos, etc we first decide where this trip will measure up on our fun to stress ratio. Factors like travel, cost, lines, and overall enjoyment of the venue are considered.
We consider how hard it is to travel there. The Georgia Aquarium is in downtown Atlanta, but it is right off the main interstate and clearly marked signs point the way to the aquarium. Parking spots were numerous by the elevators for our stroller and there is a covered walkway to the aquarium from the parking garage.
Tickets cost between $30 and $35 for adults and children, but there are options for season passes. Also, if you work near the company there are often corporate discounts, as well.
The best part of this aquarium is the design. Upon entering you can choose between many access halls that lead to the different exhibits so there is never just one long line of people streaming through. Also, as you enter the exhibit, there are numerous windows to view the sea life before you hit the main viewing area.
The aquarium is stunning and the exhibits and ocean life take your breath away. Children can watch as sharks swim over their head, witness the size of a whale shark and crawl through the penguin exhibit. There are options to touch certain fish and plenty of hand washing stations afterward.
By far the grand finale of this trip was the FREE, included in ticket price that is, live dolphin show. Complete with stadium seating and a splash zone this dolphin show is a must see. It has choreography, music, sound effects, and fantastic dolphins flipping and jumping throughout the show. This show kept my 18 month old mesmerized the whole time!
Tips for a stress free visit:
1. Be there early,before the doors open, and preferably not the weekend. We went on a Saturday and by lunch it was a swarm of people everywhere.
2. Try to leave strollers in car. The aquarium is stroller friendly but not in the dolphin show and really the strollers just make it harder to navigate. Nursing mom tip: One exhibit has stadium seating with a floor to ceiling viewing area that is darkened and easy to sit in back with a little privacy while older kids watch the fish.
3. They say no food or drinks (with exceptions for babies, allergies, diabetes, etc). So we planned to buy lunch at cafeteria, big mistake, don’t do it. The food is extremely overpriced and tastes like microwaved concession stand food. We saw some families with packed lunches and wished we had done the same. Also the cafeteria is very poorly laid out it is just chaos getting food and then carrying massive trays through the crowd to the checkout line. If you still want to buy lunch, consider yourself warned.
We have toured many zoos and aquariums throughout Oklahoma, Texas, South Carolina and California. The Georgia Aquarium is our favorite thus far, check it out and don’t forget your tickets to the dolphin show!