Sea Life Aquarium features active, hands-on learning with educational talks and opportunities to have up close and personal encounters with a variety of sea creatures.
If you are at Legoland and need to cool off the aquarium is a good way to go. We walked through in about 45 minutes. My kids liked to see what was there but it definitely didn't take long. The admission was included in our tickets but it's not something I would pay extra for.
Apart from being small and feeling too crowded at times it's a cool place to spend 1-2 hours. My 6 1/2 year old liked it but said he wished it was bigger.
If you're ONLY going to Sea Life Aquarium parking is $5 but they don't tell you that- take your receipt to Guest svcs for a A$7 refund.
We visited the Sea Life Aquarium on a Saturday morning in December and went when it opened at 9 am. LegoLand wasn't open until 10 and so visiting the Aquarium was the perfect start for our day. Our older boys were reluctant to visit the Aquarium because they were so eager to get to LegoLand but they ended up enjoying their visit.
Things we especially liked:
* A great start to the Aquarium with an introduction video and the semi-large first room with a fort to climb onto that overlooked the freshwater tanks and a slide for little kids.
* A 10 question quiz throughout the Aquarium that kept my older boys (11 and 9) engaged in the exhibits and information. Pick up a scratch off card at the entrance and find the quiz questions posted on walls in various places. I had to encourage my boys not to guess at the answer... the answer was located creatively on the question display or nearby. Turning in the card at the gift shop gave them a little treat... this time it was a tattoo.
* Various sizes of tanks and displays. I was impressed with the overhead tanks, the bubbles for kids to stick their heads into and the large manta ray tank. Many tanks were at eye level for my 3 year old and would've been seen even from a stroller.
* Built in steps for little ones to see into tanks.
* The exhibits appealed to all of my kids, ages 3 to 11. It's a good sign to me that things are done well when they all are interested!
* 2 touch tanks
* A wide variety of beautiful fish, octopus, sea horses and countless other species. I was impressed with the variety and the beauty of the sea life!
Things we didn't like:
* No convenient bathrooms during the visit.
* Exiting through the gift shop. Felt like a money trap.
* The narrow aisles through some parts of the Aquarium. On one or two spots, the walkway is only wide enough for 1 double wide stroller.
* The "Search for Atlantis" video in the middle of the Aquarium in the Theater. It was like watching a Lego show and really had nothing to do with the Aquarium or anything educational on the fish and species we were seeing. Our kids were sucked into the show and we had to "pull" them out.
* The convex viewing bubbles are optical illusions and are easy to bump your head on. The bubble sticks out toward the viewer to create a wider view, but it is nearly impossible to see them until you are up close. Despite the signs, and even knowing they were there, my husband bumped his head on one as he went in for a closer look. A little girl visiting with her parents bumped her head hard enough that she cried very hard. So be careful!
We finished our visit to the Aquarium in little over an hour. Because of it's connection to LegoLand, it would be hard to convince my boys to spend much time there in the future. As a "stand alone" Aquarium, it is excellent and well designed (despite the placement of bathrooms and small halls) and would be great for a day trip visit. I would just have to find a way to make it ok to visit without going to LegoLand.
I received complimentary tickets to this Aquarium in order to complete this review. All opinions expressed are my own and the business owner did not state any requirements for a particular point of view.
This aquarium is worth a quick visit if you are already at Legoland and the admission price is already included in your ticket. If you've ever been to a large aquarium like Monterey Bay or SeaWorld, there won't be anything here that amazes you. The kids were happy to get a break from the heat at Legoland so we we went over for about an hour to check it out. It doesn't take long to see the place. You have to go through in a special order (there is an actual start and end) so you'll need to keep the kids moving along if you get bored and don't want to stay for a long time.
We loved the Sea Life Aquarium in California!! The price of the tickets were reasonable and we were able to actually find coupons online. The parking was not too bad and the Aquarium itself was not too crowded. They move the crowd smoothly through the aquarium. My children were amazed at all the sea life and their habitats! There was so much information about the animals that it felt very educational!!
This was very nice and pleanty to do. Lots to see. It was fair priced. There were pleanty of staff and they were very friendly. The aquarium was very clean and easy to find. It was a good one time trip, can't imagine going back anytime soon. I also recomend eating first.
We're Legoland Resort pass holders, so I can't complain about the cost. If we didn't have a membership, however, I would consider this attraction expensive. Entry fee plus $12 for parking adds up quickly. If you're local and plan to visit the parks more than two or three times, the membership cost is well worth it.
We've visited the Aquarium several times and while it's not as impressive as the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, it's convenient for us and a nice way to spend an hour or two.
Our last visit (day after Thanksgiving) was just what we needed. The Aquarium wasn't busy at all, which made it easy to navigate the narrow hallways and get up close and personal with all of the displays.
I have been here when it's busy, too, on a class field trip and frankly, it's a bit of a nightmare. It's dark and when the path is crowded, can be very difficult to keep an eye on smaller children. I no longer have kids in a stroller, but I can imagine that during busy periods, stroller navigation would be frustrating.
For this visit, I took all three boys, ages 14, 9 and 6, and they all had a good time. I'm lucky my teenager is agreeable ;) The displays are colorful and lively, with sea life from around the world to enjoy. Several aquariums have plastic viewing bubbles that kids can stick their heads in and get really up close and personal with the animals.
Children will also enjoy the hands-on activities, like the Tide Pool. My boys loved touching the various starfish, anemones, and sea cucumbers that inhabit the pools.
We finished up our visit at the Ocean Cafe, where the boys' big sister works. Like most amusement park restaurants, it's spendy. Again, here's where the membership comes in handy as we got 20% off our order.
The chocolate chip muffin was delicious and prepared on-site. We also tried the hamburger sliders, which were very tasty. We shared a $5 fruit cup that included cantaloupe, honeydew, and red seedless grapes. The cafe offers several options, whether you just need a light snack or require more sustenance. There's a comfortable outdoor patio and indoor seating, along with a small Lego activity area for kids to play in.
Tip: The bathroom is at the end of the attraction, near the Ocean Cafe. So hit up the family restrooms right in front of the Sea Life Aquarium before heading in.
First off, I purchased a multi-ticket for about $ 55/military discount.
I found the joy that my child got from this park is irreplaceable. It may be highly priced as is the food (caution). No picture can exclaim the excitement she got from viewing all the fish. It was oooh, awwww, pretty (signing), pretty!
I guess it is how we value the experience. The sealife aquarium is not large and narrow pathways, difficult with stroller, but we still managed to enjoy the experience. We spent about one hour in it and then proceeded to the upstairs eatery. Some money saving ideas. If planning on eating there, breakfast is offered up to 1030 for $ 9.95 for adults and also a low rate for children (dont recall) otherwise, it is quite costly. A cup of fruit for 7, a cup of 12 oz coffee for 3, etc.
This was such a disappointment, I went here yesterday and felt cheated in a way. Luckily I bought my pass at a discount but even for what I paid I felt I deserved more. My daughter still rides in a stroller...this was not a good idea. She was not able to see anyhting, so I had to carry her which meant I had to hold her and try to manage the stroller in one person wide hallways. This place was not made with the stroller bound child in mind. But on the plus side I did not have to manage for too long since we went through the entire aquarium in 27 minutes, that is with us waiting for 10 minutes at one exhibit while my daughter walked around it. Maybe the older kids would like this place as there were some hands on things for them but with a 1 year old it was not very good. In my opinion they should make this part of your regular ticket to legoland and not charge anything extra.
SEA LIFE Aquarium is home to an array of sea creatures including sharks, stingrays, seahorses and jellyfish. What makes this aquarium unique is that it is specially geared toward families with young children.
Exhibits are arranged along a more-or-less one-way path that explores the animals residing in the area’s waterways and oceans. On the journey to the Lost City of Atlantis, you’ll travel through Gold Rush River, San Francisco Harbor, California Coast, Sharks Revealed and more. For hands-on fun, there are touch pools and a Discovery Zone, where kids can learn ways to help the earth every day.
You won’t see larger animals like seals, sea lions, whales, penguins or otters here or any of the “shows” you might have come to expect at larger aquariums. My 5 year old and I toured the entire place – and saw an animal feeding presentation – in a little less than two hours.
I give this place a thumbs-up for cleanliness and it’s toddler-friendly environment. Staff is friendly, knowledgeable and great with kids. There are unique viewing opportunities, including concave and convex glass tanks and pop-up bubbles so little ones can actually enter the undersea environment and be surrounded by fish.
On the downside, the one-way route through the Aquarium makes it tough to return to a favorite exhibit and could be a challenge during crowded days. There are only a couple of spots to sit down and enjoy the surroundings. Admission and parking is expensive for what amounts to a couple of hours of entertainment.
Overall, toddlers may enjoy the detour from Legoland that the Aquarium offers, but older kids will be hard pressed to visit when Legoland is right next door.
My daughter loved this. They have these "bubbles" in some of the aquariums where kids can stick their heads in and the fish swim around them. She could have done this all day.
We went on a weekday and there were quite a few people there, though we didn't feel crowded and were able to view whatever we wanted without problems.
The average visit to this aquarium is about 1.5 hours per one of the reps I spoke with. If your toddler is a good walker, I think you can leave the stroller in the car unless you're parked really far away.
There is a cafe on the way out of the aquarium that was surprisingly good. The food was very fresh and when I ordered my daughter's mac and cheese, they made it right there and I was able to add brocoli and a few other healthy items to it. It was very good. They have a nice salad bar, Stonyfield Yo Baby Meals, and lots of other good food but it's at a price level you'd expect at an amusement park.
The only con to the aquarium I would say is the cost. If you're a San Diegan, keep your eye out for promotional coupons. They have a buy one admission get one free ad that I've seen around. Parking is also expensive. I want to say it's $12, if I remember correctly.
So I would say go in the morning when it opens, have lunch in the cafe and call it a day.
We had tickets and a bit of extra time on one of our Legoland visits so we thought we'd give it a try. It was almost closing time, so we found it pretty uncrowded. But it was small, so I could see how some of the areas would get a bit unbearable had it been busier.
Look for the kooky Lego characters inside the tanks.
I visited this aquarium when it first opened. Good, but nothing too special. It did have some fun details that made it more accesible to preschoolers, but they still had difficulty reaching the tide pools.
If you regularly visit aquariums I might skip this one. If you want a more inexpensive San Diego aquarium experience try the Scripps Aquarium in La Jolla. If you want a few hours of indoor fun in the midst of your Legoland adventure this place might be worth a try.