225 Baker St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
Monday - Thursday: 9AM - 9PM (Extended Spring Hours) Friday: 8AM - 6PM (Closing early for Sips Under the Sea - ) Saturday - Sunday: 8AM - 9PM (Extended Spring Hours) *Subject to change
museums, fun-paid-activities, indoor-activities
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Sea lions, tiger sharks, and…bears? (Just kidding, we will save the bears for the Atlanta Zoo - but you can see everything else at the Georgia Aquarium)!
This activity is not to be missed, though! Seriously, if all you have is one day in Atlanta, your family should head straight to the Georgia Aquarium. It is actually the largest aquarium in the world and is home to enormous sharks, playful beluga whales, soaring manta rays, and gorgeous dolphins! The Georgia Aquarium boasts over a hundred thousand animals and ten million gallons of water.
The entry fee includes access to all the aquarium galleries, 4D Theater shows, general-seating Dolphin Presentation, and the Sea Lion Presentation. $1 of every ticket sold supports ocean conservation and research. To attend the 4D Theater, Dolphin, or Sea Lion Presentation, please make reservations at the aquarium the day of your visit. I use the Georgia Aquarium app to make these reservations and then just show the reservation on my phone to the team member at the door.
The aquarium is separated into several exhibits. River Scout reflects regional environments. Ever stood under a river? Well, here you can! Change your perspective and watch a fish swim from the bottom up. Beware of the piranha and electric eels. Ouch! Cold Water Quest features animals from the polar tundra. Bundle up. it’s not HotLanta in here. Not to be missed are the playful sea otters and penguins. Next, we have Ocean Voyager. Many head straight for this exhibit, and there is a reason why! It is the largest indoor aquatic habitat ever created. Immerse yourself in an active reef system while riding through a moving tunnel. There is a viewing room several stories tall that will mesmerize all ages. Tropical Diver features every single tropical fish known to man! It's a wonderful photo spot with a backdrop of vibrant color. You can even spot tiny seahorses and clownfish living among a cloud of sea anemones. Look closely; Nemo may make an appearance. Georgia Explorer, the gallery includes several fish native to Georgia. Who knew a state with very limited coastline had such an active aquatic ecosystem!?
In addition to all these areas, a full-blown educational, entertaining live dolphin stadium show is also included in the price of admission. This show rivals any Sea World show. Show times are regularly offered daily. After the dolphin entertainment, head over to a favorite with young children, a large “touch tank” where you can have a close and personal encounter with a starfish or a stingray! There is also a substantial indoor pirate ship playground that keeps kids entertained for hours. Included in the entry fee, there is a 4D movie that is entertaining and worth a visit. Please note that often during holidays and school breaks, the aquarium can be mobbed! Best to plan around these peak times for optimal viewing. You can cover the entire aquarium in a little over four hours from start to finish. Enjoy your day in the deep blue!
Parking lots are cheaper than the aquarium decks and are plentiful in the surrounding the area—discounted parking for members.
Tickets need to be purchased in advance of your visit. Entry to Georgia Aquarium will be scheduled in 30-minute timeslots. To alleviate stress due to traffic, parking, and other unforeseen issues, you will have a one-hour grace period to enter the building from your ticketed arrival time.
Stroller tip: For each show you need to leave your stroller outside the theaters and pick it up after. Sometimes the location of strollers can be a bit far from the entry doors. If your child can make it without a stroller, then I'd leave the stroller behind. I've done it with and without, and prefer NOT to have a stroller. There are two floors so you also will need to take the elevator with a stroller. It's easier to do it all with a carrier.
*Some photos courtesy of Georgia Aquarium