Atlanta, GA 30313United States
Activities & Resources
Georgia Aquarium3521in Atlanta, GA 30313
Atlanta, GA 30313United States
about Georgia Aquarium:
Among the highlights of any visit are an encounter with the whale sharks, the only resident ones of their kind in a North American aquarium, and the giant and graceful beluga whales.
The sections of the aquarium are divided by water types, and the living things that thrive in each environment:
Ocean Voyager houses the whale sharks, as well as cubarra snappers, trevally jacks, small and large stingrays, an enormous goliath grouper, and hammerhead sharks.
Cold Water Quest includes beluga whales, giant Pacific octopus, garibaldi damselfish, Japanese spider crabs, and California sea lions.
River Scout - Freshwater Mysteries features the world's largest freshwater fish, the arapaima, along with piranha, electric fishes, and otters. Several alligators were newly introduced in early 2008.
Georgia Explorer highlights animals of the Georgia coast with touch tanks housing horseshoe crabs, sea stars, stingrays, and shrimp. Kids can also crawl inside a large scale model of a Right whale, native to Georgia waters. This is the area to let off some steam - the play structure is good for smaller kids.
Tropical Diver displays tropical coral reefs teeming with eels, seahorses, fairy basslets, yellow-head jawfish, and other jewels of the sea, like jellyfish. The Pacific Coral Reef exhibit, with its wide-wall glimpse of the bright colored fish that roam through the reef, is a breathtaking, and soothing, display. Take a crying baby here to settle down - trust us, we've seen it work!
Cafe Aquaria: On site dining appeals to a broad range of tastes. Expect to find burgers, pizza, soups, sandwiches, kids' meals, and plenty of desserts. You can build a pretty healthy meal here, although it's pricier than dining at an off-property sandwich shop.
Birthday Parties are designed for children ages one to 12, with three themed 90-minute packages - Deepo, Island, and Pirate. Each package includes a party coordinator, a private room, an animal encounter, paper goods, cake & ice cream, goody bags, and games during the party. The birthday child gets a gift card to spend in the Aquarium. Parties for ages six and under include a visit with the Deepo character. For parties with children age seven and older, guests tour the behind-the-scenes area at the top of the Tropical Diver gallery.
Strollers are permitted, although parking areas for them are outside each gallery, and parents are encouraged to leave them there. Particularly when it's crowded, if you must bring a stroller, go with the smallest version possible. Although the layout is wheel-friendly, you can get around more easily with less width in your kids' ride. Changing tables (bolted onto counters with clean disposable changing pads at hand!) and a nursing station are available near the Cafe.
The 4-D theater shows Deepo's Undersea Wondershow every 30 minutes, although it's best to reserve seats when purchasing general admission passes. It's a must-do on a first visit. A live actor kicks things off with marine life trivia and aquarium background, then visitors get 3D glasses and take in an animated musical 3D film with a message of environmental stewardship. In the theater, unique special effects make the film come to life with floating bubbles, light splashes of water, and seats that provide a puff of air or vibration to mimic the feel of a sea creature swimming by.
Behind the Scenes Tours are offered daily for ages 10 and up. The tours last one hour, and are $50 above general admission pricing. Two themes are available, at staggered times during the day. Advance reservations and comfortable shoes are required.
Sleepovers are offered for families and youth groups. Each program includes admission to the Aquarium, Deepo's Undersea 3D Wondershow, behind the scenes tour, a guided adventure through the galleries, a mattress to sleep on, activities, dinner, evening snack, and breakfast. Check the website for current pricing and availability.
Plenty of photo opportunities are scattered throughout the building, from the fun fish and mermaid kids can sit on in the cafe area, to the plexiglass dome that lets you stand among the African penguins. And don't worry if you forgot a camera, they sell them there. There's also a good deal of souvenirs to wear, play with, or eat, and as you might expect, the exit route takes you right through the gift shop.
Visit the Georgia Aquarium for a North Pole-Palooza! Arthur's elves will construct his very own Igloo featuring scenes from the film on November 22 from 10am-2pm. Click here to find out more about the 12 days of fun family events nationwide leading to the release of ARTHUR CHRISTMAS, the new 3D CG-animated family comedy in theaters November 23, 2011.