Tuesday, November 29, 2016

SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium at Mall of America Review

We recently spent a long weekend at Mall of America in Minnesota.  The kids enjoyed the hotel swimming pool, using their spending money at the many, many stores, playing with Legos and hanging out at the amusement park.  We also splurged on the ropes course and zipline, which ended up being their favorite experience from the weekend.  We enjoyed meals at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co and Rainforest Cafe as well.  It was a great weekend together as a family.  We honestly didn't do too much shopping while we were there.  It was more fun just walking around, laughing, exploring new stores, people-watching, enjoying some free exhibits, treating the kids, walking thorough the mall with coffees in hand and exploring the bookstore.

On our last day at the mall, we enjoyed a VIP blogger experience at SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium.  We parked in the parking ramp just outside of the aquarium each day and were excited to finally try it out before we headed back to Madison.  I love exposing my kids to new activities and experiences and this one didn't disappoint.

We started out by washing our hands and touching creatures in the first tank.  My oldest really enjoyed that.  My middle child wasn't interested.  My kids are 12 years, 8 years and 11 months and each kid enjoyed different portions of the self-guided tour.  There were several hands-on exhibits and thousands of fish and water creatures above, below and around you.

Kids three and under are free.  Children 3-12 years are $17.25 and adults are $24.25 (13 years and up).  

The kids love seeing all of the sting rays in large aquarium.  You weren't allowed to touch the sting rays at this aquarium.  But my oldest was able to purchase food to feed them (or one - didn't last long!).  It was fun watching the sting rays swarm around us after one got their tasty snack.  The kids got a kick out of it.

Our infant enjoyed being carried in her baby carrier and exploring and looking around with daddy.  We were able to bring the stroller throughout the exhibit and it was easy to navigate with younger ones.

The jelly fish exhibit was also fun to look at.  The kids liked exploring in the dark as the jelly fish illuminated the room.

The glass tunnel and large tanks were a huge hit, as sharks in every shape and size swam all around us.  The kids also liked looking for the sea turtles and finding fish that blended in with their surroundings.  We also liked the smaller tanks filled with sea horses.

My older two really liked the dive stations, where they learned about the various creatures and their habitats and completed their stamp book until it was complete.  It kept their interest throughout our self-guided tour, which lasted about ninety minutes.  They turned their stamp books in to redeem SEA LIFE necklaces at the end of the tour.  My son also collects the souvenir coins that you find at these attractions.  He was excited to collect one of them in the gift shop as well.

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