Shrieks and giggles are guaranteed at the touch tank of this popular aquarium as rays drift through the water and visitors stroke their backs. For an extra $4, you can try to feed them shrimp or fish, which is trickier than it looks, so ask for advice from staff. Guests also can reach into the chilled water of a Pacific tide pool to explore sea stars, green and magenta anemones and watch for shrimp and fish among the rocks and shells.
Kids look for Dory and Nemo in tropical tanks and watch sea turtles, sharks and sawfish swim overhead or pass them nose-to-fin with a clear tunnel through their giant tanks. The aquarium wraps up with a journey from tropical oceans to the Gulf and up the Mississippi to the river’s headwaters in Minnesota.
For a special splurge, guests can participate in a SEA LIFE sleepover from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. (with groups of 15 or more), go on a 45-minute behind-the-scenes tour that includes the feeding lab, or try a 30-minute snorkel with 75 types of tropical fish and sharks in the rainbow reef exhibit. Teens 16 or older and certified for open-water SCUBA diving can swim with the sharks in the Sturgeon Lake or Atlantis exhibits.
Monday through Thursday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
$24.25, adults; $17.25, children 3 to 12; age 2 and under, free. Discounts are offered for tickets purchased online. Guests at area hotels also may be able to buy discounted tickets.