We hear you: Tickets to Georgia Aquarium are truly an investment. My first tip? Look into a membership. It will pay for itself in no time. My second tip? Reframe your perspective.
Let me tell you what I mean…
Your general admission ticket offers so many perks! Take a look below at the 10 attractions and activities you get for free with your basic ticket. You can spend the entire day here and not get it all in. When you realize just how much you get for your ticket, you realize what a deal it actually is.
Take a look!
You get access to all the galleries: Ocean Voyager, Tropical Diver, Cold Water Quest and River Scout, AT&T Dolphin Tales, SunTrust Pier 225, Aquanaut Adventure.
What’s your favorite? My kids adore the jellies…my MIL is a dolphin-lover…I’m partial to the penguins.
Gallery shows are included: Dolphin Celebration and Under the Boardwalk with Sea Lions at Pier 225. In case you’re not aware, the Dolphin Celebration is new…it’s not the same show they opened with. In fact, I like it a lot more than the first one! We still haven’t been to the Sea Lion show yet, but I’m anxious to go soon!
Aquanaut Adventure and the interactive activities, iPad scavenger hunt, and touch pool. Once five out of the seven STEM-based learning routes have to be completed, kiddos receive a Georgia Aquarium Aquanaut certification!
Touch pools are so much fun for my boys, and Aquanaut Adventure is not the only place to experience them. There are also locations in Ocean Voyager and Cold Water Quest. We talk to our kids about the four basic rules of Touch Tanks (not sure where we picked this up…it’s been a while.)
- Don’t pick up the animals. 2. Use two fingers, not your whole hand because these animals generally are made of nerve networks. 3. Wash your hands before and after. 4. Don’t hog the tank.
Watch a movies at the 4-D Funbelievable Theater. The shows here change regularly, but as of this writing you can see the following: Coastal Predators: A 4-D Experience; Ice Age: No Time for Nuts 4-D; and SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D: The Great Jelly Rescue.
Coastal Predators is not “cartoon-ish” and works for adults and older kids…but my kids are still partial to Ice Age.
The Waddle Walk might be my all-time favorite Georgia Aquarium freebie! Make your way to the atrium daily, between 10 and 11 a.m. to see these gentle creatures taking a walk through the crowds. In addition to the full-on cuteness and photo op, you’ll learn more about the species and how the steps the aquarium is taking to protect and preserve them.
Dive presentations are another free aquarium activity. Head to Ocean Voyager daily at noon and 12:30 p.m.; and Tropical Diver at 10:30 a.m. You’ll see divers feeding the animals and swimming with them, and hear a presentation about the marine life within the tank.
Deepo’s Hideaway, located in the Ocean Voyager gallery, is a chance for your little ones to interact with Deepo – a 15 minute animatronic show. I also love that it is tucked away a bit, which can help ease your kiddo during times that the aquarium is super busy.
Atrium shows are very popular during special seasons. Our favorite is probably the Christmas light and music displays. There is also a Memorial Day celebration coming up that you won’t want to miss.
The Georgia Aquarium App is also free! It lets you dive deeper into each of the exhibits (see what I did there??) It will also let you know about show times for the above-mentioned activities, help you keep track of tickets, listen to an audio tour, and alert you to special character appearances. The app is free – and so is Wifi access within the aquarium.
Finally, don’t miss the plethora of seasonal event activities offered. Party with the Penguins happens in January, Coral Carnival takes your breath away in February, Earth Day/Superhero Day are family favorites in April…You’ll want to get on our newsletter and follow the aquarium on Facebook to learn about these events (or follow the link above to their calendar.)
I just want to note that not every event is free with a general admission ticket. Some cost a little more (like Sips Under The Seas) but they are totally worth it! Just be sure to read the 411 on the web page.
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Disclosure: 365 Atlanta Family is proudly an Ambassador for Georgia Aquarium…but it doesn’t influence what we share here.
After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.