12 Best Things to Do at the Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium is one of the biggest aquariums in the world, it was even cited as having more aquatic life than any other aquarium at the time of opening in 2005. Since then, it continues to grow with additions such as dolphin and sea lion shows and new fish and sea life. It is a fun stop for families, a chance to encounter underwater areas like never before, and an opportunity to learn a thing or two along the way.
Up Close with Sharks
The Georgia Aquarium announced an expansion to open in late 2020, including a new entry and shark-viewing gallery. The saltwater tanks will feature floor to ceiling acrylic windows to give visitors an up-close view of these marine animals. The expansion will add tens of thousands of square feet to the Aquarium.
Kids will love traveling through the seven different challenges–complete five and receive Georgia Aquarium Aquanaut certification. As Aquanauts-in-training, kids can explore freshwater and marine habitats, dive into scientific research and learn what it is like to have a career in marine sciences.
Some of the biggest fish in the world call the Georgia Aquarium home. These fantastic creatures swim above and around the Ocean Voyager exhibit–you can sit and stare for hours at the large fish cruising through the water. Another cool feature, you can swim with these gentle giants! Reservations required; swimming with whale sharks is extra.
This is a perfect opportunity to let ages infant to 3 years experience the Aquarium in a shorter (and cheaper, $10 per person) way. Toddler Time lasts an hour and a half and includes a meet and greet with an animal, a costumed character, storytime, craft and a snack. Select dates, see calendar for schedule.
Penguins and sea otters are just some of the sea life you can see from portal holes. These specially-designed areas make you feel as if you are in the encounter. Get up close with the penguins as they snack during feeding time, which also makes for a fun photo opp.
Kids can dip their hands into a shallow pool filled with rays and baby sharks in the upstairs Aquanaut Adventure, a fun hands-on experience. There are also several opportunities to have more up-close encounters with sea otters, dolphins or penguins (for an extra fee).
Giant Aquarium Wall
The Ocean Voyager makes you feel as if you are scuba diving or in a submarine–the wall is huge and immersive. It is one of the largest aquatic exhibits in the world, also featuring an acrylic tunnel to walk under whale sharks, manta rays and tons of fish.
Sleep Under the Sea
Did you know you can spend the night at the Aquarium? With Sleep Under the Sea, guests get a behind-the-scenes look at sea life to better understand how the aquarium operates. Kids can get tucked in right under huge walls of fish and whales, and then enjoy tours the next morning.
You can see horned and tufted puffins, pigeon guillemots, and common murres in the Cold Water Quest gallery across from the Southern sea otters. According to a press release, through a partnership with the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC), Georgia Aquarium was able to bring some of these birds to Atlanta.
California Sea Lions
You don’t have to travel to the California coast to meet sea lions in person, during the Under the Boardwalk sea lion presentation, guests get an up-close look at the species. Showtimes vary.
The Dolphin Tales shows are a ton of fun, showcasing the intelligence of bottlenose dolphins with special effects and lasers. Watch trainers use tricks to show their grace and athleticism. Showtimes vary.
4-D Theatre Programs
Dive underwater in the 4-D Funbelievable Theater, which plays multiple shows per day including “Coastal Predators: A 4-D Experience” and “SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D: The Great Jelly Rescue.” Showtimes vary.