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Take a deep sea dive right in the heart of Georgia! There are a number of zoos and aquarium attractions to choose from in the Atlanta area and spending the day together with your family creates memories that will be remembered for a lifetime. Take a sneak peek at two of the best aquariums in the state: SeaQuest Stonecrest and Georgia Aquarium. Though both locations have many similar animals in common, SeaQuest offers up-close encounters that take your “Voyage to the Sea” above and beyond!
For families looking for an incredible, interactive, and affordable experience in Georgia, SeaQuest Stonecrest is a perfect choice! Boasting over 15,000 square feet of fun-packed adventures, SeaQuest Stonecrest is one of the few places in the Atlanta area that offers hands-on encounters where visitors get to touch, feel, and feed animals from a variety of ecosystems found throughout the world.
You’ll journey through the Amazon, Caribbean, Egyptian Desert, and Mayan Jungle as you interact with sharks, snakes, turtles, and lizards during your quest. Ever seen a kangaroo in person? Well if not, visit the wallabies at SeaQuest! Wallabies are the smallest in the kangaroo family and love to have visits from guests.
Looking to host a birthday party or private event? SeaQuest Stonecrest has a variety of packages to host an amazing birthday adventure! Kids can also take a selfie with Marina the Mermaid, or meet the pirate Captain Quest!
What sets SeaQuest Stonecrest apart from Georgia Aquarium is that they offer a number of exciting encounters that allow guests to have one-on-one interaction with animals – not just group encounters. Keep in mind, that SeaQuest Stonecrest isn’t just an aquarium. Mammal and land animals also call SeaQuest home! From goats to sloths, you’ll not only get an “under the sea” look at marine life, but your family will be able to pet some of the most unique mammal species on earth! Visitors are invited, and encouraged, to have an up close and personal experience with the animals. That’s right – just you and your special time with the anima! You’ll be able to touch the animals and directly hand-feed them treats! You’ll also learn about protecting endangered animals and the conservation of the planet.
•Asian Otter Interaction: During your time to feed the otters, you’ll get an educational overview of the otter species and habitat, then participate in an informational Q&A on how you can help save the otters in the wild!
•Sloth Interaction: Hang out with a Sloth right here in Georgia! Learn all the species as you feed, pet, and touch the sloth in this once-in-a-lifetime experience! Be sure to bring your camera for a selfie during your hand-feeding session.
•Crested Porcupine Interaction: Have you ever wondered what a porcupine actually feels like? Look no further – Meet Quilliam the porcupine here at SeaQuest, and learn all about his unique species while hand feeding him his favorite snacks!
•Sleep With the Sharks: Invite 25 of your closest friends for this ultimate overnight experience! Learn how the Animal Whisperers open and close SeaQuest each day, get a behind-the-scenes peek at the aquarium and participate in the morning bird feeding experience.
SeaQuest takes pride in educating guests about conservation efforts. That’s why they offer unique, educational Field Trip experiences for students of all ages! Field trips include a 90-minute interactive tour. A designated Field Trip guide will take your group on a journey through five different continents, designed to give students an increased understanding of our planet’s oceans, marine life, and complex ecosystems. A behind-the-scenes Science Lab is also available to explore.
Georgia Aquarium, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a non-profit research institution and scientific center. Focused on aquatic research and immense animal care, they are dedicated to fostering a deeper appreciation for the world’s oceans.
With more than 11 million gallons of water, Georgia Aquarium features some larger-than-life exhibits that can bring a sense of awe and wonder. Similar to Sea World, Georgia Aquarium is home to a number of gentle giant marine species such as dolphins, sea lions, and whales.
Situated in the heart of downtown Atlanta, you’ll see all forms of sea life. Penguins, sharks, and giant octopuses all call Georgia Aquarium home. They offer a variety of educational programs and volunteer opportunities. They even offer a “behind the seas” experience (for an additional cost), where you can tour behind the scenes of the large tank exhibits. It’s important to remember Georgia Aquarium charges for parking and while they offer a parking garage, it’s a pretty good walk to the main entrance once you are parked. SeaQuest Stonecrest has free parking available for your visit, and its parking lot is right in front of its main entrance.
Special Highlights in the Aquarium:
- Dolphin Presentation: Otherwise known as Dolphins in Depth, this animal activity allows you to attend a 15-minute presentation on dolphins. They’ll swim and perform tricks as trainers give insight into the dolphin’s daily routine and intellectual abilities. This presentation is included with your ticket price, but there is an additional fee of $5 for preferred seating.
- Waddle Walk: In this area, you’ll get to watch the penguins strut their stuff! Trainers lead several African penguins on a daily stroll across the Aquarium’s main Atrium, giving guests the chance to see this amazing species up close. The Waddle Walk teaches visitors about the plight of this endangered species and preservation efforts to protect these beautiful birds
- Shark Cage Dive: Don a wetsuit and venture into the deep with some of the most fearsome sharks in this animal interaction. Participants must be ages 12 and up and, while a diving certification is not required, you will be in a full mask, so it’s not recommended for those who are unfamiliar with scuba mask wearing. Ticket pricing runs at $249 per person.
Georgia Aquarium is a place to have some family fun and also features a cafe for food and snacks. It certainly is a very visual attraction that is more geared to older youths and visitors than toddlers and young children. Georgia Aquarium seems to provide a variety of options for animal shows and encounters, many of which are highly expensive and adds to your already high ticket price. In contrast, SeaQuest Stonecrest delivers unique animal interactions that provide that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for your little ones! While feeding the animals is probably the highlight, guests can also enjoy touching and even holding some of these amazing creatures while under the watchful care of SeaQuest’s animal experts.
The Best Aquarium in Georgia? SeaQuest!
The Georgia Aquarium may have large underwater exhibits along with entertaining animal showcases, but it’s not the only place in the Atlanta area where you and your family can get up close and personal with aquatic animals. In fact, many visitors find that Seaquest Stonecrest has much more to offer, particularly for kids. The SeaQuest experience is more intimate, less crowded, and much more affordable for families.
Ticket pricing for Georgia Aquarium starts at $39.95 for general admission ages 2 and up. Additional add-ons including parking fees and special tours can bring a single ticket price to over $60.00 per person. Seaquest Stonecrest admission prices range between $11.99 to $16.99 per person. Guests can feed a variety of animals at the SeaQuest Stonecrest location with feeding tokens that can be purchased for around $2 per token. SeaQuest allows for online booking options or simply walk right into the Guest welcome counter for tickets!
Atlanta, Georgia certainly has a wide variety of zoo and aquarium options to choose from that will bring the adventure of a lifetime for your family! For the BEST animal interactions in the state check out the SeaQuest Stonecrest website. You can book your special encounter today!