Colorado Aquariums: SeaQuest Littleton vs. Downtown Denver Aquarium

May 31, 2022

If you're looking for an opportunity to enjoy the beauty and wonder of nature in colorful Colorado, Denver aquariums are an excellent choice. Visiting Denver aquariums is an excellent way for your family to spend the day together and create a memory all of you will cherish! Here’s a sneak peek at two of the best Denver aquariums to visit: SeaQuest Littleton and Downtown Denver aquarium. Though both aquariums have many things in common, SeaQuest offers animal encounters that take your “Voyage to the Sea” above and beyond!

SeaQuest Littleton

SeaQuest Littleton is the ultimate land and sea adventure and is home to some of the most unique and interactive experiences among Colorado aquariums! SeaQuest features more than 20,000 square feet of excitement where you’ll discover birds, reptiles, and amphibians from around the planet! This is a hands-on adventure, as visitors get to touch, feel, and feed animals from a variety of habitats.

You’ll journey through the Amazon Rainforest, Caribbean, Mayan Jungle, and Pirate Island as you interact with sharks, snakes, turtles, and lizards during your quest. Ever heard of a Sugar Glider? Well here's the chance to meet one with the Sugar Glider Encounter! These little marsupials are nocturnal, so the interaction takes place in a dark room with only red light to mimic nighttime. You’ll get to capture some sweet “nighttime” selfies during the day!

Looking to host a birthday party or private event? SeaQuest Littleton has some great options to host a birthday adventure! They offer a variety of packages where kids can even take a selfie with Marina the Mermaid, or meet the pirate Captain Quest! 

Interactive Experiences

What sets SeaQuest apart from Downtown Aquarium is that they offer a number of exciting encounters that allow guests to have one-on-one interaction with animals. Visitors are invited, and encouraged, to have an up close and personal experience with the animals. 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. 

Special Activities

•         Sugar Glider Encounter: Meet Luna, Harry, Hermione, and more! During your time you’ll get an educational overview of the sugar glider species and habitat, then participate in an informational Q&A on just how these creatures can see at night!

•         Snorkel With Stingrays: Splash on in with Seaquest! Bring your suit and towel and jump in the water with a variety of rays, tropical fish, and non-threatening sharks for an ultimate up-close animal experience.

•         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 Littleton hosts a unique event every month called Sensory and Sensitivity Morning. This event is specially geared for children with sensory sensitivities so they can enjoy the aquarium in a less crowded environment. SeaQuest creates this low sensory atmosphere by limiting overhead announcements, bright lights, music, televisions, and other sensory inputs. SeaQuest Littleton goes above and beyond to make sure all guests can have an enjoyable time learning about sea creatures.

When it comes all around family fun interacting with the animals, Seaquest Littleton is second to none. From the moment you enter the doors, you feel as if you’re being transported to a different part of the world! 

Downtown Denver Aquarium

Denver Downtown Aquarium is not an actual aquarium - it’s a restaurant and entertainment center that features an aquarium attraction. With more than a million gallons of underwater sea life, the exhibits highlight fascinating ecosystems from around the world. The Downtown Aquarium houses over 500 species of animals. 

Located in the heart of downtown Denver, you can see all forms of sea life, from starfish to seahorses to jellyfish and more! They house both saltwater and native freshwater tanks. Discover the wonder and mystery of the underwater world. They offer a variety of camps, overnight events, and behind-the-scenes tours for an additional cost.  Keep in mind that you will also pay for parking. SeaQuest offers free parking for your visit. 

Special Highlights in the Aquarium:

  • Aquatic Carousel: Ride on the back of a painted pony or a mystical sea monster. Take a ride on one of your favorite animals on this merry-go-round of fun. Height Requirement: Under 42” must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Shipwreck: In this area, the paintings on the walls replicate a shipwreck and the exhibits simulate the edge of the coral reef, where most shipwrecks occur.
  • 4-D Theater Experience: The small 40-seat theater is specially equipped with multiple effects to feel the action of the movie for a one-of-a-kind immersive movie experience! The 15-minute films change throughout the year based on season and holiday. 
  • Shark Cage Interaction:: Take the plunge in the shark cage, if you dare! Encounter Sand Tiger sharks, Sandbar sharks, and Zebra sharks up close. There’s a 20-minute limit, only offered for those age 8 and above. Ticket pricing starts at $100 per person. SeaQuest’s Snorkel with the Stingrays is a much longer experience, kids under 8 can also participate and the interaction is only $49.99. 

Denver Downtown aquarium does offer some family fun, along with upscale-casual dining featuring a variety of menu selections. The restaurant also has Mystic Mermaid Dining Shows up to four times a day. The family-friendly routines are set to music and the mermaids swim with such creatures as barracudas, nurse sharks, and eels. 

The Downtown Aquarium is a fun, visual attraction that is more geared to older youths and visitors The downtown aquarium almost has too much to see and explore. The overload of exhibits and activities makes the attraction a little more difficult for families with kids of a younger age. In contrast, SeaQuest Littleton offers unique animal interaction encounters that provide that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! 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 Denver? SeaQuest!

The Downtown Aquarium may feature a restaurant, banquet hall, theater, and more, but it's not the only place where you and your family can get up close and personal with aquatic animals and enjoy once-in-a-lifetime experiences. In fact, many visitors find that Seaquest Littleton 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 Denver Downtown Aquarium starts at $18.99 for kids and goes up to $24.99 for adults. That’s basic tickets just to view the exhibit tanks. Upgrading to the exhibit plus makes tickets over $30.00 per person. Seaquest Littleton admission prices range between $11.99 and $16.99 per person. Guests can feed a variety of animals at the Littleton location, and feeding tokens 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!

Denver 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 Littleton website. You can book your special encounter today! 

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