Minnesota Aquariums: SeaQuest Roseville vs. Sea Life at Mall of America

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Young child admires stingrays in an aquarium tank

Taking time to learn about nature and the animal kingdom is fascinating! And there’s no better way for families to experience an engaging activity than a visit to your local zoo or aquarium! Two animal-centered places stand out in Minnesota: SeaQuest Roseville and Sea Life at Mall of America. Despite having many things in common, SeaQuest Roseville offers various animal encounters that take your “Voyage to the Sea” above and beyond.


25% OFF Admission at SeaQuest

SeaQuest Roseville

Journey around the globe when you visit SeaQuest Roseville, the ultimate land and sea adventure! Located about 14 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, SeaQuest Roseville is home to some of Minnesota aquariums’ most unique and interactive experiences! But this aquarium showcases more than just sea creatures. Discover mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, and amphibians from around the planet! This is a hands-on adventure, as visitors get to touch, feel, and feed animals from various habitats on Earth.

Check out the Amazon Rainforest, Caribbean, Mayan Jungle, and Pirate Island as you interact with sharks, snakes, turtles, and lizards during your quest. Are you a fan of kangaroos? Visit the wallabies at SeaQuest! Wallabies are the smallest in the kangaroo family and love to have visits from guests. Kids can also take selfies with Marina the Mermaid or meet the pirate Captain Quest!

SeaQuest Roseville also hosts birthday parties or private events! They offer a variety of birthday packages, and kids can even take a selfie with Marina the Mermaid or meet the pirate Captain Quest!

Interactive Experiences

Here’s what sets SeaQuest apart from Sea Life: the number of exciting encounters that allow guests to interact with animals one-on-one! Visitors are encouraged to have an up close and personal experience with various species. You’ll be able to touch the animals and directly hand-feed them treats! You’ll also learn about protecting endangered animals and conserving the planet.

Special Activities

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!

Sloth Interaction: Come meet the adorable sloth Luca! In this once-in-a-lifetime experience, you’ll get to feed, pet, and touch Luca while learning about the sloth species and their natural habitats! Be sure to bring your camera for a selfie during your hand-feeding session.

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.

SeaQuest Roseville is the place to be when it comes to learning about animals. It’s like traveling around the world as you see reptiles native to the Egyptian Desert. You might even hold a snake! Visiting Parakeet Paradise lets you watch the beautiful green birds perched on their ropes and ledges. Feed lettuce to iguanas at Iguana Nirvana as a SeaQuest “Animal Whisperer” shows you how to pet them and teaches you about their rainforest habitat.

SeaQuest Employee helps a guest hold a snake

Enjoy some fun little friends at SeaQuest!

Sea Life Mall of America

Located inside the Mall of America, Sea Life at Mall of America is an aquarium in Bloomington, Minnesota, about ten miles south of downtown Minneapolis. It contains about 1.3 million gallons of fresh and saltwater aquarium exhibits, which house thousands of sea creatures, including sea turtles, sharks, sawfish, stingrays, jellyfish, and seahorses

Special Highlights in the Aquarium

  • Underwater Tunnel: Take a stroll under the sea in this tunnel adventure. You’ll get a close-up view of some 9-foot-long Sandtiger Sharks, rescued sea turtles, a pair of giant 14-foot-long Green Sawfish, and hundreds of creatures from their own point of view underwater.
  • Ray Lagoon: Discover a variety of species and be mesmerized by the happy and smiley rays. You don’t get to swim with stingrays or feed them like the SeaQuest encounter, but it’s still fun.
  • Pacific Northwest Rock Pool: Feel a rough sea star, sticky sea anemone, and more in the Pacific Northwest touch pool. Get your hands wet in this exhibit, where you can touch many species of fascinating and unique creatures. Modeled after a northwest coast tide pool, this exhibit is a perfect place to get a real feel of ocean life.
  • Rainforest Exhibit: Enter the mysterious world of the rainforest where unique creatures lie hidden around every turn. Or venture through the Piranha Tunnel! While you don’t get to feed or touch most animals in this activity as you do at SeaQuest, it’s still a neat afternoon jungle adventure.

Sea Life at Mall of America is a fun and educational attraction that is definitely geared toward children but has less interactive experiences than SeaQuest Roseville. Sea Life Aquarium is designed to focus on observation-only exhibits. In contrast, SeaQuest Roseville offers amazing animal interaction encounters that provide that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

The Best Aquarium in Minnesota? SeaQuest!

Sea Life at Mall of America may be home to Minnesota’s only long ocean tunnel. Still, 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 Roseville has much more to offer, particularly for kids and families.

Sea Life offers a variety of membership packages, but the value membership is restricted to Monday – Friday visits only, and there is no entrance on blackout dates. There’s an option to upgrade to a premium member pass, but that runs $75 per person. Seaquest Roseville has an annual pass of only $49.99 per person, which includes feeding tokens, discounts on gift shop items, and more. SeaQuest allows for online booking options, or you can walk right into the guest welcome counter for tickets!

Minnesota has a variety of aquarium options that will bring your family the adventure of a lifetime! Check out the SeaQuest Roseville website for the BEST animal interactions in the state. You can book your special encounter today!

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