Taking time to learn about nature and the animal kingdom is fascinating! And there’s no better way to experience an engaging activity for families than a visit to your local zoo or aquarium! In Minnesota, two animal-centered places stand out: SeaQuest Roseville and Sea Life at Mall of America. Though both have many things in common, SeaQuest Roseville offers a wide variety of animal encounters that take your “Voyage to the Sea” above and beyond.
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 a variety of habitats located 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 a selfie 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 where kids can even take a selfie with Marina the Mermaid, or meet the pirate Captain Quest!
Here’s what sets SeaQuest apart from Sea Life: the number of exciting encounters that allow guests to have a one-on-one interaction with animals! Visitors are encouraged to have an up close and personal experience with a variety of species. 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.
• 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! You’ll get to feed, pet, and touch Luca in this once-in-a-lifetime experience all 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.
• 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 Roseville is the place to be when it comes to learning about animals. It’s like taking a trip around the world as you see reptiles native to the Egyptian Desert. You might even hold a snake! A visit to 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.
Sea Life Mall of America
Located inside the Mall of America, Sea Life at Mall of America is an aquarium located 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 9ft long Sandtiger Sharks, rescued sea turtles, a pair of giant 14ft 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 a fun activity.
- 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 of the 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, 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 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, as well as 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 that is only $49.99 per person and includes feeding tokens and discounts on gift shop items, plus more. SeaQuest allows for online booking options or simply walk right into the Guest welcome counter for tickets!
Minnesota has a variety of 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 Roseville website. You can book your special encounter today!