Looking for something fun to do and escape the summer heat? That was what I was looking for this weekend. I was picturing somewhere cool and quiet. The opposite of the beach in the middle of SoCal summer crowds. I decided it was time to explore something on my local bucket list: the SEA LIFE Aquarium at LEGOLAND California.
From the moment I entered the cool dark interior of the aquarium greeted by exhibits full of interactive features for my wiggly two year old I asked myself the following question: why haven’t I done this sooner?
I have made multiple trips to LEGOLAND this summer. We have a lot of fun there. For some reason I assumed the Aquarium would not be as fun. I thought it would be a small, simple exhibit similar to other aquariums in the area. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of ocean life on display and the interactive features for families to enjoy. I can confidently say this is the best aquarium we have been to in the region.
What to expect
Before you enter the Aquarium you wait for a countdown clock to open double doors into a cool dark waiting room where a group of visitors watch an introductory video before doors open up into the aquarium. This was an effective way to build anticipation as well as spread out the crowds of visitors. Milmom tip: grab a dive logbook at the entrance to stamp at stations throughout the Aquarium.
The Aquarium was divided into many different sections that allowed for a natural flow of experience. here are lots of features kids will love. There are places to crawl into and under to see the sea life from new and different angles. There are educational facts throughout the exhibits, fun Lego creations in some of the tanks, tide pools where little ones can touch sea anemones and starfish, a small lego building station, and an interactive digital experience of bioluminesence in the new Sea at Night exhibit.
- I recommend giving yourself at least 60-90 minutes to get through the entire Aquarium.
- At the end of all the fun exhibits the aquarium exits directly into a LEGOLAND cafeteria that has a large fishtank. You can stop and have your lunch and still see the sea life! **You do not need a ticket to the Aquarium to eat in the cafeteria.
- Not all LEGOLAND tickets include the Sea Life Aquarium. Make sure you purchase a “Hopper” ticket to be able to see the Aquarium. If you do not purchase a “hopper” ticket you can easily upgrade your ticket to include the SEA LIFE Aquarium for an extra $22
- Grab a Dive Log Book for every kid at the entrance to the Sea Life Aquarium. There are numbered “Dive Stations” throughout the Aquarium to stamp in your log book. If you get a stamp from every dive station you can collect a special prize in the gift shop at the exit.
- The Sea Life Aquarium has its own schedule and hours. Check in advance to see if they are open when you plan to visit as it is not always the same as LEGOLAND
- Look up times for educational talks and feeding times in advance to help plan your time.
- Strollers are not permitted into the aquarium, except on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when the LEGOLAND park is closed. That is also when the aquarium is least crowded. If you do bring a stroller there is stroller parking outside the aquarium.
- It is free for 2 and under
- If you plan to visit just the Sea Life Aquarium book tickets online in advance for a 20% discount
We plan to go back soon. If we can we want to aim for a Tuesday or Wednesday when there it is the least crowded. Even on a summer weekend we did not find it overcrowded, but we want to plan to have uncrowded views of the amazing shark tunnel.