Are you really looking for a unique experience for your children this summer? If so I have the perfect summer getaway for you. Recently I visited Atlanta, Georgia and had the chance to visit the Georgia Aquarium. We have been to a few aquariums, but I will say the Georgia Aquarium is one of the best we have visited!
The Georgia Aquarium is the world’s largest aquarium with 8 million gallons of fresh and marine water, and more than 100,000 animals representing 500 species from around the globe. What I find fascinating is that the Aquarium tells a global water story, with features modeled after the greatest zoos and aquariums in the world. Each majestic exhibit is designed to inspire, entertain and educate. They also have several species rarely seen in captivity, like whale shark. Have you ever seen one of these close up? If not then you need to head on over to the Georgia Aquarium.
While I was searching for places to stay while we were in Atlanta, Georgia and researching the aquarium. I found it very easy to book our stay using the Preferred Hotel Packages from the Georgia Aquarium. The Georgia Aquarium partners with a variety of nearby hotels to offer hotel stay and Georgia Aquarium ticket combination packages. Guests that book a “Preferred Hotel” Package will receive exclusive Total Tickets included in their package. These special tickets are only available by booking a “Preferred Hotel” package and allow the guest to bypass the box office line and enter the Georgia Aquarium at any time, during normal operating hours. Such an easy way to book your summer vacation and have fun!
When I booked our stay, we stayed at the Hilton Atlanta, we were in walking distance to the aquarium and that made it so much easier to visit. Georgia Aquarium offers hotel packages that make planning a summer visit convenient and affordable. So make sure you check that out when planning your summer vacation!
What makes the Georgia Aquarium the place to visit this summer? Not only is it fun, but it is also educational for your children and of course the adults. I know we learned so many new things on our visit. Georgia Aquarium is close by and just a 2 hour drive from Greenville. We enjoyed our drive to Atlanta. It didn't take long and I know we were supper excited to visit the Aquarium. I also want to add that the Aquarium’s online ticket page allows you to purchase tickets and parking in advance, as well as add-on animal encounters, animal interactive programs, or behind the scenes tours. I would recommend doing this all when you purchase your tickets online. It makes everything go so much smoothly.
Now I want to share with you our visit and a few things you should do while your on summer vacation and visiting the Georgia Aquarium.
Top 5 Things To Do at Georgia Aquarium This Summer Vacation
1. Aquanaut Adventure: A Discovery Zone
Check out Georgia Aquarium’s newest exhibit, Aquanaut Adventure. This unique experience allows parents and children to learn about aquatic life as they complete a series of educational and fascinating challenges. This educational journey through the Aquarium’s previously-behind-thescenes areas challenges guests of all ages through a series of activities in a variety of immersive environments. Aquanaut Adventure is included in admission to Georgia Aquarium.
2. Animal Encounters and Interactions
Guests can go behind the scenes and enjoy an exclusive personal experience with one of our aquatic animals through a Georgia Aquarium animal encounter or interactive program. During each program guests can learn more each animal and their care from one of Georgia Aquarium’s expert trainers, and snap a photo to take home, courtesy of Georgia Aquarium.
Penguin Encounter: Guests will go behind the scenes at the Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest gallery and meet an African penguin up-close. Learn more about these incredible animals, including how their care, Georgia Aquarium research and conservation initiatives on their behalf – which are supported by your ticket dollars and participation in this program!
- Dolphin Encounter: In this exhilarating poolside animal interaction, guests will go backstage inside our dolphin theater to meet, touch and feed one of the dolphin stars of our spectacular AT&T Dolphin Tales show. During this dolphin experience, see up-close many of the ways we care for our dolphins, participate in a training session, and touch a dolphin.
- Sea Otter Encounter: During this unique experience, guests will go behind-the-scenes at the otters’ home in the Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest Gallery and interact with these charismatic animals. Enjoy an exclusive tour of the sea otter facility and a special educational presentation on sea otters, help prepare a sea otter meal, and participate in an exciting sea otter training session alongside Georgia Aquarium’s own animal trainers. Journey with Gentle Giants in the Ocean Voyager Built by the Home Depot exhibit is the only opportunity in the world where guests are guaranteed to swim or dive with whale sharks, manta rays, and more!
- Swim with Whale Sharks: During this two and a half hour experience that includes a safety class and swim time in the Ocean Voyager exhibit, guests will swim at the surface with a floatation device and air supplied by either a small compressed air cylinder or a snorkel. Mask and snorkel, gloves, booties, wetsuit, floatation device and compressed air cylinder are provided. Personal masks are permitted.
- Dive with Whale Sharks: Open Water certified divers are eligible to participate in the SCUBA dive program, which is in the Ocean Voyager exhibit. Mask, fins, tank, buoyancy device, regulator, weights, booties and wetsuits are provided. Experience includes an information session and 30 minutes of dive time in the exhibit.
3. AT&T Dolphin Tales
The AT&T Dolphin Tales show, a first-of-its-kind production, was more than two years in the making. It is an experience you won’t want to miss which entertains, motivates and inspires guests. The show incorporates the beauty and agility of dolphins, live human actors, dramatic costuming and amazing effects. AT&T Dolphin Tales shows are held throughout the day and is included in Georgia Aquarium admission.
4. Behind the Seas Tours
Explore the secrets of Georgia Aquarium! Behind-the-scenes tours are available for guests interested in learning more about the day-to-day operations of the Aquarium and learn more about our animals and their care.
- All-Access Pass: Go behind closed doors to unlock the secrets of day-to-day operations at Georgia Aquarium. Discover some of the mysteries of water and learn about our research and conservation initiatives. Plus, you get an exclusive behind the scenes look at all our galleries.
- AT&T Dolphin Tales Spotlight: Do you want to learn what it takes to produce a Broadway-quality dolphin show at Georgia Aquarium? This spotlight tour allows you to see backstage of our AT&T Dolphin Tales production, including costumes, props and more!
- Ocean Voyager Spotlight: Do you want to learn more about how we care for our whale sharks and manta rays, but don’t have much time? Take a 30-minutes Ocean Voyager Spotlight Tour and see your favorite animals from a whole new perspective!
5. Explore! Atrium Show
This one-of-a-kind live show combines live-action film, animation, acrobatics, large-scale puppetry and dance. Explore! takes guests on an aquatic adventure that opens the imagination and explores our connection to the ocean. Dancing Sea Stars, a sponge diver and a 17-foot long whale shark puppet all join this journey of the world’s aquatic habitats. Explore! runs twice a day on weekends through May 23 and is complimentary with admission to Georgia Aquarium
We loved our visit to the aquarium, we got to see so many wonderful exhibits and we went behind the scenes. We always wonder how an aquarium functions on a daily basis and this was by far one of the most wonderful experiences we ever had. To go behind the scenes and see how they keep everything going, from filtering the water, artificial sunlight, feeding time and the awesome care that is given to the animals. To see how they grow their own plants and to see where they do all their research is really an educational experience that you don't want to miss!
The Georgia Aquarium is constantly running, there are people there 24/7 365 days a year. I always wondered what happened at night and to know that there is always someone they're looking after things is wonderful. They even have their own surgical suite for the animals, they are able to take care of the animals, right there if one needs medical attention! And let me not forget that the animals eat the top of the line food, they might eat better than me!
Our visit to the Georgia Aquarium was well worth our time. I don’t think I will ever be able to spend time in Atlanta again without making a stop in to the aquarium. We left the aquarium that day filled with awe and inspiration.
When your planning your summer vacation, make sure you have the Georgia Aquarium on your list of places to visit. You can find information on how to plan your visit by visiting their website.