Georgia Aquarium is one of the best attractions to visit with your kids in Atlanta. It’s among the world’s largest aquariums and has received thousands of visitors since it was opened in 2005. There is something for everyone in this Aquarium and your family will have endless fun and exploration.
Your kids will learn a lot about the sea world and appreciate the planet more.
If you are planning to visit the Georgia Aquarium with kids, you need to plan well. In this blog post, I will guide you on how to plan your day and mention what you need to know when visiting Georgia Aquarium. You can be sure that the tips will make your trip easier and more enjoyable.
How To Plan Your Day At The Georgia Aquarium With Kids
There are several things you need to consider when planning your visit to this place. Your planning will determine how your day with the kids will be and therefore it’s definitely worth the time to plan ahead and think through the day. Let’s look at how you should plan.
Choose The Visiting Date And Time
This entirely depends on you of course, because you know which day you will be free. However, you should pick a day that’s convenient for your kids since missing school might not be a good idea.
However, the weekends at Georgia Aquarium are usually very busy, since that’s the time everyone is free. If possible, any day between Monday and Friday is better because you won’t be caught up in the crowds and you will enjoy the sweet spots without so many interruptions.
Time is also of the essence but it depends on what you want to see. If you must visit in the morning, ensure, you arrive early and prioritize your kids’ activities.
How To Get There
How you get to Georgia Aquarium depends on where you live. You can choose to use your car which is more convenient if you are going with the whole family. Atlanta has good infrastructure and therefore it will be easy for you to navigate your way to the Georgia Aquarium.
You can also use a bus, train, or plane to arrive in Atlanta, depending on where you are coming from. However, if you will be coming by car or bus to the Aquarium in downtown Atlanta, leave plenty of time so that you won’t be caught up by traffic.
There is a big parking area with covered walkways and you won’t have to worry about where to park your car.
Even if you are visiting Georgia Aquarium for just one day, it helps to plan ahead for how much you will spend. When traveling with kids, be ready to have cash on hand for snacks, meals, and drinks.
Also, you may have to pay extra for some activities they want to engage in at the Aquarium. The ticket prices depend on the day and time you are intending to visit.
Nevertheless, most visitors going to this place prefer paying for the family combo membership ticket because it is much cheaper and you can bring two more of your friends. This ticket also has some discounts on programs, parking, and the Cafe Aquaria expenses.
If your children are under 2 years, you won’t have to pay for them.
There is also a gift shop at the Aquarium and you will need to carry some extra cash in case your kids want to take home a giant stuffed fish to keep the memories of the water world.
List Your Prefered Attractions/Activities
You need to know what activities your kids want to participate in while at the Aquarium. You don’t want to leave the place with unsatisfied children.
By listing the activities down in order of priority, you will plan your time well and have your kids visit the things they most wanted to see while you are there.
Additionally, by having an idea of the activities, you will choose the right attire for the place. The Aquarium is full of millions of gallons of water. If your kids will be taking part in any in-water activity, you need to carry some swimming outfits for them.
I’ve listed some of the most popular attractions further down, for you to consider adding to your list. Continue reading all the way to the bottom to see my recommendations of what you need to see!
What You Need To Know When Visiting The Georgia Aquarium With Kids
As much as you want your kids to have fun, this is not a place that’s best to visit spur-of-the-moment, and that’s why I started by sharing some tips on how to plan your visit. You also need to know a few things before taking your kids to watch the swimming sharks at Georgia Aquarium. Here is what you need to know.
Georgia Aquarium is not like other aquariums in the USA more so when it comes to tickets. To access your way into the Aquarium, you will be required to part with $40 for adults and $32 for kids between 3 and 12 years, while the seniors are charged $36.
In case you live nearby or your family likes the place and would wish to visit often, consider buying the unlimited pass. However, these charges keep on changing and therefore you should contact the aquarium before visiting.
You also need to set aside some $10 for the parking fee. However, you can check for better deals and offers on their website and if you are lucky you will be given a discount of up to 20% for online purchasing.
If you are a Georgia resident, you can hold your birthdays at the Georgia Aquarium for free. Members of the military are also given a discount on Military Mondays, so if you’re active or retired military, you can take advantage of that.
Additionally, remember to call the Aquarium and confirm the visiting hours since they are subject to change.
Wheelchairs are available at Georgia Aquarium but on a first come first serve basis. However, you will be required to present a picture ID at the main entrance and also at the information desk.
This means that the place is friendly and accommodates visitors with mobility challenges. Additionally, there are several audio and tactile exhibits for those with hearing challenges.
If you visit the website of Georgia Aquarium, you will get a lot of information and instructions in regards to parking. The parking deck has over 1600 spaces all of which are well-lit, safe, and clean. If you book your ticket in advance, you will pay $12 but have a guarantee of getting a space.
If you decide to pay at the entrance, the parking fee will be $10, but you take the chance of arriving to a full lot, in which case you’ll have to look for parking elsewhere.
Getting Around (Consider Leaving the Stroller Home)
It won’t be easy to find your way through the crowds if you have strollers. For instance, if you will be carrying a stroller to the dolphin show, the staff will direct you to the back where you will have to leave it and get a tag.
Therefore it is advisable not to bring too much stuff to the aquarium because it will end up being a real pain to tote everything around inside.
For security measures, it is wise to first agree on a meeting spot with your kids in case you get separated. Let them know the kind of people they can talk to within the aquarium.
Also, take a photo of your young ones as an added safety measure so you don’t forget what they were wearing, and to show Aquarium security if you need help locating your kids.
Food And Restaurants
In the midst of a busy day, your kids could experience a serious hunger-caused meltdown and if that happens, there will be no more fun.
Snacks from outside are not allowed at the Georgia Aquarium and so you have to be well prepared. A helpful tip is to ensure that everyone has had a heavy breakfast before starting their day in the aquarium.
There are enough restaurants within the Aquarium where you can treat your family to a hot lunch. You will have lots of dining options once you have done several rounds but that again depends on your budget.
You also have the option of taking a break and searching for restaurants that are outside the Aquarium. However, ensure you are informed about re-entry at the security desk.
If you don’t like feeding your family with foods you have to buy, you can have a cooler packed with sandwiches, soft drinks, and snacks. You can take a break from the Aquarium and go have a picnic by your car or in a nearby park.
This is also a great way of saving money, although a change is as good as a rest and your family might appreciate a different taste more.
The Georgia Aquarium Is Noisy!
Expect a lot of noise in the aquarium especially during the weekends, thanks to the huge crowds. The huge TV screens, interactive displays, the staff giving directions with microphones, and the wild singing in the atrium are all great sources of noise in the aquarium.
If your kids are not used to noise, here are tips that will help them not have a hard time.
- Visit the aquarium early or later in the day to avoid the crowds.
- Carry noise-canceling headphones for kids.
- Go to the areas that are less noisy like the acrylic tunnel or chill out at the ice wall.
- Take some leave by going for lunch outside the Aquarium.
Special Events For Kids
The Aquarium has special events for kids and those that live near Atlanta are more advantaged. Here are some of the events you should check out for your kids.
Sleepovers: Treat your kids to a night of counting fish at the Georgia Aquarium. They will not forget the fun and exploration at this place anytime soon. The sleepover events include a complimentary breakfast, bedtime snack, and sleeping bag. This event is for kids who are over 7 years and must be accompanied by an adult.
Toddler Time: This is an event that features special songs and stories for kids with certain themes. The toddler time events take place once a month for only one and half hours at the Oceans Ballroom. This is an experience like no other and your young one will enjoy it to the fullest.
Summer camps: There are camping events at the aquarium and your kids will be glad to be part of them. During the camp, campers get to discover and explore the wonderful ecosystem of the ocean and participate in other activities.
Georgia Aquarium Activities For Kids
The aquarium has endless activities for kids but you’ll be savvy to have an idea of what some of them are. Your kids will not only marvel at the beautiful blue ocean but also learn a lot. Here are some of the activities.
1. Experience The Sharks
Your kids can have a one-on-one experience with the predators of the deepsea at Georgia Aquarium. The shark gallery has millions of gallons of saltwater and it’s covered with acrylic windows from the floor to the ceiling thus giving the visitors a close encounter with the sea’s most feared creature.
2. Seabird Habitat
This is another fantastic activity your kids will enjoy. The habitat features lots of seabirds including tufted puffins, murres, and some horned birds. Most of the birds were brought to the aquarium from Atlanta. This water Quest gallery is something they will never forget.
3. Dolphin Shows
The experience at the dolphin show is fun and educational. Your kids will be excited as the dolphins showcase their intelligence.
Nevertheless, your 3-year-old baby might be frightened because of the loud noise and the effects of the show’s sound, so prepare them ahead of time about what they will see and hear. Or be ready to make an exit if it’s too much for your little one.
4. California Sea Lions
You don’t have to be in California to experience the sea lions because Georgia Aquarium is home to a number of these fascinating animals.
At the Aquarium, you have a close look at this seal species known for noisy barking, playfulness, and intelligence. Your kids will love seeing the unique way in which these creatures swim.
5. 4-D Theatre Programs
A visit to Georgia Aquarium can not be complete without your kids viewing a 4D theatre program. The theatre is listed as one of the most advanced theatres in the world with an unmatchable immersive experience. They will explore the underwater world with fun while seated in unique seats that move to enhace the life-like view.
How Long Does It Take To Cover The Georgia Aquarium?
The time it takes to go through Georgia Aquarium depends on what you want to see. It will, however, take you approximately 4 hours if you want to see everything, if you keep moving along at a reasonable pace.
If you have kids, you might take half or a whole day if they will participate in the activities available at the aquarium. Also, crowds determine the time it takes to make your way through all the exhibits in the aquarium. When there are too many other people, you might not have to wait a bit to see a particular show.