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Sea Life at Mall of America
Mall of America (East Side, Level One), 120 East Broadway, Bloomington, MN 55425
952-853-0612
Admission: $24.99
13+ $24.99; Age 3-12 $17.49; Under 3 FREE; Annual Memberships Available
Prices fluctuate regularly. We recommend checking the website and pre-purchasing.
Hours of Operation:
Mon. 10:00 AM – 07:30 PM
Tue. 10:00 AM – 07:30 PM
Wed. 10:00 AM – 07:30 PM
Thu. 10:00 AM – 07:30 PM
Fri. 10:00 AM – 08:00 PM
Sat. 09:30 AM – 08:00 PM
Sun. 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Hours subject to change without notice, but they tend to open when the mall opens and accept visitors until one hour before the mall closes.
Details:

Sea Life Minnesota is a for-profit aquarium owned by European-based company, Merlin Entertainments. The aquarium is located on the first floor of the Mall of America. For families who live near enough to visit the MOA often, Sea Life can be a budget-friendly family fun. Read on to get our best advice for saving on Sea Life visits and scroll down to read our comparison of Sea Life Aquariums to Minnesota Zoo Aquariums.

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Touch Pool at Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium in the Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota
Touch Pool Petting Zoo

What to expect on a Visit to the Aquarium

Visitors can view sea creatures, including rescued sea turtles, sharks, seahorses, jellyfish, sting rays and a variety of other fish in large aquariums and end the visit in a petting zoo. The attraction features a 300 foot ocean tunnel that visitors can walk through to view the sea life. Expect to spend an hour to an hour and a half when you visit. However, if you visit regularly with a pass, you can spend more time in your favorite areas and speed through your less-favorite areas. There is no limit (other than store hours) to how long you can visit.

Sea Life Admission Prices

It is always best to buy your tickets online ahead and, if you live in Minnesota, choose the resident deals, they are lower than the already discounted online deals. As of July 2022, online admission was between $22.99 and $28.99. Minnesota residents (with ID) pay $22.99. Tots 2 and under are Free. Prices are subject to frequent change.

Families viewing the Manta Ray at Sea Life in the Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota
Manta Ray

Sea Life Minnesota Discounts and Coupons

Let the tourists pay the high prices. There are ways to save for savvy locals.

    1. First, Twin Cities Frugal Mom offers these Tips on how to Save on Sea Life Tickets.
    2. For Twin Cities residents, membership may be your best bet. A set of individual annual passes come close to the price of a single family visit and then you can visit the rest of the year for free.
    3. Other promotions such as Military Appreciation and Teacher Appreciation discounts can be found here.

Where To Park When Visiting Sea Life MOA?

If you are visiting the Mall of American mainly for Sea Life, then you’ll want to park in the East Parking Lot on the lower level. You will see the aquarium almost immediately upon entering the mall.

A Free Option For Small Kids Who Love Fish

Whether or not you are going to visit Sea Life, it makes a good destination when visiting the MOA with small children. My kids love to hang out and watch the fish in the aquarium at the front of the store. No, this is not anywhere near as cool as the actual aquarium, but for families with toddlers, it can be part of your route when you visit the mall. It is right next to Barnes & Noble, so you can time your stop to coincide with a story hour and maybe even get a treat at the chocolate counter across the hall before walking over to the LEGO Store for some playtime.

SEA LIFE MOA
Image Courtesy SEA LIFE Mall of America

Sea Life vs. Minnesota Zoo

For the Most Part Minnesota Zoo Wins:

Sea Life tends to be more of a tourist destination that the zoo. Since the Minnesota Zoo is just 15 minutes away, costs less and provides more, it is often the better choice for local families. A household membership to the zoo is also the better deal as it allows you to bring all your minor children for one annual price, whereas a Sea Life Membership is per person and will cost more for a family of three*.

  • Minnesota Zoo 2022 Household Membership: $155 – 2 adults and all children ages 21 and under.
  • Sea Life Premium Membership Each Adult: $74.99, Each Child: $59.99.
  • Sea Life Week Day Membership (no weekends, no holidays): Each Adult: $44.99, Each Child: $35.99.

*As with their Sea Life daily tickets, membership prices fluctuate and you may be able to find a better deal on annual memberships if you keep an eye out for it.

Where Sea Life is Better:

The upside of Sea Life is that it is housed in the MOA, where parking is free and there are other family-friendly activities that are also free or offer annual memberships.

We highly recommend annual passes for those who want to visit the Mall of America regularly with kids. The mall can be loud and the sensory overload can be too much for anyone. Sea Life is an escape from that environment. The underwater tunnels are cool, calmly lit and quiet – even on busy days. With annual passes, a family always has a quiet place to take a break when needed. Once you get to know the aquarium, you can just go to your favorite places and spend as little or as much time as you need. Tots 2 and under are always free at Sea Life. If you plan to regularly attend Toddler Tuesdays with your 1- or 2-year-old, only the parent will need a membership pass lowering your cost significantly.

Sea Life Tunnel
Image courtesy of SEA LIFE Mall of America

We recommend visiting on Tuesday with your younger kids. The mall is less busy and there are special Toddler Tuesday activities and deals aimed at smaller children. Other kid-friendly stores include:

  • The nearby LEGO store (especially when the build area is open)
  • You may want to consider a membership to Crayola Experience as a companion to your Sea Life Membership. This will give you plenty of spontaneous free family fun anytime you want to drop into the mall.
  • If you visit on a Saturday, drop by Barnes & Noble (next door to the aquarium) around mid-morning for a story hour or just visit Barnes & Noble anytime on your own for a quiet respite from the business of the mall.
  • For more ideas, Gianna has created a MOA Floor by Floor Guide, outlining her favorite places to visit with kids.

Mermaid Sitting with Little Girl at Sea Life Mall of America
I met a Mermaid a Sea Life! Read about my experience here.

Birthday Party Packages are available that include aquarium admission for up to 10 people. To add a party to your birthday outing, the Ultimate Party Pack admits up to 15 people, and includes a 30-minute party as part of the package.

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