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. This tends to be more of a tourist destination since the Minnesota Zoo is just 15 minutes away, costs less and provides more. Not to mention that a household membership to the zoo allows you to bring all your minor children for one annual price. However, 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 regularly.
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 June 2020, online admission was between $19.99 and $24.99. Find the most up-to-date admission prices here. Minnesota residents (with ID) pay $17.99/adult and $13.99/child.
Sea Life Minnesota Discounts and Coupons
Let the tourists pay the high prices. There are ways to save for savvy locals. First, Twin Cities Frugal Mom offers these Tips on how to Save on Sea Life Tickets. For Twin Cities residents, membership may be your best bet. A family of four paying full admission would pay $84.96 on the first visit. 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.
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.
- Image Courtesy SEA LIFE Mall of America
What Else Can I Do With My Kids When We Visit The MOA Aquarium?
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. You will want to visit the LEGO build area and may want to consider a membership to the Crayola Experience as well. If you visit on a Saturday, drop by Barnes & Noble (next door to the aquarium) around mid-morning for a story hour. For more ideas, Gianna has created a MOA Floor by Floor Guide.
Aquarium Birthday Parties for Sea Loving Kids
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.