Family Fun: Aquariums in Minnesota

Fish in Aquarium

Maybe finding a fishing pole, buying bait, putting on a life jacket and getting into a boat (or walking on a dock) is not your thing, but you still really appreciate fish.

If that’s the case, we have rounded up where you can go to visit some fish and appreciate their beauty–Minnesota Aquariums, Zoos, and even Pet Shops.

Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth Minnesota
Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth

Special Treats

Great Lakes Aquarium

353 Harbor Drive, Duluth, MN 55802
Open daily, $16-$20/pp plus $10-$20 parking.

If you are looking for a Day Adventure, you can head up to Duluth.  While you are there, you can check out the aquarium, which features fish you find in Minnesota, the Amazon River and sea creatures found in oceans around the world.

Great Lakes Aquarium makes education fun while exploring  the  importance of freshwater.  And being that it’s on the shore of Lake Superior there is an intense focus on that incredible resource.
Covid safety protocols are being followed, and you can learn more on their website.

Check out what Anne’s family loves about the aquarium in this article.


Rosedale Shopping Center, 1595 Highway 36 West, Suite 578, Roseville, MN 55113
$13.99 General Admission.

This is a hands-on experience covering 20,000 square feet. SeaQuest wants their guests to touch, feed & interact with animals including rays, fish, otters, sloth, and kinkajou. Note that many of the experiences cost extra, so you may want to prepare your kids ahead with your expectations regarding the extras.

Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium

Mall of America, 120 East Broadway East Side, Level One, Bloomington, MN 55425
$18.99+ (Prices are subject to change)

Minnesota’s largest aquarium hosts two 14-ft-long sawfish, sea turtles, giant sharks, and lots of other tropical fish and rays and such.  Stroll through unique settings the underwater tunnel, the rainforest, the coral caves, and a lagoon. There is not a lot of hands-on opportunities, but it is a very clean experience and the tunnels are cool and calming.

Family walking through Sea Life Tunnel with stinkrays, fish and a sea turtle swimming overhead.
Families will find stingrays, turtles, sharks & more. Images courtesy of SEA LIFE Mall of America

Minnesota Zoo

13000 Zoo Boulevard, Apple Valley, MN 55124
Admission: $13.95-$19.95 (plus parking)

Rays and sharks, seahorses and sea dragons, and various coral reefs fill Discovery Bay with fish and fun of all kinds.  A day at the MN Zoo can be a full day, and Discovery Bay is definitely a highlight.

Free Aquariums in Minnesota

Como Park Zoo

1225 Estabrook Drive, St. Paul, 55103

You can enjoy our finned friends in two locations at Como Zoo.  First catch them in Tropical Encounters attached to the Visitor’s Center.  And you will also find them in the Aquatic Center (this is an odiferous building, but one of my kids’ favorites) where you can check out the penguins as well.

Pet Shops

Here is a list of pet shops you could browse the tanks with your kids to get them excited about the world under the sea (or, in the case of Minnesota, in the lake).

Aqualand Aquarium Center 5355 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis

Aquascapes 5705 Colfax Ave S, Minneapolis

A World of Fish 1516 E 66th St, Richfield

Petco Multiple Locations around the Twin Cities

PetSmart Multiple Locations around the Twin Cities

Reader Recommendation: Quality Aquatics Pet Shop, 9205 Lexington Ave NE #4, Circle Pines, MN 55014. Reader Eryn tells us that this pet store has beautiful freshwater tanks and the owners are friendly.

Pet Supplies Plus 4751 Hiawatha Ave, Minneapolis

Premier Aquarium Service 5801 Excelsior Blvd Parking Lot Along, Yosemite Ave S, Minneapolis

Reef Collective 1459 1st Ave NW, New Brighton

Sea Level 8590 Excelsior Blvd, Hopkins

Sonnen’s Pet Shop 406 St. Peter St, St. Paul

Wet World 3390 Coachman Rd, Eagan

2 thoughts on “Family Fun: Aquariums in Minnesota”

  1. For folks in the north metro: We are big fans of Quality Aquatics in Circle Pines. Beautiful freshwater tanks and friendly owners.

    1. Thanks, Eryn. I’ll add your recommendation. There is just something special about going to look at fish.

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