Seattle Area Adventure: Flipping for the Seattle Aquarium

We love it when family and friends visit.  Not only do we get to spend good, quality time with our loved ones, but it gives us an excuse to explore our city (with less guilt about leaving chores and house duties for another day).  Afterall, we have to show off our sites, right?

Seattle Aquarium Sign

Rain, even in Seattle can put a kink in our step, especially when it’s a downpour, which was the case on this particular day.  To stay dry, we sought shelter at the Seattle Aquarium.  It would actually be a first time visit for Bergen and me, and I was curious to see his reaction to all the sea life.  He loves our visits to the zoo, and we’ve gone to a couple of very small aquariums, but this was his first full-on larger aquarium trip.

We spent a little over an hour and a half exploring the space.  I would have loved to have just a little bit more time, but lunch and nap time were looming.  Even in that short amount of time though we became fans of the place and we picked up a few tips and tricks.

1. Don’t miss the Window on Washington Waters exhibit at the entrance.  At 120,000 gallons of water, this exhibit showcases over 800 fish and invertebrates.  Currently, at 10 am, 11:30 am, and 12:15 pm, a scuba diver swims around and answers questions from the audience.  It’s quite a sight to see! Crowds happen, and if you or your little one are overwhelmed, sneak upstairs to the cafe.  You can look down on the exhibit, and still hear and see all the action, but it’s less congested.

Scuba Diver Seattle Aquarium

2. Take your time. With Bergen, we tend to rush as he’s always on the move, and just breezes through things, but when we stuck around, more magical experiences happened.  When we were a little more patient, we saw…

  • An octopus floating through a glass tube
  • Jellyfish insides light-up
  • Sea Otters roll into a ball and flip in circles

Seattle Aquarium Sea Otters + Jellyfish3. Leave the Stroller Behind.  If your little one is walking, let them roam on their own. You’ll both get more exercise!  For non-walkers, consider a carrier.  For one, it’s crowded.  There are also a lot of obstacles you’ll run into that will make lugging a stroller around a pain.

Touch Tanks Seattle Aquarium

4. Make sure sights are at kid level.  We know Bergen is a mover, but sometimes he would rush past amazing tanks, pools, and other exhibits as if they weren’t even there.  At first we wondered why he didn’t care, then we realized that to him (at his height), it was just a plain, boring wall.  When we lifted him up to see, a whole new world opened up for him! 

Salmon Seattle Aquarium5. Burn off steam at the Underwater Dome.  This unique exhibit gave us a chance to “relax” a bit.  The dome gives viewers a 360 degree view with a feeling like you are actually under the sea, and tank is one of the largest exhibits at 400,000 gallons.  With little sets of stairs to climb and so much to see, we could let Bergen view at his own pace, and he could walk right up to the windows to watch all kinds of creatures swim, float, and whirl by.

Info to Know: 

  • Seattle Aquarium is located in Downtown Seattle on the waterfront: 
    • 1483 Alaskan Way, Pier 59, Seattle, WA 98101
    • Hours: Daily 9:30am-5pm
    • Fees: Adults (13 & over): $19.95, Youth (4-12): $13.95, Child (3 & under): FREE–hooray!
  • Check the website for daily activities to coordinate times of special attractions (like the scuba divers & feeding times) with your visit.
  • To extend your visit and stay out of the rain, check out the Miner’s Landing featuring a carousel, arcade, fun gift shop, and more.
  • For family-friendly local dining spot, try Ivar’s Acres of Clams.

Visited an aquarium lately? Tell us about your experience! Was it worth the visit? Where is your favorite aquarium located? 

Seattle Aquarium: Sea Otter, Touch Tank, Big Wheel

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This post is part of Photo Friday on Delicious Baby.


13 thoughts on “Seattle Area Adventure: Flipping for the Seattle Aquarium

      • He likes the otters the most – fun to see and the first huge aquarium right when you walk in. He doesn’t care for the touch tanks (whatever u call them).

      • Funny. I’m with him on the otters. They are also my favorite. He must like the river otters at the zoo too. Bergen was all about the touch tanks 🙂 Probably has to do with his age & obsession with water!

  1. Great tips for visiting with a little one, particularly the eye-height one. We went to the Seattle Aquarium a few months ago and loved it. It’s certainly not as fancy as most modern aquariums but the touch pools were a huge hit and we found more enthusiastic staff on hand there than any other place we’ve visited.

    • Thanks for your comment, Tracy! So glad you enjoyed your visit to the Seattle Aquarium. I agree with you on the staff. Everyone was so nice and helpful. Informative too, of course. What else did you do while you were in town?

  2. Aquariums are absolutely my kids favourite activity. Your photos are great because I find it difficult to take good shots in aquariums myself. Particularly like the one of Bergen and the rock pool. I just posted about a visit to the Shanghai Chang Feng Aquarium – a great aquarium for little kids.

    • Thanks, Danielle. It was pretty tough for me to get any descent shots. I know exactly how you feel! The fish move so fast so most of the close ups that I tried were all blurry ad then there’s the whole glass aspect 😉 I will go check out your Shanghai aquarium post!

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  4. My guys love this aquarium too! They have a great membership program that offers many ‘early member Sunday mornings’ where members get to come in half an hour early and have the whole aquarium to themselves. This was really beneficial when my guys were smaller because we could go and not worry about the crowds.

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