I was trying to remember the last time I was at the Seattle Aquarium and I am shocked that I think it was over 20 years ago. When I was a child there were three field trips that we went on in elementary school. The options were Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Aquarium and the Fun Forest at the Seattle Center.
I had 2 goals this summer on things to do with my kids. The first one was to go to the Woodland Park Zoo and the second was the Seattle Aquarium. Last Thursday, I took the day off of work and we went to the aquarium. It was very exciting for my 4 year old who could not say "a-kware-e-um" but instead called the it the "care bear-ium" and wanted to know when her furry friends would appear.
Here are the ins and outs of going to the aquarium:
Parking - do not park across from the aquarium but go south at least 1 block past the aquarium or possibly 2 blocks. It is okay to walk and you will save $11 for 2 hours. If you park where I am recommending it ends up being $3 for 2 hours, if you park across from the aquarium it is $14 for 2 hours.
Admission - Adults are $15, Children 4 and up are $10, Children 3 and under are free. Advice: If you have an Entertainment Book then remember to use your coupon of "Buy 1 Admission, Get 1 Free".
Best features - The wall sized fish tank when you first walk in, especially when the diver is in the tank talking to everyone. I would also have to say the sea otters, fur seals and seals.
My children's favorites features - looking for and actually finding Nemo and Dori in the fish tanks.
Time - If you look at the parking situation, you can guess that I am recommending 2 hours. Honestly, we were done after 1 hour and 45 minutes and we went back through the aquarium and hit the starfish/sea urchin section 3 times.
Other advice: As with any kid's activity, go early in the day. We arrived at 11:00am, which is much later than I like and the group tours and buses came a little after us. When we walked back through the aquarium to walk it, it became a mad house. So definitely go when it first opens and then you can be done before the large crowds. Remember that I went on a Thursday in August, I did not go during the weekend so it could already be busy at that time.
In summary, a great place to go and the kids will absolutely love it. Is it as great as I remember as a kid? No, but nothing seems quite as magical when you look back as an adult.