There is a new dolphin show at the Georgia Aquarium, celebrating 10 years in Atlanta…and a new sea lion experience you don’t want to miss. Those are reason enough to head to the world’s largest indoor oceanic playground…but we’ve got 50 MORE things you can experience with Georgia Aquarium.
AT&T Dolphin Celebrations
The team at Georgia Aquarium is celebrating 10 years, and they have an wonderful new dolphin program to capture the excitement- Dolphin Celebration. Unlike the theatrical show previously, this upbeat and education show is more about the dolphins than the “story line.”
The first half of the new show is led by a dolphin trainer. He tells you about the dolphin training program and about the animals themselves. Nope, it’s not a lecture. Other trainers are with the dolphins in the water at the same time, so you still get to experience these amazingly intelligent animals’ full-on adorable antics.
The second part of the show is even more exciting…the lights get dimmer and the music get louder…and the dolphins are the stars of the show. You’ll see them leap, swim, splash and wave in amazing choreography – demonstrating just how athletic and smart these amazing mammals are!
I love this new show! I think it is head and shoulders above the previous production. My boys learned several new things about the dolphins, and we were wowed by the dolphin-centric production at the end. It’s all about the dolphins this time, with more dolphin interactions than before. Don’t miss it!
Performances are included in your general admission ticket price; see website for times.
Under the Boardwalk
Head Under the Boardwalk to see the aquarium’s newest addition to the performance schedule – a fun and entertaining sea lion presentation.
Sea lions are exceptionally social animals, and their trainers will show you how they train these animals and what tricks they are currently learning. Because the pups are constantly improving their stage skills, you can expect a “new” show every week or so.
You’ll see adult sea lions Nav and Diego, as well as the sea lion pups that were rescued from California- Neptune, Scout, Beck and Jupiter. In fact, there are 14 sea lions at the aquarium!
Performances are included in your general admission ticket price; see website for times. I would be remiss if I did not tell you that I have not yet seen the sea lions because I was not prepared for their popularity! After the dolphin show, we headed to the sea lion theatre about 45 minutes prior to the show time…and it was already filled!! Get there early to enjoy the fun!
More Things to Do While You’re There
Make your fun filled adventure a learning experience as well with this fun Scavenger Hunt.
Don’t miss the Laminated Cards at each gallery, with photos and information about the fish you’ll meet. It’s a great scavenger hunt opportunity, as well.
Touch Tanks are located though out the aquarium, where kids can take two gentle fingers to starfish, sand sharks and more.
Don’t miss the Tunnels and Nooks located through the aquarium. We love romping though the penguin tunnel, and watching the piranha at the “secret” peep hole behind their aquarium.
Take a Sea Lion Selfie at the photo kiosk near the new Pier 225 gallery. You can email it to yourself!
Settle into a show at the most advanced 4D theatre in the world. Advance tickets not required; check for show times when you arrive.
Sometimes the line at the main dining hall seems overwhelming. Try Oceans Food Market. It’s a pop-up food court that offers new dining options, providing a fast and easy alternative to Cafe Aquaria, located on the Level 2 rotunda.
While eating lunch, skip the tables on the first floor and head to the Oceans Ballroom on the second floor where you can Dine with the Beluga Whales.
Visit Deepo’s Hideaway throughout the day to laugh, sing and play along with Deepo and learn more about his underwater world.
Aquanaut Adventure: A Discovery Zone is the newest gallery at the aquarium, where kids can learn more about aquatic life while completing a series of entertaining challenges.
Cold Water Quest gallery lets you see sea otters, penguins, beluga whales and more.
River Scout gallery is where you will come face-to-face with pirhana, albino alligators and other freshwater creatures.
See whale sharks, manta rays and other great species at the Ocean Voyager gallery.
Tropical Diver is home to clown fish, jelly fish, sea horses and other beautiful and bright creatures.
Enhance Your Visit to Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium App lets you explore the exhibits while you are visiting. Forget to download it at home? No worries – the fish provide FREE WiFi.
Go Behind the Scenes to see a whale shark feeding and more. Our aquarium is the only place outside of China with whale sharks, and the only place in the world you are guaranteed to interact with them while diving. Now you can see why I was so excited about being invited on a Georgia Aquarium Behind the Scenes Tour!
First things first…I didn’t realize this until my post-visit research, but the BTS tour is very affordable. For only $15 over general admission price you can take the Quick Dip Tour…the $50 option gives you the opportunity to see the top of Ocean Voyager and possibly see them feed the whale sharks! I know – It’s not cheap…but it’s perfect for a birthday gift or special occasion. And it has truly made our Ga Aquarium experiences since the BTS tour much more exciting and enjoyable!
Get your Photo Taken with the family while you are entering the aquarium, and pick it up at the station inside.
See a penguin waddling by… trainers will lead several African penguins on a stroll across the Aquarium’s main Atrium during the daily Waddle Walk.
You’ll exit through the gift shop so that you can be sure to pick up a souvenir of your visit. If you weren’t able to make a purchase at that time, you can always shop again online.
If you love visiting the aquarium then consider an Annual Family Membership. It is basically paid for within two visits if you have 2 adults and 2 children. It also gives you two additional tickets and other perks and savings opportunities.
On the second floor rotunda you can have a Caricature made, or get your Face Painted in order to dazzle the fish.
Don’t miss Feeding Times; they are posted near the animal’s exhibits. We enjoy seeing the Sea Otters fed, as well as the piranhas.
Before you visit or after you return, if you want to learn more about a certain animal then see the the Animal Guides on the website.
Homeschool your kiddos? Check at the beginning of each school year for “In the Field” homeschool opportunities at the aquarium.
Want to extend the learning experience? Find Lesson Plans online for grades K-12.
If you miss your new friends, don’t despair. Just visit the live webcams to see the penguins, whales and more.
Want to see more exciting things happening at the Aquarium? Consider joining the Next Wave Society. These are professionals committed to increasing philanthropic support and awareness of the Aquarium’s exhibits, conservation and research initiatives, and educational programs.
Georgia Aquarium Discount Tickets
There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but you’ll appreciate a discount on kids’ meals. For $5.95 they receive whole fruit or Gold Fish crackers and a small beverage (10 oz. water, milk or soda). Choices include Mac n’ Cheese, Corn Dog, Uncrustable PB&J or 2-piece Chicken Tender meal.
Enjoy a 30% discount on tickets when you visit during Imagination Nights– after 4pm Thursday – Saturday.
Leverage the Mommy & Me discount Jan – May, where one low price provides tickets for one adult and up to four kiddos.
Don’t want to party here? Georgia residents receive FREE admission on their birthday.
Visit during Military Mondays. Active duty members get in for free, and retired and former members receive a 10% discount.
The early bird gets the worm. Save 20% off gate admission prices when you purchase online or through the call center, and visit during the first 2 hours of the day.
Children dressed as their favorite superhero receive FREE admission on Superhero Day. Special events are planned in the atrium, as well.
Visiting from out of town? Look into a package deal with participating hotels. These Hotel Packages offer admission tickets that let you bypass the ticket line.
If you are planning to make Georgia Aquarium just one stop on a tour, then consider purchasing the Atlanta CityPASS package, which saves you 43% on tickets.
Plan-Ahead Fun At Georgia Aquarium
Spend 90 minutes learning about a new animal each month with your 0-3 yo during Toddler Time.
Sips Under the Sea is a unique cocktail party for adults, allowing you to the Aquarium after hours. You’ll have the entire Aquarium to yourself while enjoying cocktails, tapas and entertainment… all without kids!
Super Special Adventure at Georgia Aquarium
Have your all-inclusive Birthday Party at the world’s largest aquarium.
Families will adore a Sleepover Adventure at the aquarium. See dates for family sleepovers (7yo and older,) adult-only sleepover events and scouting slumber parties.
Journey with Gentle Giants is the only opportunity in the world where you are guaranteed to swim with whale sharks, the largest fish in the world. Swim at the surface with a snorkel or air-compression device.
Meet, touch and feed a dolphin. The Dolphin Encounter is a fun hands-on poolside experience.
Get up close and personal with a penguin at the Penguin Encounter, learning how they are cared for and conserved.
Head backstage for the Sea Otter Encounter where you will tour their facility and interact with these gentle beasts. You’ll even get a photo!
Join over 1500 others who have become a Volunteer at Georgia Aquarium.
Special Events During the Year
World Ocean’s Day is celebrated every June 8, so check for special events at Georgia Aquarium around that time each year.
Warm up at the Aquarium during Winter when they host a live musical performance, bars and tapas once night each week from 5-8pm at WinterFest.
Visit during Austism Awareness Day to leverage a special quiet zone, helpful to those with sensory issues.
Disclosure: Thanks to Georgia Aquarium for providing us tickets to see the new programs that started this spring. It in no way shaped our opinions here. #keepingitreal