Disclosure: I am an #ambassador for SeaLife Michigan. I have received free passes to explore this facility. All opinions are my own.
So by now I bet you’ve been hearing all kinds of buzz about the new Sea Life aquarium
scheduled to open it’s gates on January 29th in Auburn Hills, MI
. Many of you have contacted me with questions about what it is really like and if it is worth the drive, the costs and the time spent to go. Today I would like to share with you some of the features and photos of the new aquarium to help you make your own decision.
Where is it located?
First, let’s start with the details. The Sea Life Michigan aquarium is located in the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills, MI. The newly designed aquarium is the new next door neighbor to the Rainforest Cafe, a long time favorite of my family’s.
What is it Like Inside?
When my family and I first walked into the aquarium, we were directed into a small room to wait for our tour time to start. As I looked around the bright orange room with two great big doors ahead of me, I had no idea what I would find just on the other side but I knew that it would be great. The anticipation was overcoming me as the opened up to doors and I found myself taking my first steps into an underwater world like I’ve never seen before.
On the other side of the doors was a entirely new world created. There were brightly lit fish tanks with interactive elements, such as this bubble into which would allow you to crawl into the center of the tank for a new perspective.
On the walls next to each tank hung a computer screen to learn more about the creatures swimming around you. The interactive screens displayed pictures for easy recognition and fun facts about the natural habitat, size and hazards these creatures may find in the wild.
For added learning, each room in the aquarium is dedicated to a different location and replicates what that location may appear like in real life. For example, this room (the Harbor) is designed to look like you are walking under the bay and features the types of creatures you may come in contact with in this location. Another room (the Shipwreck) is designed to look like you are walking into the bows of a ship underwater and includes creatures that you might find there, such as an octopus and sharks.
This aquarium truly is an experience. Just take a look at this room, which is one of my favorites, in which you are surrounded by a circle of tanks. The calming blue colors and the swirl of the fish surrounding me was mesmerizing.
Some of the other rooms included a jelly fish room, complete with a jelly fish wall decorative jelly fish hanging over head. There is also a 3D tank, which creates an appearance of the fish swimming out to kiss you on the nose.
There are also opportunities to come face to face with a stingray and view them from a new angle, which I thinks shows their true personalities.
And if you are brave enough, this aquarium features a touch pool! Inside the low sitting tank are starfish, crabs and other friendlier species available for petting. My son was braver than I and touched the starfish, however, neither of us was ready to touch the decorator crab. Eek, it looked like a wolf spider crawling around underwater! These are the things nightmares are made of!
At the end of our journey we found ourselves within one of the most spectacular views of all, a 180 degree tunnel. All around me there were fish, stingrays and other creatures swirling. I found a nice bench inside and sat for awhile to take it all in. Truly spectacular.
My family as a whole enjoyed this experience together and ended up spending about an hour visiting with the tanks and exploring the interactive elements within. This time could differ per family and age group.
Advanced tickets are recommended. This is because the aquarium only allows so many ticket sales per half hour slot to keep the crowds down and the experience personal.
Tickets are sold online and at the door for designated times.
How much do tickets cost?
Right now, before the grand opening, ticket prices are $17.50 each for 3+ (under 3 are FREE!). After the grand opening, prices at the door will be $23.50 for adults and $18.50 for children ages 3-12 (3 and under FREE).
Annual passes are also available and provide a discounted rate from the regular priced tickets. These may also be purchase online before the grand opening for a greater discounted price.
Other Helpful Information:
There is a play structure at the end of the aquarium, which is included in your ticket price.
There are restrooms located inside the aquarium.
Strollers are welcome!
At the end of the tour, a gift shop is available to purchase souvenirs from your visit.
Do you and your family plan on visiting the Sea Life Michigan aquarium? What are you most excited to see? Tell us about it in the comments.
Don’t forget, we’ve got a giveaway going on for free family passes and more! Click HERE
to visit the giveaway.
Curious about the progress of the aquarium from start to finish? I’ve been documenting it all along. Check out these other fun articles.