Sea Life Aquarium at Legloand
The Sea Life Aquarium at Legoland California is a kid-oriented aquarium where children can see and learn about sea creatures all within a "sunken shipwreck" theme. This aquarium is not the biggest nor is it the best; however, it is designed with kids in mind.
The place is filled with crawl spaces, cubby holes and mysterious windows to peer into. Some of the exhibits have domes where you can crawl in as if you were a part of the exhibit.
Some of the displays have normal, flat windows while others have a concave (bowl) or convex (dome) glass. Some rooms have wrap-around glass with fish within.
This facility is stocked with display tanks. You will find sharks, sting rays, sea horses, star fish, Garibaldi, sea anemones, clown fish (Nemo), lobsters, shrimps, octopus, jelly fish, coral, and more.
There are some educational plaques and a few educational displays. For example, a wall showing the different sizes of shark jaws, or a plastic cross-section of a fish with the internal organs exposed. Remember to pick up a scratch card: if you get all the answers correct, you may win a prize.
Artificial tide pools allow children to explore the intertidal zone. Docents are available to answer questions and assist children with their hands-on experience.
There is a puppet show featuring fun creatures such as Octopus, Hammerhead shark, and a snail.
There is a pleasant theater where videos are shown. Feeding times are sure to delight (See schedule).
Noteworthy displays include the Shoaling Ring where all 4 sides of the room is filled with water and fish.
The glass tube is also cool: walk through and see the fish and sharks glide overhead. The stingray tank is also interesting featuring large fish, sharks, and sting rays.
You know you have come to the end when you see a large art project on the wall. It is in the shape of a whale with trash pasted on the inside (plastic bottle caps, lost flip-flops, broken beach shovels, etc). On the whale's flipper, there is a message to "share the planet".
Bathrooms, food, and gift shop are located at the end. The Ocean Journey Cafe which offers standard fare: salad, sandwiches, Mac N Cheese, drinks and desserts. Indoor and outdoor seating available. At the corner is a Lego table where children can play while parents eating.
The Gift Shop is quaint. You will find stuffed animals, games, t-shirts, Sea Life related Lego sets, and ocean-themed jewelry.
Things to Consider
Sea Life Aquarium is mostly indoors with no windows: this is to say, it is dark inside. If your child is afraid of the dark, this is not be a good attraction for them.
The passage ways are narrow (like those in a submarine) so parents with backpacks and/or strollers be warned! You will likely bump into things/people when you turn or move in a direction that is not forward. It is also difficult for adults to enter crawl spaces and this is rendered almost impossible if you have a bulky backpack.
Although this facility has information plaques and docents to help explain things, Sea Life Aquarium is really geared towards having fun. Kids can crawl under low spaces, touch things, and press their face against the glass. The educational aspects of the facility is not its strong point - it is after all, associated with an amusement park and not a research station.
The bathrooms are on the second floor near the exit. If you or your child need to use the toilets, be prepared to run upstairs past the cafeteria and down the hall to reach the bathrooms.
Location, Hours of Operation, Price of Admission
Sea Life Aquarium
1 Legoland Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Price: You can buy entry into the:
- aquarium only ($20 for adults; $15 for children),
- aquarium and Legoland ($93 for adults; $83 for children)
- aquarium, the water park, and Legoland ($99 for adults; $89 for children).
- If you already have a Legoland pass or ticket, you can "upgrade" (get admission into Sea Life) for an additional $10 or $15.
Hours: hours vary depending on the season. during peak months, Sea Life is open from 9 am to 8 pm. During low season, it is open from 10 am to 5 pm. Check for details