Behind the Scenes Family Fun at the Georgia Aquarium (Giveaway!)

Disclosure: The Georgia Aquarium provided me with two free tickets as well as one night hotel accommodations at the Hilton Garden Suite in exchange for my honest review.

Edited to add: This giveaway is closed. Congratulations to Jennifer Haendel for winning the Georgia Aquarium prize pack!

Atlanta is one of our favorite family road trip destinations. Just a four-hour drive from Nashville, it’s the perfect distance to get away, without exceeding the “Are we there yet?” limit.

With big city Southern sophisticated dining, shopping, and entertainment experiences for mom and dad, as well as tons of family friendly activities, it’s perfect for a weekend getaway.

The Georgia Aquarium, located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, is one of the world’s largest aquariums and one of our favorite must attractions in the city.

We ended our recent spring break staycation with a surprise trip to Atlanta. My older daughter was out of town, so my 9-year-old Miss A and I hit the road and spent a recent Saturday at the Georgia Aquarium. Part of our day at the aquarium included an amazing behind the scenes tour, offered as an add-on to regular admission for ages 10 and over. As part of this special hour tour, visitors get to visit the top of the Ocean Voyager exhibit to view feedings as well as tour the facilities that keep the aquarium running. Lucky for us we were also able to see new baby penguins as well as the aquarium’s “kitchen” featuring the largest walk-in freezer filled with restaurant quality seafood I’ve ever seen. The residents of the Georgia Aquarium eat very well!

Jellyfish

The Georgia Aquarium features five primary exhibitions:

  • Cold Water Quest

  • River Scout

  • Georgia Explorer

  • Ocean Voyager

  • Tropical Diver

It’s difficult to choose which one is our favorite, but my 9-year-old really gravitated toward Cold Water Quest (she absolutely LOVED the sea otters and wanted to “visit” them twice) and I think the sea otters love their adoring fans as they put on quite a show.

You can easily spend an entire day at the Georgia Aquarium. I’d suggest purchasing your tickets in advance online and arriving when the doors open. Plan to stay most of the day, breaking it up with performances and lunch. Also note that the aquarium sometimes has extended hours, such as during spring break.

There are so many great things to see and explore at Georgia Aquarium. This was our second visit and I’m sharing some of our kid-friendly favorites.

Georgia Aquarium Must Dos Kids


10 Must Dos for Kids at Georgia Aquarium

  1. Touch a ray at the touch pool located at the entrance of the Georgia Explorer exhibit

  2. See the amazing acrobatic talent of the performing dolphins in Dolphin Tales

  3. Watch Deepo’s Undersea 3D Wondershow

  4. Observe divers feeding the fish

  5. Book an Animal Encounter experience (the aquarium features three: Dolphin Encounter, See Otter Encounter, and Penguin Encounter)

  6. Get a sneak peek at the amazing care and feeding that keeps the aquarium creatures healthy and happy by booking a one-hour Behind the Scenes Tour

  7. Have lunch at the Cafe Aquaria Food Court

  8. Explore the fun indoor playground in the Georgia Explorer exhibition

  9. Walk through the incredible clear aquarium tunnel in Ocean Voyager (this exhibit alone contains 6,300,000 gallons water) and get a glimpse at what it’s like to be surrounded by thousands of fish, plus spot the gentle giants, whale sharks and mantas.

  10. Have a caricature artist sketch your likeness for a unique souvenir. My daughter loved hers!

The Georgia Aquarium also features AT&T Dolphin Tales, an amazing performance featuring live actors, special effects, a musical score, and performing dolphins. It’s kind of a mix between Broadway and the Rockettes, but with sea creatures.

One of the coolest experiences at the aquarium, however, involves what you don’t see. Offering Behind the Scenes Tours for visitors, ages 10 and up, the Georgia Aquarium does a great job of educating the public on marine life. During our Behind the Scenes Tour I was impressed to learn that 25% of the Georgia Aquarium building (which opened in 2005) is earmarked for education. Besides the usual tours and day visits, the aquarium also offers camps, overnight experiences, and other special events highlighting education and awareness.

During our weekend stay we had overnight accommodations at the downtown Hilton Garden Inn which was literally just steps away from the aquarium’s entrance. Although we travel quite a bit, this was actually our first time staying at a Hilton Garden Inn property and we loved it. The outdoor heated pool was my 9-year-old’s favorite amenity, but a close second was the indoor heated pool. I also appreciated the indoor gym and being able to walk on the treadmill while keeping an eye on her in the pool. We both loved dining downstairs at Legal Seafood and my daughter had her first ever Shirley Temple. We will definitely rebook the Hilton Garden Inn the next time we are in Atlanta.

Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta View

Our fantastic view of the Atlanta skyline from our spacious and comfy room at the Hilton Garden Suite. You can see the SkyView Ferris Wheel in the distance (which was gorgeously lit at night!)


Some of the perqs I loved, besides a spacious room and bathroom, were the Neutrogena brand toiletries and the Keurig coffee maker. The Georgia Aquarium Package offered by the downtown Atlanta Hilton Garden Inn includes two tickets to the aquarium as well as free breakfast, which was also a fantastic buffet. The downtown Atlanta Hilton Garden Inn is also within walking distance to the World of Coca Cola.

Looking for a fun getaway this summer? If you haven’t visited the Georgia Aquarium, it’s perfect for families and kids of all ages. Be sure to visit the official Georgia Aquarium Plan Your Visit guide!

Here’s a fun update Georgia Aquarium would like to share with my Southern readers:

Southern Hospitality Discount- Save $6 on Total Tickets!!


Hey neighbors! Georgia Aquarium is showing our southern hospitality to our neighbors in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and Florida. We invite you to visit us for just $29.95 +tax for an adult Total Ticket this spring, until June 13, 2014. That’s a nearly 17% savings on our regular price ticket.


Just show your valid ID from one of the states listed above at our ticketing window and tell our guest services representative that you want the Southern Hospitality Discount. Not available for purchase online, as you must show your ID to receive this special pricing.


WIN IT


One lucky BlondeMomBlog reader will win four tickets to the Georgia Aquarium as well as a behind-the-scenes tour and a parking voucher! To enter, just leave a comment on this post letting me know which exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium you’d like to check out the most. For up to four additional entries (and please leave a comment below for each of these you choose to do):

      • Let me know if you are a fan of BlondeMomBlog on Facebook

      • Follow BlondeMomBlog on Twitter

      • Follow BlondeMomBlog on Instagram

      • Tweet the following - I entered to win 4 tickets to @GeorgiaAquarium on @BlondeMomBlog #giveaway http://blondemomblog.com/?p=21107

I’ll select a winner from all eligible comments using Random.org; giveaway closes at midnight CST Friday, May 23. The giveaway is open only to U.S. residents, ages 18+.

The following two tabs change content below.
I'm Jamie, a 40-something Nashville mom desperately seeking a few moments of Zen and zinfandel between soccer practice and supper. I love to travel, find great deals, and talk with my hands. My former beach bartender husband founded MouseCalls Computer Services. We have two daughters, three dogs, and too much laundry. Email me at blondemomblog @ gmail.com.

Comments

  1. shaunie says:

    I follow you on Fb as facebook.com/trabajardd

  2. shaunie says:

    I follow you on twitter as twitter.com/sandyhills25

  3. shaunie says:

    I follow you on instagram as instagram.com/sandyhills25

  4. shaunie says:
  5. Jaclyn Reynolds says:

    Would love to see the Georgia Explorer exhibit!

  6. Jaclyn Reynolds says:

    Instagram follower- jaclynfett

  7. Jaclyn Reynolds says:

    FB fan JR Reynolds

  8. maria simon says:

    I LIKED ON FACEBOOK…UNDER MARIA SIMON

  9. RICHARD HICKS says:

    I want to see the river scout exhibit.

  10. RICHARD HICKS says:

    fb fan

    Richard Hicks

  11. RICHARD HICKS says:

    follow you twitter

    @ardy22

  12. RICHARD HICKS says:

    follow instagram

    gmrich22

  13. RICHARD HICKS says:
  14. Lauren H says:

    I would visit dolphin area

  15. Lauren H says:

    I liked on facebook

  16. Lauren H says:

    I added on twitter

  17. Leigh Anne Borders says:

    I feel like the rabbit on Alice in Wonderland. I know I’m late but just in case you have not selected, I thought I would enter. I would love to visit the cold water area where the penguins are. I follow on FB and Twitter.

  18. Wonderful beat ! I wish to apprentice at the same time as you amend your web site, how can i subscribe
    for a blog site? The account aided me a acceptable deal.
    I were tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered shiny transparent idea

  19. Appreciating the dedication you put into your site and in depth information you provide.
    It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same
    old rehashed information. Great read! I’ve
    bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google
    account.

  20. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all people you actually
    understand what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Please also consult with my web site =).
    We will have a hyperlink change agreement between us

  21. Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.
    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog?

    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.
    I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to begin.

    Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thank you

  22. Hi my friend! I want to say that this article is awesome,
    great written and include approximately all significant infos.
    I would like to see extra posts like this .

  23. I go to see everyday some sites and sites to read articles,
    but this web site gives feature based content.

  24. I like the valuable info you supply in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your blog and test again here regularly.

    I’m reasonably certain I will learn many new stuff right right here!
    Good luck for the following!

  25. Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which
    blog platform are you using for this website?

    I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at options for
    another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  26. Appreciating the commitment you put into your site and
    detailed information you offer. It’s nice to come across a
    blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated
    rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m
    adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  27. Thanks for another informative website. The place else may I
    am getting that type of information written in such a perfect manner?
    I have a challenge that I’m just now running on, and I’ve been on the look out for such info.

  28. Fabulous, what a blog it is! This website presents valuable data
    to us, keep it up.

  29. Why people still make use of to read news papers when in this
    technological globe the whole thing is existing on web?

  30. Hi there to every one, since I am in fact eager of reading this website’s post to be updated
    daily. It carries good data.

  31. My family always say that I am wasting my time
    here at net, except I know I am getting familiarity every day by reading such nice articles.

  32. Hi there to all, how is the whole thing, I think every one is getting more from this web page, and your views are good designed for new users.

  33. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about news. Regards

  34. This text is worth everyone’s attention. Where can I find out more?

  35. Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your
    efforts and I am waiting for your further write
    ups thanks once again.

  36. I am not sure where you’re getting your info, but great topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for great info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  37. Thanks for any other great post. Where else may just anyone
    get that type of information in such an ideal approach of writing?

    I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such
    information.

Speak Your Mind

*

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin