New dolphin show, California sea lions splash into Atlanta.
Plus, “Sips Under The Sea” is for adults only: 21 Plus Salute!
By Hope S. Philbrick
Georgia Aquarium, which first opened in 2005, is one of the world’s largest aquariums. It boasts more than 10 million gallons of water in more than 100 habitats and one of the most abundant collections of aquatic life anywhere. It is the only aquarium in North America that houses manta rays and whale sharks, the largest fish in the world.
The place has earned many well-deserved accolades and is one of the most popular destinations in the city, state and region. I’ve visited it many times. I have not previously featured the Georgia Aquarium on this website, however, because it’s the sort of place where the odds of encountering children run near guaranteed.
As the Georgia Aquarium enters its second decade, it’s debuting several new and improved program options. Yes, you’ll most likely see kids. But so what? It’s worth going anyway if marine life fascinates you. Plus if you really want to avoid youngsters, you can! Just visit during one of the adults-only “Sips Under The Sea” parties.
Georgia Aquarium has seven different galleries that house exhibits representing aquatic environments from arctic to tropical waters. Among the highlights…
The NEW dolphin show (dubbed “Dolphin Celebration,” which replaces Dolphin Tales) is fantastic. It’s informative, entertaining, high energy, shows off the dolphins and trainers—watch the action above and below the water line thanks to the clear-sided tank—emphasizes conservation and respect for wildlife, and (sometimes literally) is splashy all-around good fun.
“Sea Lions: Under the Boardwalk,” is a NEW presentation that showcases this these social marine mammals while watching them interact with trainers. At the same time, you’ll learn the dangers sea lions face in the ocean and key environmental threats.
Georgia Aquarium currently has four sea lions that were rescued from California, where record numbers of sea lion pups are stranding on beaches in search of food. You can expect to see different ages, sizes and skill-levels of sea lions during the entertaining, informative show.
Journey With Gentle Giants
Georgia Aquarium offers several interactive programs that allow you to get close to your favorite aquatic animals while learning about conservation efforts from the pros who work with them daily. Gear up and jump into the 6.3-million gallon Ocean Voyager exhibit tank to swim or dive with whale sharks as part of the “Journey With Gentle Giants” program. Or schedule an encounter with penguins, sea otters, dolphins or another species. (Encounters are available at additional fees; see website for details.)
The Waddle Walk features African penguins as trainers lead several African penguins on a guided walk through the atrium, so you can get an up close look at these creatures. African penguins are listed as endangered and the Waddle Walk aims to educate guests about their plight as well as Georgia Aquarium’s preservation efforts.
Behind the Seas Tour
Opt for a guided behind-the-scenes tour and you’ll learn more about Georgia Aquarium’s conservation efforts, research programs and escape some of the crowds (and number of kids).
Sips Under The Sea
Georgia Aquarium hosts “Sips Under The Sea,” an adults-only after-hours cocktail party periodically. 21 Plus Salute! Get the details here.
225 Baker St. NW
Atlanta GA 30313
@21plusTravel Tip: Visit the Aquarium after 4 p.m. Monday through Sunday to save over 30% off full-priced admission and 10% off purchases at Café Aquaria.
– Photos courtesy Georgia Aquarium
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