Disclosure: We received complimentary passes to SEA LIFE Aquarium Arizona. All opinions are my own.
On our first family vacation to Phoenix when my daughter was very little, it poured for the first two days. My dreams of splashing around the pool with my toddler were delayed a few days, as we struggled to find fun activities in the rain. If you’ve ever been to Phoenix, you know that many of the fun family activities are outdoor activities. Not knowing where to go, we spent those two days shopping at the mall and hanging out at the play space. It wasn’t exactly what we’d pictured for one of our first family vacations.
I was glad to hear that Phoenix has some new indoor family-friendly activities, including SEA LIFE Aquarium Arizona. SEA LIFE Arizona is part of Merlin Entertainment, which operates a number of family attractions including the London Eye. This indoor aquarium features a number of exhibits including a 360 degree ocean tunnel.
Review of the SEA LIFE Aquarium Arizona in Phoenix, AZ
SEA LIFE Arizona Location
The indoor SEA LIFE Aquarium Arizona is located in the Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe, adjacent to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Tempe is a suburb of Phoenix and isn’t too far at all from the resorts of Phoenix and Scottsdale. There’s plenty of free parking at the mall, and you can park at entrance 7 of the mall to be right near the aquarium if you are headed right there.
After your visit to SEA LIFE Phoenix, you can enjoy other activities at the Arizona Mills mall, including the LEGOLAND Discovery Center, the Rainforest Cafe, and the Tilt Studio arcade. It’s a great location to visit in both the excessive heat or if it happens to rain.
The indoor SEA LIFE Aquarium is located in the Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe adjacent to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center . Tempe is a suburb of Phoenix and isn’t too far at all from the resorts of Phoenix and Scottsdale. There’s plenty of free parking at the mall, and you can park at entrance 7 of the mall to be right near the aquarium.
After your visit to SEA LIFE Phoenix, you can enjoy other activities at the Arizona Mills mall, including the LEGOLAND Discovery Center, the Rainforest Cafe, and the Tilt Studio arcade.
SEA LIFE Arizona Tickets
SEA LIFE Arizona is extremely popular, so I’d recommend you buy your tickets in advance (you’ll save money on online tickets). Then, you can skip the long line and head right to the fast lane. Entrance into the aquarium is on a timed schedule – the door opens, you view a movie, and then you are led into the aquarium. If you don’t purchase your tickets in advance, you aren’t guaranteed entry at your chosen time. While this does limit flexibility in planning, I love how they control crowds in this manner.
Kids visiting SEA LIFE will also receive a fun interactive quiz book – something that always reels my kids right in. Everyone aged 3+ needs a ticket to enter. Tickets (excluding group tickets) include entry for the whole day, so you are able to leave and come back in the same day if you choose.
If your agenda also includes a stop at LEGOLAND Discovery Center, you can purchase a combo ticket. When you purchase combo tickets you’ll select a time and date for your LEGOLAND Discovery Center visit.
Exhibits at SEA LIFE Arizona
Once you are in the SEA LIFE Arizona aquarium, you’ll be surprised that you are actually in a mall. It’s such a fun aquarium that is great for young kids. It’s very approachable for smaller children – it’s not overwhelming at all.
Exhibits include a number of sea creatures, two rescued sea turtles, an interactive tidepool, the shoaling ring, and the shipwreck. It’s easy to navigate around the aquarium, and explore the various exhibits. Once you enter the aquarium, your admission ticket lets you stay as long as you’d like until closing. So you can take whatever time you need to explore. My son loves turtles, so that was the area where we spent most of our time during our visit.
The aquarium also offers animal talks and animal feeding times. Check out the website in advance before arriving to find the schedule.
Visiting the SEA LIFE Aquarium
Overall, we spent about two hours in the aquarium – the perfect amount of time to see everything and take the quizzes. Expect to spend more time if the aquarium is busy – especially if you have to stand in line. General tickets do allow you to leave and return in the same day, so you can leave to eat if you’d like.
In addition to SEA LIFE Arizona, there are other locations across the world, including 9 locations in the US (Arizona, Grapevine TX, Minnesota, Carlsbad, Kansas City, Orlando, Charlotte-Concord, Michigan, and San Antonio).
SEA LIFE Arizona
5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle, Ste. 145
Tempe, AZ 85282