Hawaii Mom Blog: Visit Seattle - Seattle Aquarium




October 28, 2013

Visit Seattle - Seattle Aquarium

Click on all photos to enlarge.  Disclosure: Our family received complimentary admission in conjunction with the Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour Combo Package.  

Our family loves going to aquariums, so we knew that a visit to the Seattle Aquarium, the 9th largest aquarium in the US by attendance, was a must during our recent trip to Seattle.

Highlights of Our Visit
Immediately upon entering we came upon the Window on Washington Waters exhibit.  This 120,000-gallon tank is filled with hundreds of species of marine life local to the area.  We arrived just in time to see the Diver Show, in which guests could ask questions and learn more about a variety of fish.

Shortly thereafter we went through the Life of a Drifter exhibits, where we saw some of our favorite animals. 

We all loved the Ring of Life crystal ring full of graceful moon jellies, and we all were in awe of the Giant Pacific Octopus - the biggest octopus we've ever seen at an aquarium.

There were so many other great exhibits, and one of the neatest was the Underwater Dome, which offered a 360 degree view of a 400,000-gallon tank with even more incredible marine life.

Other highlights included touching star sea stars in the Touch Pool (which all my kids loved), seeing a variety of birds, getting an up-close look at unusual creatures (the Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker below was one of my favorite exhibits), and seeing a lot of salmon.


Scattered throughout the aquarium are several fun photo ops and interactive educational exhibits which my kids found quite entertaining.
Our Experience Visiting with a Special-Needs Child
My oldest son has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and although I know kids on the spectrum all behave and react differently in various environments, I always try to share our personal experience when visiting attractions.

Since my son has been to aquariums before, he knew what to expect when we got there.

Because we arrived shortly after the aquarium opened, I anticipated there would be a lot of kids visiting on field trips, and I was right.  Because of this, my son constantly wanted to follow the other children, and had a hard time focusing on the exhibits.  

Fortunately, I was able to help him re-focus by pointing out the variety of animals and encouraging him to interact with the exhibits.

Anytime he saw a screen - whether it was a video display or interactive screen, he became very excited, so we allowed him lots of time in these areas.

There is plenty of seating throughout the aquarium if we needed a break, but fortunately my son did not get very anxious, even though the aquarium was quite crowded.

He had a very nice time at the aquarium seeing all the different animals, and especially touching the sea stars in the touch pool.

Final Thoughts
Although the Seattle Aquarium is small, there are so many intriguing and educational exhibits, and their continuous conservation and research efforts are impressive (you can read more about their conservation efforts here).

Although admission seems a bit pricey, by getting your hand stamped, you can re-enter the same day - great if you want to grab some lunch on the waterfront or simply walk around and see the sights and return later (we spent 1 1/2 hours there, and had we not had other plans the rest of the day we definitely would've returned).

Ultimately, the fees help the Seattle Aquarium in achieving its various goals and objectives, one of which is to "Energize each visitor's experience with the power and impact of the Aquarium's marine animals in all their natural awe and magic," and I personally believe that objective was achieved during our visit.

It's impossible to not be amazed by all that is on exhibit.  From the intriguing seahorses and playful otters, to the colorful corals and beautiful harbor seals - there is something special to see at every turn.

Below are more photos from our visit.  Enjoy!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Seattle Aquarium: 1483 Alaskan Way Seattle, WA 98101; (206) 386-4300

Open daily 9:30am-5pm, with some exceptions.

For admission prices, including the Seattle Aquarium + Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour Cruise Combo package, click here.

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