SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Review

February 19, 2014 46 Comments »
I am a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council and receive admission to cover media events.

SEA LIFE Aquarium Charlotte-Concord North Carolina Review MommyB

Being on the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council I’ve had lots of opportunities to check out the progress of Charlotte, North Carolina’s newest, family-friendly attraction. I must say when I heard SEA LIFE was coming to our area I was thrilled, and after visiting with my family earlier this week, I can still say I’m thrilled.

Overall we enjoyed our visit, learned lots of exciting facts about the sea life that we saw, and had fun doing it.

Some fun things you want to know about SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord:

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Kids Love Learning Review MommyB

They make learning fun.

When you arrive, children receive a passport which is their, ticket to learning about the world under water. This passport encourages children to engage in the very interactive displays around the aquarium and they even get rewarded at the end if they get all of their stamps at the, “Dive Stations“.

All around the aquarium are signs pointing out cool facts about individual tanks and exhibits. My girls loved trying to figure out how many species of manta rays SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord had {we won’t give away the answer.}

This is one of the most interactive aquariums I have seen. Not only can children touch and explore Caribbean Hermit Crabs, Pencil Urchin, and varieties of starfish {to mention a few}, but there are ipads located at exhibits so that children can learn even more details about what they are looking at. We really enjoyed the Cabarrus River exhibit and learning about the underwater life that’s in our very own “backyard”.

These are just a few ways our girls were soaking in learning about God’s awesome underwater creations.

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Kid Friendly Review MommyB

They cater to kids.

Talk about kid-friendly, first off, the aquarium is open and spacious and gives you the opportunity to spend as much or as little time at each exhibit as you like. Everything is kid-level. We appreciate that the attractions have viewing windows that are easily accessible to smaller children so they don’t miss out on any of the fishy-fun.

Nothing that I noticed was scary or too loud for little ones. I personally think that preschoolers to grandparents would love SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord because it has something for everyone. Aside from the awesome exhibits and tanks full of amazing underwater creatures, SEA LIFE also has a coloring area and climb-and-play station at the end of your visit.

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Cares and Educates Review MommyB

They care about the world.

It’s very apparent as you walk around the exhibits that SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord takes great pride in educating not only about the species of sea and freshwater life, but also in educating attraction goers on the environmental status and concerns that some of the sea life featured face.

We learned how seahorses are used in Chinese medicine even today, and that more than 70 million sharks are killed for their fins every year, not to mention many more, heartbreaking facts. We even got to vote on what species we want SEA LIFE to focus their donation efforts on at the end of the exhibit.

I know it’s not always smiles and rainbows talking about how not-so-great things happen in our world, but very important to educate our children as to why this is wrong {age appropriate discussions of course}. I’m very thankful that SEA LIFE doesn’t shy away from these issues and wants to help prevent them.

Now that you’ve heard about our experience, check it out for yourself!! Be sure to check out my other post on SEA LIFE for more details: SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Announces Opening

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium Visit Details:

LOCATION
Concord Mills
8111 Concord Mills Blvd, Concord, NC 28027

VISIT LENGTH
On average, guests will spend 60-90 minutes in the attraction.

REGULAR HOURS
• Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• Sunday 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
• Last admission is 2 hours before closing each day

TICKET PRICES
• Pre-Opening General Admission Special: $16, all ages {ages 2 and under free}

• Pre-Opening Annual Pass Special (12 Months Unlimited Entry):
-$50, individual
-$192, family of 4
-$45, additional family member

• Special group rates available for schools and other groups

CONNECT
• Website: www.VisitSEALIFE.com/Charlotte-Concord
• Facebook: www.facebook/SEALIFECharlotteConcord
• Twitter: @SEALIFECC
• Instagram: instagram.com/SEALIFECC
• YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/SEALIFECC

Thank you to the amazing staff at Spark PR, Jack Stevenson, Marketing Manager of SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium for showing us around and David Cochran, Displays Curator of SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord, Sydney {who was super informative} at the touch and feel tank, not to mention all of the great people behind the scenes of our visit.

 

As a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council I receive admission in return for writing about events and reviewing the aquarium. As always, any opinions expressed in this post are the honest thoughts of myself and my family. Your opinions may vary.

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46 Comments

  1. Lindsey @ Redhead Baby Mama February 19, 2014 at 12:24 PM - Reply

    I lived in Rock Hill for 4 years and I didn’t even KNOW there was an aquarium in charlotte!

  2. Hanan February 19, 2014 at 12:28 PM - Reply

    I really wish we had an aquarium near where we live. Whenever we go to the west side, we try and go. My kid love “playing” with the sea creatures.

  3. Angie | Big Bear's Wife February 19, 2014 at 1:06 PM - Reply

    That’s not too far from us! I bet my god-daughters and niece could love that!

    • MommyB February 19, 2014 at 5:57 PM - Reply

      Are you in NC?

  4. Robin Ruehrwein February 19, 2014 at 1:19 PM - Reply

    My boys would LOVE to go to a place like that. We have a couple of aquariums near us and they would go there every day if they could.

  5. brett February 19, 2014 at 1:22 PM - Reply

    I love to visit aquariums. it’s never ‘boring’ or repetitive and so fun to see the creatures!!

  6. Becka February 19, 2014 at 1:40 PM - Reply

    I love aquariums. My son loves sharks so we try to go to at least one a year.

  7. Tracey February 19, 2014 at 2:31 PM - Reply

    That looks like so much fun. A new aquarium was built in Toronto that I’m dying to visit and this post made me really want to go to an aquarium!

  8. dannyscotland February 19, 2014 at 2:33 PM - Reply

    It sounds like a super fun place to visit! My oldest daughter just loves any and all sea creatures. However, I had to go to Ask.com to find out what state this Sealife aquarium is in. It’s not listed on their website, it just says “Charlotte-Concord” as does your post (which is a great post!). Sealife might want to change that so that it’s easier for people who aren’t familiar with North Carolina to find the closest one.

    • MommyB February 19, 2014 at 5:56 PM - Reply

      Danny that’s a valid point. I believe this is the 100th Sea Life in the US, but I assumed with Charlotte people would think North Carolina. Will add that to the post details.

  9. Lisa Joy Thompson February 19, 2014 at 2:50 PM - Reply

    Oh how I wish I lived closer! My kids would absolutely love this! It’s awesome that they can hold hermit crabs, starfish, and pencil urchins!!!

  10. Mary Silvers February 19, 2014 at 3:41 PM - Reply

    I thought it would be FREE STANDING and not connected to the mall. IT LOOKS SUPER SMALL. I was all for it until I saw it was just a tiny part of the mall. With a family of 7, it could cost a lot to get passes. Not good… I will save the money and go to a larger one.

    • MommyB February 19, 2014 at 5:53 PM - Reply

      Mary, you’re right, it’s not free standing. Did you visit when it was the Nascar arcade? It’s a lot bigger inside than I thought it was bit they definitely don’t have the huge sea life that stand alones are able to house but also not as pricey as the really big ones. Does your family have a favorite aquarium?

  11. Mitch February 19, 2014 at 5:13 PM - Reply

    Now that I have been to a few aquariums in the USA with my son, I wish I could visit them all! They are all so unique and fun, thank-you for educating me on this one!
    Mitch

    • MommyB February 19, 2014 at 5:44 PM - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Mitch, we’ve taken our girls to one other as they get bigger they love it more and more.

  12. Jennifer @TheRebelChick February 19, 2014 at 7:18 PM - Reply

    Wow, that looks like such a cool place! I love visiting aquariums and anything animal related when I am traveling. I want to come check this out for myself!

    • MommyB February 19, 2014 at 8:26 PM - Reply

      Come visit I would love to show you around Charlotte

  13. Kecia February 19, 2014 at 8:26 PM - Reply

    We love places like this – my 3 year old especially! We were in Charlotte-Concord for a blogging conference in 2012. I cannot wait to go back and explore more, with Sea Life being a stop for sure.

    • MommyB February 19, 2014 at 8:28 PM - Reply

      Yes for Reviewers Retreat right?? I remember. Lmk next time you’re in town.

  14. Amanda Her February 19, 2014 at 8:46 PM - Reply

    This looks fantastic! I love visiting aquariums and museums. I’m looking to take the family to Charlotte soon so this will definitely be on my list of things to do.

  15. Debra February 19, 2014 at 8:49 PM - Reply

    My kidlets love going to the aquarium. It’s like watching animals on another planet under the water like that. This looks like an amazing place to spend the day!

  16. Melissa February 19, 2014 at 10:57 PM - Reply

    This looks like such a fun experience! I so wish we had an aquarium here.

  17. Shell February 19, 2014 at 11:07 PM - Reply

    After seeing all the cool things you get to do, I’m convinced I live on the wrong side of the state! My kids would love this.

    • MommyB February 19, 2014 at 11:30 PM - Reply

      Anytime you want to come visit…

  18. Chelsea February 20, 2014 at 1:09 AM - Reply

    This place looks super fun! I love aquariums even though I’m super freaked out by the big fish, haha.

  19. Jacqueline February 20, 2014 at 1:18 AM - Reply

    I have been to aquariums all over the country and have been to Charlotte several times. I had no clue there was an aquarium in the area! Next time I visit my cousin I will definitely see if she wants to bing the kiddos here!

  20. Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell February 20, 2014 at 1:38 AM - Reply

    I love aquariums like this. I find them incredibly peaceful and relaxing.

  21. Mandy@ TheHouseholdHero.com February 20, 2014 at 7:35 AM - Reply

    My family loves aquariums. This looks like a great one to visit sometime. Thanks for sharing

  22. Jamie Rippy (@MamaMommyMom) February 20, 2014 at 9:15 AM - Reply

    We’re so excited to check this out! We were at Concord Mills Saturday and the kids were so disappointed that it wasn’t open to the public yet. I’m not sure what we’ll do as far as tickets… It almost seems silly to spend the $64 for us to go once when we can get a season pass for $197. We’re still trying to decide what to do.

  23. Whitney February 20, 2014 at 9:23 AM - Reply

    We are super excited about the aquarium being so close!! Every time we would pass the construction in the building, my kids would try to peek through the windows. Now to figure out if we want an annual pass or just go a couple of times.

  24. Amy Desrosiers February 20, 2014 at 9:24 AM - Reply

    This place looks awesome! I love how hands on they let you get with the sea creatures!

  25. Debbie L. February 20, 2014 at 9:50 AM - Reply

    What a great way to spend the day – I love aquariums. The closest aquarium to me is Chicago.

  26. Tess February 20, 2014 at 10:07 AM - Reply

    I love aquariums too! Our closest is Chicago and we dont get there much. : (

  27. Jessica February 20, 2014 at 10:41 AM - Reply

    This looks like such a neat place for the kiddos! I have been wanting to take my daughter to our local Aquarium but it’s kind of far from us. We love learning about sea life and the ocean.

  28. Janel February 20, 2014 at 11:30 AM - Reply

    We have a Sea Life here in AZ and love going there! Such an awesome hands-on aquarium!

  29. r February 20, 2014 at 11:59 AM - Reply

    My youngest has never been to see sea life anywhere. Your post reminded me that we are way overdue!

  30. Amanda February 20, 2014 at 12:36 PM - Reply

    My son would love it there! We have never been to an aquarium (other than the zoo). It’s on our to do list!

  31. Eliz Frank February 20, 2014 at 5:13 PM - Reply

    That looks like a ton of fun… My girls would have loved it when they were younger too.

  32. Shell Feis February 20, 2014 at 5:31 PM - Reply

    I love that everything is kid level- I hate going to a museum &having to pick my son up every two seconds so he can see. Looks like a fun place for the whole family!

  33. Prototype Mama February 20, 2014 at 10:22 PM - Reply

    It looks like you had an awesome time! I love taking the kids to places like this.

  34. K. Elizabeth @ YUMMommy February 21, 2014 at 4:37 PM - Reply

    Moo and JJ are going to have a blast there!!

  35. Mary Happymommy February 27, 2014 at 7:37 AM - Reply

    I’m in NC but haven’t tried this place out yet. Sounds great!

  36. Trisha B. February 27, 2014 at 6:22 PM - Reply

    My kids would have a blast here! Looks like so much fun and good quality time spent with the family.

  37. Angie April 5, 2014 at 3:46 PM - Reply

    DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY! It was $69 (including taxes) for me, my husband and a 4 year old to get it. If you have ever been to Ripley’s Aquarium, you will be soooooooooooooo disappointed. It took us about 30 minutes to go thru and we did stop and look at each display. The money it cost to build this had to go into the artwork, not the fish. The artwork was wonderful but not worth $69. At the end was a play area for the kids similar to what McDonalds has (about 1/4 the size). If you’ve never been to Ripleys, you might like it but still not worth the money they charge. RIpleys is about $25. This should be no more than $12 and kids free. I asked on my way out where the large sharks/fish were. The lady told me “just starting out, we have to get small stuff and let it grow”. Well, the price should start low and grow too! Very disappointed!!

    • MommyB April 5, 2014 at 4:50 PM - Reply

      Thanks for your comments and feedback Angie. I’ll share this with my contacts. We found we were able to spend a little longer and were taking lots of pictures abs the girls watched the movies at the end.

  38. Gigi April 12, 2014 at 8:48 PM - Reply

    Very disappointed. Having visited the Chattanooga and Atlanta aquariums, guess I was expecting more, especially for the money. Should have suspected when I saw it was located at Concord Mills but we bought tickets online so we didn’t realize that until we arrived. North Carolina has a couple of aquariums on the coast that are better and much less expensive to visit.

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