It had been a few years since we visited SEA LIFE Aquarium, a part of LEGOLAND California Resort in Carlsbad. I wondered how my 7-year-old daughter would like it given that this San Diego attraction made for a quick visit even when she was younger. Since our courtesy park-hopper tickets included admission to both parks, I figured we’d give it a go despite tired feet.

Planning Your Visit to SEA LIFE Aquarium

SEA LIFE Aquarium is home to over 5,000 creatures including sharks, rays, seahorses, clownfish and octopus. It’s not a terribly large aquarium and back when I helped organize a media event there, I was told that the average visitor spends 45 minutes exploring. I would guess that our last visit clocked in at 30 minutes. The entrance is literally right next to LEGOLAND’s.

I do think that SEA LIFE has an excellent cafeteria with even some baby food in pouches. You can absolutely eat healthfully here or dive into some mini sliders. A big aquarium on the wall weaves in a sea life vibe.

SEA LIFE Aquarium Ocean Journey Cafe
Grab the Quiz Map

Right after the introductory video, the doors to SEA LIFE Aquarium open into a small area with a little slide. On the left wall is a very missable area with the quiz sheets and maps. We almost walked by it.

There are about 10 questions for kids to answer as they walk through the aquarium. The stations look like this.

SEA LIFE Aquarium quiz trail

(Yes, she carried a giant panda won at LEGOLAND around all day.) It’s a brilliant way for elementary school-aged children to stay engaged and also learn a little bit about sea life and environmental stewardship along the way. It also allows parents to feel like they’re getting their money’s worth because it slows the touring pace.

After the kids have answered the quiz questions, they can turn it into the gift shop for a very small prize. I won’t tell you what it is. It probably changes anyway.

Other SEA LIFE Aquarium Highlights

Feedings and Shows:  Because the average visit is quite short, plan it around shark feedings and the like if your kids will enjoy that. The schedule is online.

Touch Pool: About half-way through the aquarium is a touch pool where kids can use two fingers to feel starfish and the like. A hand-washing station is nearby.

Jellyfish Discovery: The new jellyfish exhibit features over 100 of them floating under colored spotlights. It feels a little bit like a disco but I bet young kids think it’s uber cool.

LEGO Figures Everywhere: Of course, LEGOs feature prominently in even the most random places.

LEGO figures inside exhibits at SEA LIFE Aquarium Carlsbad

What do your kids like about SEA LIFE Aquarium? Don’t forget that you can buy discounted LEGOLAND California tickets that include SEA LIFE Aquarium.

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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