Sea Life Charlotte is one of the city's best chances to get up close with animals, as they don't have an official zoo or an official aquarium. At Sea Life Concord, visitors will get eye to eye views of everything from humble starfish to graceful rays and tropical sharks.
Visitors will experience an amazing underwater 180-degree ocean tunnel, over 20 display tanks, and more than 5,000 sea creatures. The Sea Life aquarium is the perfect stop for family fun -- you can't get any closer without getting wet.
The most popular attractions at Sea Life include a touch tank that lets you handle a crab, starfish and other shelled creatures, the blacktip reef sharks (among the most popular sharks inhabiting the tropical coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific Oceans), the Giant Pacific Octopus (with arms up to seven feet long), the seahorses and the clownfish (popular thanks to "Finding Nemo").
The aquarium is located in Concord Mills Mall, just outside of Charlotte.
Toddler- and Kid-Friendly Events at the Aquarium
Take advantage of a great deal for parents with young children every week with Toddler Tuesdays at Sea Life: one free child with the purchase of an adult ticket (adult ticket only $15). Additional children ages 3 to 12 are $5 each (up to 5 additional children only). This deal is available as a walk-in only, and not available to purchase online. This offer runs weekly every Tuesday.
According to the official Sea Life website, here are just a few of the things you can do at the aquarium.
- See over 5,000 creatures including sharks, seahorses, octopus, jellyfish, and rays, swimming in over 150,000 gallons of water
- Watch fun talks and feed shows throughout the day
- Hold a crab or touch a starfish in the Interactive Touchpool Experience
- Test your creature knowledge; take part in the free kids' quiz trail
- Journey through the underwater tunnel as sharks and rays swim overhead
- Check out the children's soft play area
Sea Life has a popular Homeschool Week, with activity stations for students grades kindergarten through eighth. Children will learn about animal behavior and do a scavenger hunt through the aquarium while learning about all of the aquarium's creatures.
Perks of Joining the Aquarium
An annual pass is available at $45 for adults, and a family season pass is $43 per person ($172 for a family of 4). In addition to unlimited admission for a year from your purchase date, here's what the pass gets you:
- Unlimited entry to SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord for 12 months from date of purchase
- Express entry through Fast-Track line
- "Bring a Friend" for $10
- E-newsletters throughout the year
- 10% discount on merchandise in the gift shop as well as birthday parties
- Special events and onsite exclusives for annual pass holders.
More Educational Activities in Charlotte
There's a lot more to see in Charlotte as far as museums go. Charlotte is home to a variety of museums. You can learn about the history of Charlotte, the history of the South, view historic warplanes, take in artwork from top national and international artists, or visit with eagles, vultures and other birds of prey.
This isn't the only place in Charlotte to see live animals, either! Charlotte doesn't have an official zoo, but there are plenty of great spots around town to visit with the animal kingdom. Plenty of museums have exhibits, there are excellent zoos nearby, and there is an animal rehabilitation facility right in town.