For anyone who has ever loved mermaids, now’s the time to visit the Sea Life Aquarium at the Mall of America!
From July 19th to August 5th (Thursdays to Sundays only), mermaids are performing underwater next to sharks, sea turtles, and even sturgeon.
And on dry land, kids of all ages can meet a mermaid face to “fin” in a magical meet & greet with a fun photo op.
We got to preview “Meet a Mermaid” on opening day. I brought my kids and my daughter’s best friend (they’re the biggest mermaid fans ever) and we were so excited to see the mermaids.
They’re not the first thing you see – though my daughter especially just wanted to skip everything to go straight to the mermaids. Instead we enjoyed everything along the way, starting with pools where you can touch or at least get close to undersea creatures!
Here is the 15,000 gallon stingray pool, with cownose stingrays, southern stingrays, and shovelnose guitarfish. There were so many of them!
Then we walked through Jellyfish Discovery where you can see Moon Jellyfish and Atlantis Sea Nettles.
In the Coral Caves exhibit, you can get close to clownfish and other fish by getting right in the tank like this.
The neatest fish I saw was the razor fish. They literally float vertically! But most impressive were the sharks and other larger sea creatures in the tanks around and above us. This is when we knew we were close to the mermaids!
Before seeing the mermaids underwater, there was a Mermaid photo opp with activities. We waited in line for a picture, where little kids could put on a pretend mermaid tail for the picture. You could take a picture for free (so be sure to bring your phone or camera!). There were also coloring activities.
Then it was time to meet a mermaid in the tank! We could hear the narrator speaking about the mermaid that was there as we approached. There were two divers with her, which we were told were to keep other fish away.
The mermaid had a breathing tube that she used occasionally. The narrator said it was “so she could create bubbles, which she loved to do.” Makes sense to little ones…
The mermaid posed for plenty of pictures and waved to everyone.
The girls loved it. It was fun to see her smile and interact with people, especially the little kids. How weird to pose with someone smiling underwater in a tank!
Our Overall Thoughts
The mermaid experience was fun, but different than I expected.
I expected to see several mermaids swimming around, going up for water occasionally. I think they do swim but didn’t when we were there. Instead, it was just one mermaid sitting there with two divers nearby. It worked, but I think it was different than some others may expect as well.
So if you’re hoping to see mermaids swimming around together, know that they may mainly just sit there and interact with people. But it makes sense for the mermaids this way, and keeps it simple for the kids to engage with her.
Do I recommend it? Sure! How else can you see a “real” mermaid in the water? But be sure to take time to enjoy the rest of the aquarium too, as the mermaid experience is only part of your visit.
When is it?
Thursdays through Sundays from July 19th – August 5th
Mermaid Underwater Performance: 11:00AM – 1:30PM and 3:00PM – 4:30PM
Mermaid Meet & Greets: 10:30AM – 12:30PM and 2:00PM – 4:00PM
How to Save on Tickets
Tickets are regularly $24.49 for adults and $17.49 for kids.
Meet a Mermaid is included with your regular admission, but you can always save on admission to the Sea Life Aquarium Mall of America!
First – right now, Groupon has a deal for up to 18% off admission!
You can get:
Child admission, Monday to Friday: $14.99
Child admission, ANY DAY: $15.99
Adult admission (13+), Monday to Friday: $19.99
Adult admission, ANY DAY: $21.99
More Ways to Save
Also, I shared a Sea Life review and 6 ways to save on admission a while back here, but updated the ways to save. Here they are:
1. Save $5.00 per admission with this printable coupon from Bloomington-Coupons.com (check out their other great deals, too).
2. Buy online. Online super saver tickets are discounted as much as $5
3. AAA, College and Military discounts. The Sea Life Aquarium offers discounts of $4 off for AAA members with ID, and $16.99 admission if you have a Military ID.
4. Printed Coupons. Coupons can be found everywhere – check Subway restaurants in the Twin Cities area, Sea Life advertisement kiosks at the Mall of America, and coupon inserts in the Sunday paper (I’ve found coupons in the paper show up once every few months). Otherwise, currently they list Dairy Queen, SuperAmerica and Margaritaville for offering SEA LIFE coupons. Typically these coupons will be for $4-5 off an adult admission and $2 off a child admission, OR Free child admission with the purchase of an adult admission.
If you’re interested in combining a Sea Life admission pass with other attractions:
5. Buy tickets for the SEA LIFE Aquarium with another Mall of America attraction and SAVE! For both Nickelodeon Universe and SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium tickets can be purchased online for $46.99. And for a limited time you can combine SEA LIFE Aquarium tickets with FlyOver America (and FlyOver Canada) tickets. It’s $29.99 for adults and $22.99 for kids. Visit their website for all combo deals.
6. The Big Ticket. Visit BloomingtonMN.org for information about The Big Ticket. This can be purchased online or at the Mall of America North Gift Store. It offers 30% savings by offering admission to up to 6 attractions including Nickelodeon Universe, Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium, Minnesota Zoo, IMAX Theatre at the Minnesota Zoo, FlyOver America and the Crayola Experience. The Big Ticket is currently: Adults $89.00 and Children $79.00 (ages 2-13).
There are also other options including year-long membership (prices range from $49 – $129.99) though specials are often available.
For more info, visit the Sea Life Minnesota website!
(Disclosure: I received complimentary admission for my family in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% mine.)