What We Think: Our First Visit to Seaquest Interactive Aquarium
This post was most recently updated on January 11th, 2017
Today I took my 5 year old and her friend to the Seaquest Interactive Aquarium in Layton, Utah. It’s located downstairs behind the escalators and behind the indoor playground. It’s best to go to through the mall food court mall entrance and take the escalator down to get there.
We’ve been excited to visit the aquarium since it opened last month. I think this Layton and Davis/Weber county area needed more things like this for kids to do. We spent two hours at the aquarium on a fairly busy day. We did have to wait in line some but not for too long. It’s not that big so it might be tough to spend more than a few hours there in a day.
The company did an incredible job at selling annual passes and building hype, but did it deliver?
First, Seaquest is a smaller aquarium and it’s a little different than any other I’ve been to. It doesn’t have large fish or sharks. There is no penguin exhibit or anything like that. Instead, there are interactive exhibits where you are actually in a room with live animals and tanks with fish. That’s the cool part. You can pet a lot of amphibians like lizards or iguanas not just by walking up to a trainer holding one, but by being in a room with them for several minutes. You can touch the turtles (there are two I believe).
Somehow we missed the large octopus and tree frog. I’m not sure if they weren’t in the cages or if they were hiding. We didn’t miss the python though. My biggest disappointment is I was hoping for a place to touch rays and other creatures. You can reach into the large tank but it’s not easy to catch one close enough to the surface. There was a part of the museum that’s still being built so maybe that is where they’ll have more sea creatures to touch.
My favorite part was feeding the birds
We only went to the parakeet room but it’s unlike anything I’ve ever been to. You sit on benches and hold out food. The birds fly down to eat from your hand, land on a finger or at your feet. You feel a little like Snow White or Mary Poppins. It has a bit of magic. Except if you don’t spend $2.50 for a few teaspoons of bird seed. I saw a group of people get let into the room who just sat there. No birds flew down because no one had food. So expect to buy bird seed. The kids split one and had plenty to keep the birds happy.
Tip: Ask the employee working to take a picture of your kids feeding the birds with your phone OR ask the people across from you to. Since you can’t stand up once you sit down, it’s a little hard to get a good shot on your own.
You can watch mermaids swim and talk to them
The next best part for little girls is the mermaid tank. The mermaids (there were 2 in the water and one who sat on a pearl couch and talked to children while parents take advantage of the photo opps). A mermaid in the tank swam over to talk to us, told me I’m pretty and swam with the rays. She was charming.
There are the fish tanks that give a spa pedicure. That’s not the same thing as getting your nails done, a massage and a warm water foot soak. Two little kids can stick their feet in and looked like they were having a great time. It’s not really a spa type experience though. The water is a little on the cool side and there are no massage chairs. Plus, you’re right in a big room with everyone, so it’s not private. I saw two kids sharing a chair and they were having a great time. It looked fun, but it costs extra. Like a lot of things. The fish eat your dead skin and it tickles (it doesn’t hurt).
I felt a little nickled and dimed
The aquarium reminds me of the gondola rides in Las Vegas at the Venetian. They sing a song, turn a corner and try to get your for photos and tips. It’s a short ride – much shorter than you expected. Ok, it’s not that bad. Still, if you want to go into the hurricane simulator, you pay. Tokens are to buy food to feed fish like trout, the birds, and even the iguanas. You can skip all those and still have a fun time. I’m waiting for professional photographers to be standing around and give you a number so you can purchase photos in the gift shop. Seriously, why aren’t they doing that? Everything in Vegas has a photographer.
If I were going to buy tokens, I’d buy 4 tokens for $9.50 and share them. We didn’t buy any. Truthfully, the only time I was tempted was to buy bird feed. Next time I’ll spring for that. I did get a pedicure with my annual pass. I don’t know if you can bring your own but I do know for less than that you can buy a ton of birdseed:
Admission is $9.95 for kids and $14.95 for ages 12+. If you have an annual pass you can get friends and family in for 50% off. Watch their Facebook page for deals.
A more intimate experience than many museums
To me this experience doesn’t compare to The Loveland Living Aquarium in Draper or the museums at Thanksgiving Point like the Dinosaur or Curiosity Museum which I’m sure have much bigger budgets. Still, the interactive aquarium is fun and well done. Just not to that level. Prices are lower though and for us it’s much closer. I’m still undecided if it was worth buying a season pass.
The first part of the museum has amphibians like iguanas and turtles. You can actually go in the room with them and feed them. In addition, staff members bring animals to you that you can touch.
It’s more intimate than other attractions in the area.
We’re going to Vegas next week and our passes are good for that location too. I’m curious to compare them but my guess is they’ll be similar.
Seaquest is open on Sunday which will be good news for the families that are looking for something to do on a Sunday (there aren’t that many options).
The only people food they have that I could tell was Swig drinks and cookies. Since you’re so close to the mall food court there are a lot of other options close by.