During a visit to Atlanta Georgia, we came across a Groupon for SeaQuest at Stonecrest Mall. We were looking for things to do with our kids different from the most popular tourist attractions downtown, which we had done before. We had heard of SeaQuest before but had never been and were excited to find out what it was all about. I hope to answer many of the questions we had about SeaQuest before your visit so you know exactly what to expect.
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What Makes SeaQuest Different From Other Aquariums and Zoos?
Most zoos and aquariums have exhibits where you look at the animals through a thick glass or over a fence, with the exception of a touch-tank or a petting zoo that allows you to interact with the animals.
At SeaQuest, animal interactions are the main attraction. There was not one exhibit that did not provide an opportunity to interact with the animals.
Where is SeaQuest Located?
SeaQuest has ten locations within the United States: New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, Georgia, California, Minnesota, Colorado, Texas, Utah, and Nevada. My family visited the SeaQuest in the Stonecrest Mall in Stonecrest, Georgia. Stonecrest, Georgia is located a few minutes outside of Atlanta.
What Type of Exhibits Can You Find Inside SeaQuest?
SeaQuest was one unique experience after the next. When they say they are hands on, they are not joking. SeaQuest is not a place where its expected for you to just look at the animals. Interacting with them is the experience.
There are about two or three enclosures where your typical petting zoo animals are kept. Like a typical petting zoo, you use tokens to place in the machines that dispense their food. (I’ll discuss these feeding tokens in more detail later.) My kids have been to many petting zoos so we did not spend much time in this area.
Past the petting zoo are the fish tanks filled with tropical fish, Sting Rays, and more. These large fish tanks are open on top to allow for feeding. The fish swim right up to the top, almost jumping out of the water once you throw the food in. It was so much fun to watch the reactions on my kids’ faces. You can use your tokens to feed these fish as well.
Bengal cats are a hybrid of domestic cats and Asian Leopard cats. They were first bred in the United States and are now found worldwide in both captivity and feral populations.
This was one experience I was excited about when I saw it. Unfortunately, the cats were not in a very playful mood and we never had a chance to go in and play with them.
We had just come back from Mexico a few months ago, and saw iguanas in the wild. Being able to get close to them, feed them, and pet them was amazing. Tokens were needed for this experience as well. One family was allowed in the iguana area at a time. We were handed what looked like chopsticks to hold the lettuce with and used them to feed the iguanas. The iguanas seemed to love it when we pet them. Their skin felt exactly the way you would imagine it to feel.
The staff member in the enclosure with us was very informative. She knew so much about iguanas in general, and specifically about these iguanas. She had such a good relationship with them. I now understand how iguanas can make good pets.
Did you know?
Prairie Dogs got its name from the Greek terminology for “dog mouse.” They live in the grasslands of North America and eat grass, fruit, seeds, roots, buds, and sometimes insects.
As you can see from the video, Prairie Dogs are very social animals. My kids had fun playing with them through the glass.
You may be familiar with the Kinkajou from the Netflix movie Vivo. In real life, Kinkajous live in trees not in houses with old men. They can be found in the tropical forests of Central America and northern South America. They have what is called a prehensile tail, meaning their tail acts like an arm. Kinkajous like to hang and eat upside down. Kinkajous are typically vocal and social animals. Unfortunately, during our visit the Kinkajou was hiding somewhere and did not want to be bothered.
This experience was the highlight of the day. I’m not a big fan of birds but decided to challenge myself. It’s a once in a lifetime experience to have dozens of parakeets fly on and around you and I was not going to miss it. I can’t say I loved the feeling of the birds on me but I’m glad to have had the experience. If you’ve never done anything like this before, I would highly recommend it.
Yes, you read that right! This place actually has a fish spa. Take off your socks and allow a bunch of tiny fish to eat the dead skin off your feet. This experience is not for everyone but if you’ve always been curious, this is one place where you can try it. And as someone who saw my husband’s feet before and after, I can tell you that it actually works.
Is SeaQuest Indoors or Outdoors?
SeaQuest is generally an indoor attraction. SeaQuest at Stonecrest Mall in Georgia is entirely indoors. I have not been to all locations yet, so you’ll have to check with each location to find out if they have any outdoor attractions.
When you enter SeaQuest at the Stonecrest Mall it’s clear that the location used to be a department store. The lack of effort to properly convert the space will have you rethink your visit but what SeaQuest lacked in theming, they made up for in experiences.
How Long Does It Take to Get Through SeaQuest?
SeaQuest at Stonecrest Mall only takes about 2 hours to get through. You can walk through in about 5 minutes but if you take time at each of the exhibits, interacting with and feeding the animals, you’ll need a bit more time. Depending on when you visit, you’ll have to wait for other visitors to interact with the animals before you get your turn, which takes the most time.
What Age Group is SeaQuest Appropriate For?
SeaQuest can be enjoyed by people of all ages who love to interact with animals. My kids were 3 and 8 at the time of our visit and they both had a blast. My husband and I had just as much fun as they did.
Tips for Your Visit to SeaQuest
- Bring hand sanitizer and keep it handy
This is probably the most hands on experience we’ve ever been to. If we weren’t petting one animal, we were feeding another. Running to the hand washing stations after each experience is just not possible. Your kids’ hands will end up in their faces or their mouths before you make it there. Best to have the hand sanitizer at the ready until you pass a sink. Get some travel hand sanitizers HERE.
- Visit Early
Your children aren’t the only ones who get tired and overstimulated. If you visit too late in the afternoon, some of the animals may have had enough and your child will miss out on some of these experiences.
- Eat before you visit
Unlike many zoos and aquariums, there is no cafeteria. They sell some drinks and snacks and there are a couple of tables to sit at but that’s it. There is a food court inside the mall so you can always grab lunch before you arrive or after you leave.
- Don’t dress to impress
Your child may get dirty. Their shoes may get dirty. Playground attire is probably best.
How Much Does SeaQuest cost?
Not bad for everything that’s included right? The catch is that not everything is included in that price. That price is for admission only. You have to pay extra for animal encounters and feedings.
How Many Tokens Should I Buy at SeaQuest?
Feeding tokens are how you pay for the various animal interactions and the machines that dispense food. The machines only cost one token each and the food can be shared among the family so you don’t need too many tokens for those. However, the private interaction sessions can cost 3-4 tokens per person.
For a family of 4 or less, 25 tokens should be more than enough to have the full SeaQuest experience.
The smallest package for feeding tokens (25 tokens) costs $24.99. The largest package (60 tokens) costs $79.99. During our trip, we purchased the second largest package, 40 tokens for $60. Big mistake! We ended up leaving with too many non-refundable tokens.
Pro tip: Wait to buy the tokens until you arrive and can see the schedule for the day and speak to the employee at the admissions desk. They are extremely helpful in figuring out how many tokens you may need.
Some experiences and prices may have changed as of the writing of this blog. For the most accurate information and pricing visit SeaQuest’s website at https://stonecrest.visitseaquest.com/
Our Review of SeaQuest at the Stonecrest Mall
SeaQuest at the Stonecrest Mall was a better experience than we expected. It doesn’t compare to any other zoo or aquarium. Being able to interact with all the animals was amazing. It was the first time my kids were able to get up close and personal with so many different species.
The staff was extremely knowledgeable and caring when it came to the animals. They always seemed to have the animals’ best interest in mind. They would not hesitate to let us know when the animals needed a break and how best to interact with the animals. They knew all the animals by name and were very affectionate towards them. The staff was able to do all of this while still providing amazing customer service. From the door to our last experience of the day, customer service was amazing!
SeaQuest at the Stonecrest Mall did seem to be a bit understaffed. We often had to wait for one employee to finish a line at one exhibit before meeting us at another.
I would not recommend visiting SeaQuest unless you plan to buy feeding tokens. SeaQuest is not intended to be an attraction that you just walk through and look at the animals. Without the animal interactions, which you need feeding tokens for, it would take you five minutes to walk through SeaQuest.
The theming at SeaQuest was a bit disappointing and a tad distracting. Hopefully, they’ll eventually make it look less like an empty store and more like an attraction. SeaQuest should be inviting from the moment someone steps through the door.
Bottom line: If your kids love to interact with animals and you aren’t too far from a SeaQuest location, it is definitely worth your time and the cost of a discounted admission to visit.
Where Can I Find a Discount For SeaQuest?
- We found a Groupon for a Family 4 pack admission. We also had Groupon credit so we ended up playing very little out of our pocket for admission. I didn’t use it at the time of my visit but there also is a Groupon for the animal encounters.
- GetYourGuide.com sells the GetOutPass for many cities across the US. The GetOutPass is a pass that includes hundreds of attractions in one city for one year. If you have one or are thinking of getting one, click HERE to see if there is a GetOutPass in your city and if SeaQuest is included.
- Another option is Tiqets.com which offers discounts for certain SeaQuest locations. Click HERE to see if your location is available.