Georgia Aquarium

Among different aquariums located throughout the United States, the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA is truly one of the most impressive. In addition to providing visitors with an amazingly fun time, this aquarium focuses on conservation and research through education and hands-on programs.

Located at 225 Baker Street NW in Atlanta, Georgia, the aquarium offers an exciting adventure for people of all ages. Although admission is affordable for everyone, special discounts are offered for certain events and special groups. As a prime example, the Georgia Aquarium is offering for a limited time free general admission on Mondays for people actively serving in the military.Discounts are also offered for this year's upcoming Father's Day. Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/Fotolia


»Programs and Events at the Georgia Aquarium

Programs and Events at the Georgia Aquarium


The Georgia Aquarium provides unique experiences, including a sleepover program. After the facility closes and everyone retires for the night, groups, families, adults, scouts, and even couples looking for a romantic rendezvous have the opportunity to sleep over. Included in this program is general admission to the aquarium itself on the day of the sleepover, as well as the following day. Guests enjoy access to dinner, breakfast, all presentations, activities, guided tours, and a place to sleep directly in front of one of the stunning gallery windows.

Both animal encounters and animal interactions are additional programs offered by the aquarium. For animal encounters, guests can get up close to penguins, sea otter, and dolphin. To participate in a penguin or sea otter encounter, guests must be at least seven years of age.

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Additional requirements for participating include anyone 16 years old and under must be accompanied by a paying adult. Animal encounters cover a maximum of three children, 16 and under for each paying adult, and anyone under the age of 18 is required to sign a liability waiver, as well as program guidelines. Either document must then be signed and dated by one parent or a legal guardian.

Animal interactions are different from encounters. In this case, guests have the opportunity to physically connect with certain aquatic animals. Guests can choose the Dive Program or Journey with Gentle Giants Swim. As part of the Beluga interactive program, visitors of the Georgia Aquarium don a provided wet suit on top of a personally owned bathing suit and while standing in waist-high water, interact with these remarkable creatures alongside a highly professional whale trainer.

This particular program has a limited schedule so reservations are mandatory. To participate in the Beluga interactive program, there is no age restriction. However, anyone interested in the program must be a minimum of 60 inches tall. For someone under the age of 16, this program is offered but only if that individual is accompanied by a participating adult. In addition, minor participants must sight a liability waiver, which is then signed by the parent or legal guardian.

The Journey with Gentle Giants consists of swimming or diving with manta rays, whale sharks, and other aquatic life. Heading to the Ocean Voyager exhibit, participants suit up over a bathing suit, followed by scuba diving or snorkeling alongside thousands of animals. Both of these programs create lifelong memories.

The Georgia Aquarium also provides special tours that give visitors a much greater appreciate for the animals, their caregivers, and the work that goes on behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly and safely. Visitors have two options, the All Access Tour and the VIP tour, both requiring reservations. Things to Do in Atlanta: Georgia Aquarium - Photo: Jun Xiao/Fotolia

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»Unique Presentations

Unique Presentations


When visiting the Georgia Aquarium, people can enjoy a number of presentations. Although they are different in nature, all presentations are engaging and exciting. Among the most popular tours is the AT&T Dolphin Celebration. This experience is designed to showcase the behavior of dolphins, as well as the amazing relationship they have with their trainers. The presentation focuses on the athleticism and intelligence of the dolphin, coupled with their grace and beauty.

Bottleneck dolphins known for being extremely friendly even in the wild are used in this presentation. The price covers general admission into the facility but as far as seating, this is done on a first come first served basis. Therefore, people are encouraged to arrive 30 to 45 minutes ahead of the scheduled performance show time.

Deepo's Hideway is another presentation, which takes place at the Ocean Voyager. This 15-minute animatronic show allows guests to interact with the Deepo fish. The cuteness of waddling penguins is something that people of all ages enjoy as well. The Waddle Walk presentation includes skilled trainers taking penguins on a leisurely stroll across the main Atrium. Although guests enjoy the sight, they also have the chance to learn about this endangered species and ways to help.

The 4D Funbelievable Theater is something that everyone visiting the Georgia Aquarium should experience. The combination of high quality three-dimensional high-definition projection, built-in special effects, and interactive seats result in a stunning display. This theater currently ranks as one of the most technologically advanced in the world.

In addition to fun, people visiting the Georgia Aquarium have the ability to learn. One way of accomplishing this is the live presentation, "Under the Boardwalk" presented by SunTrust Pier 225. Featured are social California sea lions that live in the aquarium and their trainers. Together, visitors see how training of these animals occurs but also why proper care is so critical. This 20 to 25-minute presentation is unique and invigorating.

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»Getting Involved

Getting Involved


Dedicated to the conservation of at risk and endangered sea life, the Georgia Aquarium has created a number of programs that allow people to get involved in making a difference. As a worldwide leader in conservation and research programs, there are numerous opportunities for guests, staff members, partners, researchers, and donors, all working together to improve life for aquatic animals.

Currently, more than 1,500 people are involved with the aquarium's Volunteer Program. Being passionate about conservation and aquatic life, these volunteers have individual skills that are used in a variety of ways. Anyone interested in joining in the effort can complete an online application. Some of the ways that these volunteers make a difference include:

. Guest Services - Welcome and assist guests

. Gallery Interpretation - Engage with visitors of all ages who want to learn more about aquatic life

. Activity Tables - Encourage young guests to get involved with arts and crafts but also prompt adults toward one of the conservation activities

. Educational Programs - Greet and assist groups or children visiting the aquarium as part of a field trip

. Behind the Scenes - Assist with testing water quality, making repairs, cleaning out exhibits, and more. For this, participants must be 18 years or older, complete additional training as required, and volunteer at least 50 hours within one of the facility's public areas.

The Next Wave Society is another amazing program offered by the Georgia Aquarium with the goal of increasing support and awareness of philanthropy. This membership program offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities, each environmentally-focused. Included are innovative fundraising projects, talking with other leaders, showcasing creativity, attending various private social events, and much more.

Comprised of professionals who are 100% committed to the goal of better conservation, educational programs, and research initiatives, the Next Wave Society helps prepare for the future and its many challenges pertaining specifically to aquatic life.

There are even internships available at the Georgia Aquarium. Although there is no pay involved and travel funds, food, and housing do not apply, this is an incredible opportunity worth consideration. The internships provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for connecting with professionals and having hands-on experiences.

Ultimately, the internships are inspiring, supportive to animal research and conservation, passionate, and they instill learning not provided anywhere else. Things to Do in Atlanta: Georgia Aquarium - Photo: choikh/Fotolia

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»Smaller Celebrations

Smaller Celebrations

For smaller parties, such as scout gatherings and birthdays, the Georgia Aquarium is the ideal destination. For birthday parties, the aquarium provides an all-inclusive service that eliminates stress and enhances fun. Each party is assigned a professional coordinator who handles everything to ensure the celebration is extra special.

Small events such as birthday Parties are scheduled for 90 minute slots and include a special themed area that is beautifully decorated. This also includes a sheet cake, ice cream, and milk or juice, party gift bags for attendees, a $10 gift voucher for the birthday boy or girl, a "Happy Birthday" shout out in the Ocean Voyager Gallery, parking voucher for one vehicle, party paper products, utensils, and birthday card and photo, and customized Behind the Seas Tour privately held for people attending the party.

Included in the price of parties at the Georgia Aquarium is admission to the different galleries, admission to any special or temporary exhibits, and admission to the AT&T Dolphin Celebration.

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225 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, Phone: 404-581-4000 Things to Do in Atlanta: Georgia Aquarium - Photo: Doug Pieper/Fotolia

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Things to Do in Atlanta: Georgia Aquarium