This post is courtesy of our travel contributor Cheryl of Kids On A Plane…If you’re looking for an indoor kid-friendly activity during your Dallas, Fort Worth or Grapevine or North Texas vacation, SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium might fit the bill. Here’s what you need to know to make your decision.
SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium Highlights
There are 8 SEA LIFE locations in the US and this is the only one in Texas.
Located in Grapevine Mills (outlet mall near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport) this 45,000-square-foot attraction is home to over 5000 sea creatures including stingrays, jellyfish and sea turtles.
All the exhibits are indoors unlike some other aquariums we’ve visited during our travels so if you’re looking to escape the Texas heat or rain, this aquarium can keep the family entertained for a few hours.
As such, otters or penguins won’t be found here but SEA LIFE Grapevine does a good job of teaching children about life underwater.
Kids can have fun in 16 themed zones (sea turtles was my favourite), a 360 degree view ocean tunnel, and touch tanks.
School aged children can keep track of their discoveries in their Dive Logbook – an informational scavenger hunt where kids go through each exhibit, answer questions and collect stamps.
Families can climb through mangrove roots and catch a glimpse of several deadly creatures under the rainforest canopy.
The Turtle Rescue Center allows visitors a close up look at rescued turtles who have overcome injury and now call Grapevine home.
SEA LIFE Grapevine is also home to the largest potbellied seahorse breeding program in the world.
Tips for Families Heading to SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium
There are daily animal feedings, shows and demonstrations– check out the online schedule in advance if this is something your family would be interested in.
The SEA LIFE Aquarium is relatively small and can be done in 2 to 2.5 hours.
Due to its location, there are other activities families can do before or after their visit – there’s over 300 stores at Grapevine Mills as well a large food court and several full service restaurants.
The one-way route through the aquarium makes it tough to get through on busy days and can be challenge for those with younger children who want to go back to re-visit favourite exhibits.
SEA LIFE Grapevine is stroller and wheelchair friendly. Walkways are wide but can get congested on a busy day. The aquarium occupies two stories and elevators are available for guests that require them.
Lighting in some of areas of the aquarium can make it disorienting for some guests (dark rooms and lack of lighting make it difficult to see where you’re walking) and there’s only a couple of benches and seats for those who want to sit and enjoy the exhibits.
The aquarium is clean and staff is friendly, knowledgeable and great with children.
There’s plenty of free parking available outside of Grapevine Mills.
The exhibits and interactive experiences are geared to the younger set and children 10 and younger will enjoy SEA LIFE Grapevine the most.
SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium Info
Where: SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium, Grapevine Mills Mall, 3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway, Grapevine Texas, 76051
Monday to Friday 10AM to 6:30PM
Saturday 10AM to 7:30PM
Sunday 11AM to 5:30PM
Cost: Tickets purchased at the door are $20+tax for Adult admission and $16+tax for Child admission. Children 2 years and under are free.
Discounted admission tickets are available online.
AAA members receive $3 off each admission ticket up to 6 guests.
Save $5 on admission for up to 4 tickets with coupon in the Grapevine Mills coupon book.