Are you looking for things to do with kids in Scottsdale, Arizona? If so, you might want to consider visiting the OdySea Aquarium, which is relatively new to the area. My family and I recently had the opportunity to experience the OdySea Aquarium for ourselves when we received complimentary admission, as part of the media, to attend the grand opening of OdySea Voyager. However, I am not required to write about our visit, and as always, all opinions are my own. We really enjoyed our visit, and because I primarily write about family travel, I thought it would be helpful for those of you who haven’t been there yet. There are several reasons to visit the OdySea Aquarium, from its location, to the variety and number of fish tanks, and to learning more about sea life. Plus, it allows for an interactive experience, in large part because of the touch pools.
Reasons to Visit the OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale, Arizona
- The Variety and Number of Aquariums
- Interactive Experience
- Family Friendly & Educational
- OdySea Voyager
- Other Activities and Cost
- Other Considerations
As I mentioned above, OdySea Aquarium is located in Scottsdale, Arizona. When most people think of Scottsdale, they think of high-end resorts, expensive restaurants, and designer stores. However, Scottsdale is also a very family friendly city that has several places to take kids, like the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. I’m now adding OdySea Aquarium to my list of places in Scottsdale to visit now that I’ve seen what it offers.
OdySea Aquarium is located in a huge entertainment complex called OdySea in the Desert. The complex has really expanded in the last couple of years. For example, several years ago, we went to Butterfly Wonderland (which is in the same complex) and OdySea Aquarium was still in the building stages. Now, there are several attractions, including Pangaea: Land of the Dinosaurs. We could have easily spent the entire day there, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough time. So that’ll have to wait for a future visit – I already purchased a Groupon for the bumper boats.
Cactus Chronicles Tip: Before visiting an attraction, always check to see if there is a Groupon available.
The Variety and Number of Tanks
I lost count of how many fish tanks I saw, and the different variety of fish. Many of the tanks have descriptions and names of the fish for those who want to learn more. At one point, guests go down escalators, surrounded by the aquarium. I’ve been to several aquariums, but this is the first time I’ve experienced something unique like this. My son, especially, thought it was amazing and kept talking about it afterward.
There are so many different types of tanks, including a tank filled with jellyfish. This is as close to jellyfish as I’ll willingly get (separated by glass)!
One of the other reasons to visit the OdySea Aquarium? There are several touch pools throughout. Employees are stationed at the different touch pools, and they are very knowledgeable about the types of fish that can be found in the touch tanks. They are also very receptive to questions, including questions from the youngest family members.
There are also two separate areas where guests can touch stingrays. I appreciate that this is included in the price of general admission. The stingrays move fast, though, so patience is key. My son was a little frustrated because he wasn’t tall enough to reach down in the tank to touch one of the stingrays, so he required assistance.
Family Friendly & Educational
Overall, the OdySea Aquarium is family friendly and educational. There are several step stools that kids can use get a closer look at the fish. My son was very excited to see the different fish, as well as mammals, and learn more about them. There’s also a 3D Movie included in the price of general admission. And after the movie was over, we were able to listen to one of the employees tell us more about stingrays and sharks.
There’s also a separate area with penguins, which my son especially enjoyed. And there are also animals like a sloth, a toucan, and otters.
There’s also another interactive area where kids can learn more about water flow, and how it can be affected in different ways. My son loves building things, so he really enjoyed this particular exhibit.
The OdySea Voyager is one of the other reasons to visit OdySea Aquarium. I really didn’t know what to expect prior to our visit. But, it’s definitely a unique experience. Guests sit in movie theater-style seats, and they move in a circular motion, similar to a carousel (except not as fast, the seats stop at each station). It’s basically like you’re in a submarine and learning more about the fish you are seeing throughout your voyage. We learned about different fish, including sea turtles, seals, sea lions, and sharks.
Other Activities and Cost
There are also activities available for an additional charge, like Sea Trek Helmet Diving. While it’s a nice option to have available, it’s not necessary. Prior to this visit, I thought the price of admission cost more than I would normally pay for an aquarium. However, now that I’ve experienced it for myself, I do think general admission includes several things that would normally cost extra somewhere else like the zoo (for example, the stingray experiences and 3D movie).
Are strollers allowed? How much time should you plan at OdySea Aquarium? Does OdySea Aquarium offer discounts on tickets? You can find out the answers by clicking on its Frequently Asked Questions. However, I do think that based on the price of general admission, I’d wait until children are a bit older to visit the Aquarium in order to maximize your family’s experience. Also, a large part of it depends on your child’s personality. At 5 years old, I think my son was at an ideal age to visit OdySea Aquarium.