I am always trying to look for fun new places to take my children that are in or around our area that are affordable and fun for the entire family. I've heard about a local aquarium called Sea Life Aquarium Arizona located in Tempe but I have never personally been there until this last weekend. I was sent some tickets for myself and my family to attend and check out their aquarium. Sea Life is located inside of Arizona Mills mall so I was unsure exactly how big of a attraction this would be but I was actually quite surprised at how large it actually was and how much they had to offer. As soon as you arrive you are greeted by friendly and smiling staff who are ready to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. Once you pay for your ticket the kids are handed a pair of paper glasses to keep along with a 'dive book' which they carry with them through out the aquarium and stamp them at each stop along the way using a self stamping station located in each area.
After purchasing your tickets you head around the corner and get your picture taken in front of a green screen and given a ticket to view these photos at the end of your visit, from there you enter into a small room that has a TV and plays a welcome video for you before opening a door into the aquarium. There aren't any tour guides that hurry you along you simply walk through at your own pace looking at all the different sea creatures, they had lots of small fish and some that were pretty large they also had an interactive rock pool area where you could touch shrimp, lobsters, and star fish. I think they had a lovely selection of fish and I was able to see quite a few I've never seen before along with fish much larger than any I've seen for example they had a giant puffer fish, I thought the one my day job has was large until I seen the one Sea life had.
They have quite a few 'bubbles' in different areas of the aquarium that you could crawl under and stick your head into to get a better up close look at the fish, they had a circular room that the fish swim around you in, a tunnel you walk through where the fish completely surround you including a see through floor where they swim under you along with a number of other large tanks, they also had a small theater room which was featuring a video about sea life. My favorite was about midway through the aquarium where they had a large round tank filled with sting rays, sharks and more all swimming together they had a small cave like area you could enter to see the fish up close and they also had a deck area you could go up to and view the fish from above. I have a short video of this area on my instagram account that I posted while at the aquarium, you can view that video here. At the end of the trip they have a play ground for the kids and a gift shop where you can turn in your completed dive book which you stamped along the way to get a medal for your kids (shown above) as a reward for finishing the book and learning about the fish. If you live near the Tempe/Phoenix area I suggest visiting Sea Life Arizona, you won't be disappointed!