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Put the new Sea Life Aquarium on Spring Break to-do list

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Hidden cave-like aquarium sections with pop-out bubbles give the new SEA LIFE Aquarium in Concord-Charlotte (NC) added elements that will delight kids of all ages. Visitors to the Sea Life on March 12 had short wait times to get into the 36.000 square foot aquarium.

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"Mid-week is really the best time to visit Sea Life. The public has been so excited to see the exhibits that we've had triple the attendance," said staff who encouraged visitors to upgrade their admission tickets to the annual pass.

Brittany Sturdivant took the day off to visit with her son. She learned about the aquarium from co-workers who recommended she make the 30-minute trip from Matthews. Her son liked the mini-walk through aquarium tunnel experience where the fish were at his level.

"Wow look at that shark, AWESOME!" said a tween walking through the 180 ocean tunnel who was visiting with a school group from Harvest Academy.

Best features:

  • With the lower aquariums and sphere globed glass pop-out, it feels as if the Cownose Rays and Lion Fish are swimming right toward you.
  • The hands-on experience in the interactive touchpool allows you to feel the bumps on a sea star and touch a crab.
  • There's no limit to the number of times you can go through the aquarium. You can even take a break for lunch and come back.

Best advice for visiting:

  • Book your visit in advance to ensure easy entry. Tickets are just $17 for kids. Annual passes that allow for special "bring a friend" day are $55.
  • With 5,000 creatures and 20 themed display areas, make the time to go through at least twice. Take a break in the kids soft play area or have lunch in the food court area of the mall.

SEA LIFE staff are already talking about 10,000 square feet of space available for expansion. New fish and different creatures may arrive throughout the year and traveling exhibits will be hosted beginning in 2015.