The Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium is the city's only full-time aquarium, and it's home to over 250 species of sea creatures. As you visit, you can see them up close and even touch some as you tour the aquarium's various exhibits.
From the Charlotte aquarium hours to what to see, here's what you need to know before you visit.
Charlotte aquarium hours and days of operation
The aquarium is open seven days a week according to the following schedule. It stays open for one hour after the last admission.
- Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.
The Charlotte aquarium is home to many interesting sea creatures, including sharks, octopi, sting rays, clownfish and turtles. Ten interactive exhibits will help you get up close as you learn more about the aquarium's marine life.
Interactive exhibits include the following:
- Touchpool – Touch sea stars, urchins and more.
- Tropical ocean – Pass through an underwater ocean tunnel as you're surrounded by sharks, rays, turtles and other sea life.
- Freshwater – Come nose-to-nose with the creatures that inhabit local rivers and streams.
- Seahorse Mangrove – Watch seahorses grip at sea grass and suck up tiny shrimp.
- Stingray Bay – Check out stingrays up close.
In addition, talk sessions or feeding demonstrations are held throughout the day, with each focusing on a different species. You can also visit the Turtle Shelter, which helps you learn about turtles, including their diet and environment.
Finally, if you'd like to learn how the aquarium operates, take a behind-the-scenes tour that shows you how the animals' food is prepared as well as how the water quality, life support and filtration centers work. You'll have a great view as you walk above the aquarium's 117,000-gallon tank.
General admission and group tickets are available. You'll save money if you purchase online and also save some time in line when you arrive at the aquarium.
Members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums receive a substantial discount, and a deal is offered for young children's tickets on Toddler Tuesdays. Military personnel and senior citizens receive a discount on walk-up tickets, and you can also find occasional deals offered on the aquarium's website and Facebook page.
Annual passes are available, and they offer 12 months of unlimited visits to the aquarium.
You'll be able to get express entry through the fast-track line, attend exclusive events only for pass-holders and bring a friend to the aquarium for a discounted price.
You can also buy a pass that allows you to have unlimited admission to Charlotte's aquarium in addition to over 25 attractions in other cities like Atlanta and Orlando. The Merlin Annual Pass is good at attractions such as the LEGOLAND Discovery Centers and Madame Tussauds wax museums.
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord is located at entrance 7 in the Concord Mills Mall at 8111 Concord Mills Blvd. in Concord.
It can be reached from both I-85 Southbound (from Greensboro and Raleigh) and I-85 Northbound (from Charlotte, Rock Hill and Gastonia).
From I-85, take Exit 49 (Concord Mills Boulevard). Exit to the right off the ramp, and turn left into the Concord Mills parking lot. Go behind the Speed Park and go through entrance 7.
From I-85 Northbound, take Exit 49 (Concord Mills Boulevard). Exit to the left off the ramp, and turn left into the Concord Mills parking lot. Go behind the Speed Park and go through entrance 7.
For more information:
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord
8111 Concord Mills Blvd
Concord, North Carolina 28027
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