We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“kids would enjoy” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Great Lakes Aquarium

Great Lakes Aquarium
353 Harbor Drive, I-35, exit 256B, Duluth, MN 55802
218 740 3474
Improve this listing
Ranked #34 of 81 things to do in Duluth
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The only aquarium in the U.S. that focuses on freshwater exhibits, this three-story waterfront structure is ready for public viewing after a year and a half and almost $34 million. Plenty of interactive exhibits and re-created habitats are fun and educational for children.
Duluth, Minnesota
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“kids would enjoy”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2013

being a local just another waist of taxpayer money. I have brought the children and they enjoyed it. I guess it is worth seeing once. But in the big scheme another government boondoggle.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
themaser, Public Relations Manager at Great Lakes Aquarium, responded to this review, February 4, 2014
Thank you for your visit and your review. It sounds like your children had an enjoyable time together at the Aquarium. However, based on your review it seems you may hold a negative view of our attraction. We’re always happy to receive feedback from our visitors and would like to clear up a few possible misconceptions.

Great Lakes Aquarium does, in fact, receive money from Duluth’s tourism tax fund for a small percentage of its annual operating costs. However, this tax, created expressly to support tourist attractions like ours, is paid for largely by tourists, not local taxpayers. As a non-profit organization, most of our revenue comes from ticket sales, memberships, program fees and special events.

Great Lakes Aquarium provides the city a 7:1 return on its annual investment in our facility. We are the most visited paid attraction in the city of Duluth, bringing millions of dollars into our local economy while also serving our local community. We are a growing, thriving educational facility and attraction. Thank you for your time. We hope you will consider visiting us again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

200 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Roseville, Minnesota
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Surprising Crow Exhibit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

Loved seeing all the fresh water fish and fowl from around the great lakes. Feeding/enrichment time for the otter was very entertaining and we were saddened to hear about the recent loss of their second otter :( Amazing art created by the otters is available in the gift shop! The crow named Freeway is amazingly intelligen and I was very surprised to learn so much about an easily overlooked bird! Go during Feeding and enrichment time for the greatest experience.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Scarium at the Aquarium”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

Attended Scarium at the Aquarium October 27th with our grand daughters ages 2 1/2 and 8 months. Lots of fun Halloween games, activities, and treats! The admission was $16.50 for adults and children in costume were free. There was a photo booth and we received two copies of the photos. Most of the games were toddler friendly and the 2 year old loved them. Prizes consisted of pencils, plastic Halloween themed rings, and other themed prizes. There was a complimentary build your own sundae bar. The aquarium exhibits were very enjoyable and educational. The multistory fish tank filled with many different types of fish species was fun to watch. The otter show was fun and interesting to watch. The 2 1/2 year old greatly enjoyed playing in the interactive locks exhibit. Will return!

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
“An Interesting Attraction”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

This is a freshwater aquarium that features animals and habitats found within the Great Lakes Basin. The Aquarium houses turtles, fish, birds and some non-native live exhibits, as well as many other interesting items for viewing.

This is an attraction for all ages, but especially interesting for kids. The kids get especially excited with the opportunity to see the otter exhibit and otter feeding up-close.

The Aquarium is an easy walk from the Canal Park hospitality area..

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis Minnesota
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great Lakes Aquarium”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

We are glad we took the afternoon to explore this wonderful aquarium. First of all, it is not a cheap place to visit; $27.00 for two seniors to visit is a lot of money to spend. I feel also that it was worth every penny we spent. Other Aquariums show ocean marine life; they show marine life in Lake Superior and along its shores. This museum has a very unusual mission and it does it well. It costs money to present it properly. We have been to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago which I consider the best in the United States and this compares favorably with the Shedd. The Great Lakes Aquarium is in Duluth not Chicago; quite a contrast in population. The quality I have seen at the Shedd is present in this Aquarium, and I mean by that world class. We found the gift shop to be small but well stocked. There is a soft drink machine on the 2nd floor but no snack bar. The view of the harbor is wonderful. The Aquarium is easy access from I-35 and within walking distance from Canal Park Hotels and Restaurants. We found the staff knowledgeable.

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to Great Lakes Aquarium? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Great Lakes Aquarium, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.