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“Ehh..” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Great Lakes Aquarium

Great Lakes Aquarium
Ranked #20 of 94 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.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2013 via mobile

First off, it was VERY overpriced. $16.50 for an adult?? I was told we could feed stingrays but that didn't happen. I wish I had known it was only freshwater fish before I went. It was more of an educational thing than an aquarium. The gift shop was a huge disappointment.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Gabbielynn21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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365 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
1,602 reviews
1,083 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,294 helpful votes
“Is the only issue the cost?”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2013

We are seniors and spend more than the admission price on a bad lunch at times, so no big deal. I do think there should be a family rate that caps the cost because young families are not going to spend 60+ dollars for this Aquarium. We went late in the day because we wanted to see the Aerial Bridge by night as well as the Canal Park area. The exhibits are kid friendly and children will enjoy the touch and feel parts. Adults will not be as excited about the place. It needs an infusion of financial support from some good fund raising so the costs can be lowered. They are high because the place can't make it on its own. Too bad I do not see a bright future for this Aquarium.
The Canal Park is free and has more to appeal to families...go at night it is beautiful.

Visited August 2013
3 Thank James H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indiana, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
276 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Nice visit...good information”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2013

A lot of interesting information regarding the Great Lakes, wildlife and environmental issues. Pleasantly surprised at the gift shop prices. More than reasonable for some nice merchandise. Suggest stopping by

Visited July 2013
Thank LaurLaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
66 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Very Informative”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013

This aquarium crosses a children's museum with a traditional exhibit heavy aquarium. Our kids (2-1/2 to 9 years) all enjoyed it and so did the adults. Obviously, there is something for everyone.

All of us enjoyed the Great Lakes lock system where you can open and close the locks and let toy boats through.

I liked the complete fresh water fish displays. One does not see muskies often.

Visited August 2013
Thank TervurenTrails
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Dakota
Level Contributor
189 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
“Kids Had Fun”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2013

The kids really enjoyed some of the hands-on things such as the wave machine and interactive model of the Great Lakes. This was a great way to teach kids how boats move through locks. We all had fun with the camouflage screen. I haven't laughed so hard in ages. The lower level definitely had more interesting varieties of sea creatures. The kids were entertained by the busy ducks on the upper level.

The is a very personal opinion, but as someone who does not believe in evolution, I really disliked the evolution-based information presented on the panels at the beginning of the second floor exhibits. Because the is where you start your tour, my immediate impression of the museum was negative. I realize the banner on the outside of the museum hinted that this type of information would be presented and I chose to go in anyway. I also realize other museums display similar information. It was just a large amount right off the bat.

As others have said, the admission fee is high. Other than Spirit Mountain, this was the most expensive attraction we visited in Duluth.

Tip: To save money on parking, if the convention center lot is not full for a convention, you can pay to park there and see three attractions: Vista Cruise, William Irving Ore Boat and the aquarium. The lot is large enough that it is possible to move your car to various sections of the lot close to each attraction as opposed to using separate lots for each attraction and having to pay three different parking fees.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank MomMobile5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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