Sea Life Aquarium brings its own oceans of fun to Kansas City’s Crown Center


Ever wanted to stand above a sting ray? How about stand underneath a shark?

You can do both at Kansas City’s Sea Life Aquarium.

Sea Life is next door to Legoland Discovery Center at the Crown Center Mall.

Sea Life is home to about 5,000 species of sea life – from the shark to a seahorse.

The aquarium is divided into easily navigated sections. It helps in viewing the fish and other sea life.

You get a nice view of what to expect at the entrance. There is a small aquarium near the entrance. You can see some fish prior to actually entering the attraction. During our visit, the aquarium was observing Halloween, so some of the small tanks had pumpkins in them.


Once inside, we came upon a curved shoaling ring. Jack-o-lanterns were floating among the fish.


What stood out during our visit was the shape of the aquariums. There was a lot of thin, curved glass. That made it seem like you were closer to the fish and sea life. It impressed us as a more intimate visit for an aquarium.

The first real water life area encountered was the shoreline exhibit. Fresh water fish were found in this area.


One of the most interesting areas was one of the touch pools. Aquarium staff members share information about the creatures in the pool. You can also touch the animals in the pool.


I checked out a couple of star fish. One felt really soft. The second one had a tough shell. Some of the other animals in the pool included a hermit crab and some shrimp. IMG_4041

IMG_3999We moved along to the harbor area. In one of the aquariums was a lobster. We thought it was cool looking. Don’t know why, as we’ve enjoyed them for dinner.

The shipwreck area was really neat. The aquariums had what would seem like pieces of ship scattered about.

One tank had some rope that may have fallen off the ship as it broke up and was sinking. Fish moved about it.

A steering wheel sits in the water, surrounded by fish. At one point, it looked like one fish was actually piloting the ship at the wheel.


Star fish and other sea creatures attached themselves to the wooden hull area. One of the cool things to see was a couple of sunflower-shaped star fish. Freaky! IMG_4346

The aquarium has a great underwater tunnel walk. It is fairly small, compared with others we’ve seen. But, it almost seemed better because you were up close with the sharks, fish and sting rays. The design of the tunnel included “skeletons” of dead sea creatures, such as a whale. The animals would swim through the skeletal area. It added to the experience.


Next up for us was the jellyfish area. Who doesn’t like jellyfish? I can stand for quite a while and watch them move about, so gracefully.  The colors they displayed were amazing.


There is an entire room for turtles. It looks like some huts. But, when you walk through them, you can see the turtles in their tanks.

The gem of Sea Life to me is the sting ray pool. Sting rays of different sizes and colors dominate the pool. They are hosts to some eels and sand sharks. But, the rays are the MAIN attraction here.


The pool is in a room to itself. It has an observation deck. You can stand over the pool and watch rays swim below your feet. Very cool!


The aquarium actually puts on shows for guests in the pool area. They didn’t have any scheduled during our visit (our loss).


We spent several minutes here. It was mesmerizing and fun to watch the rays swim around the pool. Some of them seem to bat themselves against the side walls, like they were flapping wings.

We finished our tour in the children’s play area. The families there seemed to be having a great time.

Various fish (including clown fish) were in the uniquely designed aquarium tanks. The curved style just impressed me. The glass seemed like it was designed to deflect glare. IMG_5028

The 28,000 square foot aquarium is a nice way to spend 1-3 hours, depending on your interests. I can see families taking more time. We spent about an hour there and saw everything we wanted.

Sea Life is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

IMG_4971 Admission at the door is $19 per adult (13 and older) and $15 for kids 3-12. Kids younger than 3 are free. However, I suggest taking advantage of the online ticket discount of $4 per person. Ideally, if you plan to spend the day in the area, buy an online combo ticket for Sea Life and Legoland (only if you have kids with you).

The aquarium is open 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday – Thursday. Friday and Saturday, the hours are 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information on Sea Life, visit its website at

I truly recommend visiting the aquarium. I had my reservations about visiting a place that charged almost $20 a person, but it’s worth it. I believe most people will have an enjoyable time.

Again, who doesn’t like seeing sharks, eels, sting rays and, of course, clown fish?