|1201 N Hill Field Rd #1072, Layton, UT 84041, USA
|10AM–9PM 10AM–9PM 10AM–9PM 10AM–9PM 10AM–9PM 10AM–9PM 12–6PM
The strongest strength this place has is that there isnt anything comparable to it in the area around Layton. Therefore, the location is great for those who live close by. However, the choice of being located within a mall is an odd one. I have very mixed feelings about it. For example, I like the fact that there is a food court above, but do not like how there isnt any natural light to be seen in the aquarium whatsoever. The staffing is difficult to write about. Most of them seem to like their jobs & are way friendly. Therefore, the customer service appears to be well above average. I was given a card with the name of one employee on it so that I can mention her name in this review; however, she wasnt as stellar as some of the other employees who didnt offer me such a card. Therefore, Im left wondering why only some employees bother to pass out review cards. They all seem to be mostly knowledgeable about their jobs, but Im not too sure about the animals. On that note, the companys signage (& lack thereof) leave a lot of confusion rather than education. Do Giant Pacific Octopuses really live in South American forests? I dont think so, but who am I to say where an octopus can & cant live. Despite the reviews that argue the feeding experiences are overpriced for that which one gets, I must disagree with them. First of all, the tokens (the medium by which one can obtain food to feed a variety of animals) do get cheaper as one buys more. Additionally, one is not buying simply food to feed animals with per se, but rather one is buying the experience of feeding the animals. Therefore, the experience is what makes feeding any of the animals worth the tokens. I have also done feeding at other places that cost much more than this place, but did so because the experience isnt easy to replicate. Should you want to feed the majority of the animals available, I would suggest purchasing between 6 & 10 tokens per person. Now I just have one thing left to write about: admissions & the price to visit the aquarium. The main entrance is also a tacky gift shop with items that arent overpriced, but aimed at the simple minds of those who arent mature. Interpret that last sentence as you wish. However, the gift shop is understandable for a for-profit aquarium. Nonetheless, the ray statues presence is not justifiable in my opinion. The location in & size of the aquarium deems it unfit for children to play on or around. Therefore, it is a big waste of space in a small aquarium. Have I forgotten to mention that the aquarium is very small? Therefore, it cannot handle a large crowds & groups very well. Actually, the size of the aquarium is appropriate for a small town. Therefore, even at a slower time, the size & design of the aquarium can make one feel a bit uncomfortable. So, it is a very small aquarium with a rather expensive entrance fee. I would be okay with it if the aquarium were a non-profit aquarium that uses the money to support conservation efforts & groups locally or globally. However, it is a for-profit aquarium & wants everyone to know that the moment they want to visit the aquarium. In conclusion, for those who live close to it & even more so for those with young children, it is better than the nothingness they had before. Nevertheless, for most of the rest of us, it is a one-time activity that could easily not be included on your agenda because of a budget too small to spend on a very small & expensive aquarium.
When we arrived at SeaQuest I talked with Jeff. He took time to answer all 3000 of my questions :) He gave recommendations on what to do & when things were happening. If you need anything when you go, ask for Jeff. Best costumer service I have ever had! This place was amazing! We had family visiting from out of state. We took nine children ages 2-13 & everyone had a good time. We arrived about 11am and I had to drag my kids out at 5pm because I was exhausted!!! Do NOT go here to just walk through. It is not that kind of aquarium. You need to plan to buy tokens & take time to feed & touch everything. That is what makes this place amazing. I would recommend at least 7 tokens per person. Our family of five used about 35-40 tokens, we used them liberally -but that is what makes this place fun. Dont skimp on the tokens. Just plan ahead to spend the money on the tokens or dont go! My 8 & 9 year old begged to swim with the stingrays/sharks. I was worried it would feel like a rip off -not at all, it was an amazing experience for them!!! They were in the water for 45 minutes. The SeaQuest helper was great. He helped adjust their goggles & snorkels. IMPORTANT -there is a bit of a learning curve with the gear, I am not sure I would let anyone younger than 8 do this. Your kids need to be able to swim, bring a swimsuit, bring a towel, and expect the water to be COLD. My kids were shivering very badly by the time they got out. My son really wanted to get near the sharks & the helper made sure it happened. Three sharks were swimming circles around him. My kids said this was the best thing they have done all summer & are begging to do it again :) The animals come out at different times during the day, so make sure to loop though a few times. Read the signs in every room to make sure you are not missing a feeding/touching station. I walked right by the iguanas, it was my son that noticed we could feed them. The fish pedicures were fun. My daughter was smiling and giggling the whole time. She said she wanted to come back and do that part again. I dont know if I would pay for it every time... But fun to have the experience. I wish there was a schedule of when the animals came out. Maybe a reminder posted in each room that said "make sure you are here at 2pm to touch the snakes!" or something like that. Go in the morning! The animals are hungrier and more active. Also, by the end of the day the employees get worn out & were not as good with the children. The parakeets are super friendly. The lorikeets nip! The trout are REALLY fun to feed, but again, they nip! Drop the food in, dont hold it out for them. Keep that in mind when you take younger children!
We have a membership and have gone a few times to the aquarium. Our first couple of experiences were really nice, but the last couple have not been. For one, they have no bathroom, and no diaper changing station inside the aquarium. You have to haul your kids through the aquarium and out through the gift shop to go in the mall, then re-enter the aquarium. They do have a bathroom there for those who have paid extra to snorkel with the stingrays, so it feels discriminatory, with a lot of focus on money. There used to be only the main gift shop at the entrance/exit, but now they have little stands with things to sell it feels like everywhere we turn. So now, instead of being able to just enjoy the creature encounters, Im trying to keep my kids from the toys and stuff they are trying to sell almost at every turn. Again, more focus on money. I also did not like that they have not printed any membership cards. At first they said it would be a little of a wait before they were printed. Then, this trip they said they werent printing them at all for the customers benefit, so we did not have to keep track of another card. Id rather have a card if it meant shorter lines. Instead, every time we go now, well have to wait in line, even if we have a membership. I cant imagine why they wouldnt make cards, except maybe to save money. I loved the aquarium at first because it really did seem to be about the creatures and fun encounters, now it just feels like it is all about money, and them trying to squeeze the most they can out of their visitors. Were stuck with our membership now, but will go to the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium next time we get a membership. At least I only have to deal with their gift shop once, when we are leaving, and thankfully they do have a bathroom.