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visiting the Georgia Aquarium

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
A friend will be visiting from out-of-state, and she has invited me and my family (husband and three kids) to meet her and her kids at the aquarium. We will be going during week of spring break, so all bets may be off, but does anyone have any tips on times of day and/or days of the week that are at least a little less crowded than others? The other time my family I went, it was so crowded that it was scary to me (I kept thinking of people getting trampled if the building had to be evacuated) and just not fun for the kids. It was such a bad experience that we haven't been back, but I'm hoping the hoopla (we went the first year it was open) has died down a bit.

Thanks for any advice you can give!
post #2 of 10
I think going these days is a lot different from the first year when it always seemed crowded. Honestly, don't let that first experience keep you from going again. We have been a couple of times recently with out of town friends. The only time when it seemed too crowded was the one weekend we went. Otherwise it has been relatively low key. Lunchtimes seem most popular, but mornings and late afternoons have been nice and low key.

That being said, you are right, all bets are off for Spring Breaks (especially the week before Easter). My MIL went last week and said there were a lot spring breakers already there. No telling what it might be like during Spring Break.

Also, the aquarium has a nice Mommy and Me deal. The website says the offer expires 3/31, but check again before you go as the end date for the deal has been extended before.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response.

We are looking at 10 a.m. tickets, so I guess all we can do is hope for the best.
post #4 of 10
I would have agreed with the PPs b/c over the past year and a half I have attended pretty frequently and seen the attendance fall off dramatically during the week - any weekday really. It has become much more pleasurable to go without the crowds. THEN I took a couple of my son's friends a week ago Friday and was STUNNED at the crowds. Not sure what the deal was - actually - Gwinnett Co was out of school, so that probably contributed - plus I counted at least 5 school buses there on field trips. It was crazy busy and not nearly as good with the little kids...
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
I think Fridays tend to be a popular day for field trips, so it's probably a good idea to choose another day.

When we went over spring break, the aquarium was not overly crowded from the time we went in (10 a.m.) until about 11:30. At that point, it was way too crowded and wasn't enjoyable anymore. If we ever go again, we will make every effort to get there the moment the doors open.

I have to confess that I'm not wild about the layout of the Georgia Aquarium and prefer the Tennessee Aquarium.
post #6 of 10
One of my best friends is a volunteer for the Aquarium and is there all the time and she said that Wednesday mornings are by far the least busy time of the entire week. Anytime we have friends or family in town, that's when we try to go. I took my mom not too long ago and it was pretty calm around that time. Especially since school is still in.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlebb View Post
Especially since school is still in.
I think that's the key.

I wonder if Wednesdays are still good during the summer? I don't think we'll go back this year, but it would be good to know.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Verity View Post
I have to confess that I'm not wild about the layout of the Georgia Aquarium and prefer the Tennessee Aquarium.
I completely agree. The Tennessee Aquarium is designed for you to see and take it all in with ease. The one in Atlanta has large rooms off a main area that has the very big gift shop and food. It's like they cared nothing for traffic flow.... only your ability to always walk past the stuff they sell.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Verity View Post
I think that's the key.

I wonder if Wednesdays are still good during the summer? I don't think we'll go back this year, but it would be good to know.
I went during the end of summer last year on a Wednesday morning and my mom (who is EXTREMELY claustrophobic!) was still comfortable. There were people, but plenty of room to move and to see the exhibits without throngs of people in the way. I hope it will be better this year. It seems like every year it gets a little better since the thrill of it being brand new is over.

On a more depressing note, my friend who volunteers there said that they are seeing a pretty big decrease in traffic because of the economy. People just aren't spending money on things like the Aquarium, which we all know isn't cheap. So that has really cut down traffic all together. Summer might be better because there won't be the field trips.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Verity View Post
I have to confess that I'm not wild about the layout of the Georgia Aquarium and prefer the Tennessee Aquarium.
That's what I always say, too! I love the TN Aquarium. It's so much more relaxed, and the little downtown area of Chattanooga is beautiful and packed with other things to do, including lovely free outdoor water play and and a park to picnic and play in across the river. You can walk to many restaurants or the IMAX and awesome children's museum, too. The area around the GA Aquarium doesn't begin to compare.
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