What’s New This Summer at Georgia Aquarium?

Summertime is almost here, and Georgia Aquarium is your destination for all the fun (out of) the sun with some exciting new announcements. Check out what’s happening below and to plan your visit, head to georgiaaquarium.org.

New Coastal Birds Exhibit Debuts This June

For the first time, Georgia Aquarium will showcase a coastal birds exhibit. Georgia Aquarium’s Dolphin Coast gallery is now the Margaritaville Vacation Club Dolphin Coast and will soon unveil a brand-new habitat featuring scarlet ibises and roseate spoonbills. The new exhibit will invite guests to learn about the importance, diversity, and delicate balance of coastal ecosystems. The exhibit is in the lobby of the Margaritaville Vacation Club Dolphin Coast gallery and is included in general admission. The Aquarium’s daily, trainer-led dolphin presentations will continue to give guests a glimpse into the beauty, athleticism, and intelligence of the common bottlenose dolphin. Dolphin presentations are included in general admission, but guests can purchase preferred, reserved seating to the shows in advance at georgiaaquarium.org.


Sound Waves

Twenty-two nights, one incredible venue! Introducing the Aquarium’s newest summer event – Sound Waves. Every weeknight throughout June, guests can enjoy live music from local Atlanta artists in the Aquarium’s atrium (including Electric Avenue, DJ KIMBER, Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics, and Georgia Players Guild). Each night will feature its own unique theme with specialty cocktails and small bites for purchase; music will plays from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Monday through Friday in June.  Sounds Waves is included with the purchase of a General Admission ticket.

For a full schedule of performances and to purchase tickets, visit georgiaaquarium.org.


20,000 Beers Under the Sea

Our most popular summer event is back! Celebrate the arrival of summer at Georgia Aquarium on Friday, June 30, by enjoying unlimited beer, hard seltzer and cider samples, a summer inspired buffet dinner, music and over 500 aquatic species. All proceeds benefit Georgia Aquarium’s education programs. Our education programs have enabled countless students experience the magic of the world’s premier aquarium and has allowed us to improve and expand our educational offerings. Tickets will go fast, so visit georgiaaquarium.org for tickets and more information!


Join us this summer to check out some of these amazing events and new additions! To purchase tickets and learn more about these and other upcoming Georgia Aquarium announcements, visit our website.

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Celebrate World Ocean Day at Georgia Aquarium

By Harlee Goldermann, Guest Programs Team Specialist

Have you heard June 8th is World Ocean Day? World Ocean Day is a United Nations recognized day to raise awareness, help create policy, overall inform the public of the importance of our ocean and what we can do to help protect it! Did you know that the ocean covers 70% of the planet and contributes 50% of the oxygen we breathe? Our oceans also protect us by absorbing up to 30% of carbon dioxide created by humans, which helps us with the impacts of global climate change. The ocean contains most of the earth’s biodiversity, with many of the species found on our coral reefs! Coral reefs cover less than 1% of the ocean floor but account for 25% of all known ocean life. Unfortunately, many of the species that make the coral reefs and the rest of the ocean so diverse are depleted and our ecosystems around the world are feeling the repercussions. Many of these negative impacts are caused directly by humans. Overfishing, plastic pollution, and chemical runoff are hurting our oceans and puts the need to protect our ocean and all that it does for us into a greater importance. All of this has led many to campaign for a global ocean protection effort and that is one of the many reasons why World Ocean Day came to fruition!

At Georgia Aquarium we are committed to conservation efforts that not only aim to restore coral reefs that contribute so much to the ocean’s biodiversity but also fish populations and other animals to help restore order to our ocean ecosystems! One of the ways we are doing that is by partnering with conservation institutions around the globe. Georgia Aquarium is a founding partner of the StAR Project, a project that brings facilities around the world together to help replenish zebra shark (Stegostoma tigrinum) populations in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. These waters have been protected since 2004 but zebra sharks have been functionally extinct from this area for so long that the young people of that region no longer have a common name for them in their language. Georgia Aquarium is one of 76 partners and 15 countries involved with the project. Read more about this project on https://www.reshark.org/project-star

World Ocean Day was first proposed in 1992 by Canada at the Earth summit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Through many years and collective efforts, it was not until December of 2008 that the United Nations General Assembly officially recognized and established June 8th as World Ocean Day. Over the years thousands have participated in global World Ocean Day events and thousands have pledged to help with their latest campaign #30×30. This is an effort to protect 30% of our planet by 2030. Currently less than 17% of our lands and only 8% of our oceans worldwide are protected. Protecting our ocean is incredibly vital as we have reached a point where we are taking more than what can be replenished without our help.

You can help our ocean this World Ocean Day, too! Come visit us at Georgia Aquarium on June 8th for World Ocean Day festivities for the whole family to enjoy and learn more! The proceeds from your visit will go towards helping us care for our animals and our conservation efforts protecting animals around the world, including our work with the StAR Project. We cannot wait to see you there! For more information and to purchase tickets, visit georgiaaquarium.org.

Driving Coral Recovery: Introducing The “Coral Bus”

The Coral Restoration Foundation™ (CRF™), in partnership with Georgia Aquarium, has proudly unveiled the “Coral Bus”, a cutting-edge aquarium trailer system designed to transport nursery-raised corals safely to their new homes within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. 

With the world’s coral reefs facing unprecedented challenges from climate change, pollution, and other human-induced stressors, the need for innovative solutions in coral restoration and conservation has never been more urgent. The Coral Bus was developed to address the issue of coral stress during transport – removing as many stressors as possible gives these endangered animals an even better chance of survival in the wild.  

The Coral Bus is a first-of-its-kind coral transport technology that closely replicates the open ocean conditions to which the corals are already acclimated. The state-of-the-art aquarium trailer enables practitioners to monitor and regulate water temperature, pH, filtration, and water flow to ensure the well-being of corals during transport, minimizing the stress experienced by these fragile animals while they are on the move.  

“The Coral Bus now constitutes an incredible tool for our daily operations at CRF offering us year-round transport capabilities that can adapt to seasonal in-situ conditions,” says Jessica Levy, CRF Director Restoration Strategy, “By closely replicating the natural environment during transport, this system will help ensure the comfort and well-being of the corals we are moving. By reducing shock to these delicate animals, we are giving them an even better chance of surviving and thriving in the wild. We are deeply grateful to Georgia Aquarium for their invaluable contributions to this groundbreaking project. Their expertise and support have been instrumental in revolutionizing coral transportation, paving the way for a brighter future for coral reefs and marine ecosystems. Now we are just looking forward to hitting the road!”  

“Coral restoration and conservation is an on-going mission for Georgia Aquarium, both at home and in tandem with partners, like CRF,™” said Steve Hartter, associate curator of fish and invertebrates at Georgia Aquarium. “We were thrilled to have contributed to the completion of the Coral Bus, which will give CRF™ the ability to expand their impactful work preserving our ocean’s coral reefs.” 

The Coral Bus was designed and built by Coral Restoration Foundation™ and Georgia Aquarium with support from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.  

4 Amazing Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day at Georgia Aquarium

Looking for a unique way to spend Mother’s Day with the moms in your life this year? Georgia Aquarium has just what you’re looking for to make the day memorable. Check out the top four ways you can celebrate Mother’s Day at the Western hemisphere’s largest aquarium!

1. Mother’s Day Brunch at Georgia Aquarium | May 14, 2023 | 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

  • Enjoy brunch in the Oceans Ballroom with views of whale sharks, manta rays, and even beluga whales!
  • Full brunch is provided by Georgia Aquarium’s premier on-site caterer, Wolfgang Puck Catering
  • Tickets include Aquarium general admission, full brunch menu, cash bar, and live entertainment
  • Reservations will go quickly, purchase your tickets here

2. Meet an animal up close together with one of the Aquarium’s animal encounters. a. Give mom the experience of a lifetime with a variety of animal encounters to choose from! All encounters get you up close with an animal and the opportunity to learn about them from their trainers. Bookings go quickly, so make yours today:

3. Purchase a membership for you and mom to visit all year long. The Aquarium has three membership levels to choose from. This is the perfect gift for the entire family to celebrate!

  • Choose from individual, family (up to 4 members), or Land + Sea memberships
  • All memberships include one year of unlimited admission and discounts throughout the Aquarium

4. Make a donation in their name. Georgia Aquarium is a nonprofit that continues its global research work, educational programs, and world-class animal care thanks to visitors like you. Honor the moms in your life with a few different ways to donate:

  • Name a jelly
    • Includes an official naming certificate!
  • Adopt an animal
    • Each adoption kit includes a plush, adoption certificate, species fact card, and a drawstring backpack.
    • Available animals include bottlenose dolphins, green sea turtles, southern sea otters, and whale sharks
  • Name a dolphin theater seat
    • Each named seat includes a plaque on the seat location and an official certificate
  • Make a monetary donation to the Georgia Aquarium Annual Fund
    • Donations can be applied to Georgia Aquarium’s research and conservation program, education programs, military programs, or Sponsored Education Admissions programs for Title I students

However you choose to celebrate Mother’s Day, Georgia Aquarium has plenty of ways to show you care, whether that’s an animal encounter or an afternoon exploring the galleries together. To purchase tickets to Georgia Aquarium visit georgiaaquarium.org.

Georgia Aquarium Partners with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation to Bring Aquatic Animals to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Georgia Aquarium and the Ryan Seacrest Foundation (RSF) have come together to bring aquatic animals to patients in Seacrest Studios at children’s hospitals around the country, including Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (Children’s). By providing fun and engaging video footage, Georgia Aquarium is joining RSF’s efforts to transport patients out of the hospital and into engaging adventures during their treatment.

To kick off this partnership, the animal teams from Georgia Aquarium visited Children’s Egleston Hospital to provide fun, virtual visits with their animals back at the Aquarium, interact with animal care takers at the hospital, and get an Aquarium plushie. The Ryan Seacrest Foundation has built 11, soon to be 14, broadcast media centers named Seacrest Studios in pediatric hospitals nationwide – including a location at Egleston – as a part of their mission to provide patients the opportunity to explore radio, television, and new media. With the help of Seacrest Studios, Georgia Aquarium connected Atlanta patients to live, interactive Zoom encounters with their sea lions, dolphins, and penguins. Patients and their families watched and engaged with Aquarium trainers live in the Seacrest Studios at Egleston.

The Ryan Seacrest Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to inspiring today’s youth through entertainment and education-focused initiatives. RSF utilizes its Seacrest Studios to contribute positively to the healing process for children and their families through access to multimedia experiences. By bringing patients on exciting adventures, RSF aims to encourage optimistic thoughts during treatment.

“The Ryan Seacrest Foundation is thrilled to team up with the Georgia Aquarium to virtually take patients under the sea to meet and learn all about aquatic animals,” said Meredith Seacrest Leach, executive director & coo of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. “We are grateful to share this unique and engaging marine life education not only with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, but also with our entire Seacrest Studios network.”

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is Georgia’s leading pediatric healthcare provider with three hospitals and multiple neighborhood locations. For more than 100 years, their purpose has been to make kids better today and healthier tomorrow. Patients and their families are able to enjoy the many engaging studio offerings, which occasionally includes special guest visits, like the trainers from Georgia Aquarium.

The Aquarium’s partnership with RSF creates an opportunity to connect kids in children’s hospitals nationwide with the ocean and animals that call it home, regardless of location. In addition to the Zoom visit with aquarium animals at Seacrest Studios in Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium also provided RSF with video content from multiple exhibits to stream via their closed-circuit TV network. Georgia Aquarium is committed to inspiring the next generation of marine advocates. “We believe that every child should have the opportunity to learn about our world ocean. Our partnership with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation allows us to extend that opportunity to patients undergoing medical treatment at certain children’s hospitals throughout the U.S. with engaging aquarium content,” said Jessica Wood, senior director of communications at Georgia Aquarium.

For ways to support Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, visit their website, here. Learn more about ways to support the Ryan Seacrest Foundation by visiting their website, here.

For media photos and broll of Georgia Aquarium’s visit to CHOA, please see the links below:



Social Video

Credit: Georgia Aquarium

Top 5 Date Night Experiences at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta

Valentine’s Day is approaching and many of us find ourselves in the same predicament year after year: what to do, how to celebrate, and where to go to celebrate the day of love. No matter if you’re in the ‘getting to know each other’ stage, have been together forever, or maybe it’s platonic, Georgia Aquarium has five great ways to make Valentine’s Day stand out.

1. Sips Under the Sea – Feb. 10, 2023; 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.

  • Enjoy this 21+ cocktail party with access to the Aquarium’s galleries, three drink tickets, and dining options in Cafe Aquaria.
  • Wanna make it more special? Tack on the Overnight option to your ticket. Not only do you get all the benefits of Sips Under the Sea but get to stay the night in one of the Aquarium’s galleries following the event!
  • Can’t make this one? Don’t worry, Sips Under the Sea happens several times throughout the year.
  • Animal Encounters and Interactive Programs – Varies
  • Know someone obsessed with seals? Maybe penguins? Give them the gift they will talk about for Valentine’s Days to come (sorry, this one will be tough to top) – an animal encounter! Take your pick. *Animal encounters and interactive programs are an additional purchase and are not included in general admission or memberships.

2. Animal Encounters and Interactive Programs – Varies

Know someone obsessed with seals? Maybe penguins? Give them the gift they will talk about for Valentine’s Days to come (sorry, this one will be tough to top) – an animal encounter! Take your pick. *Animal encounters and interactive programs are an additional purchase and are not included in general admission or memberships.

  • Penguin Encounter – get up-close with an African penguin and learn all about this unique temperate weather bird!
  • Sea Lion Encounter – get so close to California sea lions you’ll smell their fishy breath!
  • Dolphin Encounter – You’ll stay on the deck of the dolphin habitat, but definitely get wet!
  • Shark & Ray Interaction – For the daring heart, don a wet suit and get in with sharks and rays in a waist-deep exhibit!
  • Shark Cage Dive – Go big and get fully submerged in the shark exhibit as you travel underwater (scuba certification not required).
  • Journey with Gentle Giants Swim or Dive – Swim or dive in the largest aquatic habitat in the world with whale sharks, manta rays, and thousands of fish (scuba certification not required for swim; open water certification required for dive).

3. Dance by the Water – February 14, 2023; 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

  • Put a pep in your step this Valentine’s Day with a one-hour dance class by Fred Astaire Dance Studio looking into the 6.3-million-gallon Ocean Voyager exhibit. Dance partners are not required but encouraged. Tickets include complimentary parking but do not include admission to the Aquarium.

4. Memberships or Resident Passes – varies

Make Valentine’s Day last the entire year with a membership! Get one for yourself (because love yourself, too) or the entire family. Membership types vary but all include:

  • One year of unlimited visits from time of purchase
  • Bring friends or family and receive 10% discount on their admission
  • Exclusive discounts for events, parties, camps, etc.
  • 10% discount in Café Aquaria and Gift Shop
  • Discounts on programming and parking
  • Live in Georgia? Take advantage of our first-ever Resident Pass that gives Georgia residents unlimited admission (excluding blackout dates) for the rest of 2023 for the price a single-day ticket!

*Resident Passes do not include membership benefits. Resident Pass purchases require proof of residency and cannot be gifted.

5. General Admission Visit – Varies; the Aquarium is open 365, check website for hours

A general admission visit to the Aquarium is just as magical as an encounter or event. Visit all eight of the Aquarium’s galleries and see some of the world’s most majestic creatures right here in the U.S.

  • Snap photos of your love in the picturesque spots like the bubble window in Ocean Voyager or coral wall in Tropical Diver!
  • Catch the sea lion or dolphin presentation (check showtimes upon arrival) which is included in general admission
  • Pssst – make an advance ticket reservation and save $5!

Tickets are required for entry, encounter programs, and special events at the Aquarium. Reservations are required for the sea lion and dolphin presentations at no additional charge. For more information and to book your experience, visit georgiaaquarium.org.

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