Sea Life Aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center Set to Open May 4 at American Dream

Tropical fish, rays, sharks and more are on view at Sea Life Aquarium.
Tropical fish, rays, sharks and more are on view at Sea Life Aquarium.

Editor's note: As of April 21, 2021, the opening day has again been delayed. Organizers hope the attractions will open sometime during summer 2021. The Sea Life Aquarium at the American Dream entertainment complex in New Jersey has set its grand opening date for Tuesday, May 4, 2021. With a "city under the sea theme," its interactive exhibits showcase more than 3,000 sea creatures from jellyfish to sharks. Opening alongside the attraction is a Legoland Discovery Center. Both were slated for spring 2020 openings but saw their debuts pushed back by the pandemic.

The first Sea Life to open in the Northeast, the New Jersey aquarium joins nine other locations across the U.S., including aquariums in San Antonio, Texas, Orlando, Florida, and Carlsbad, California.

Sea Life Aquarium mangroves
Watch seahorses perform their "water ballet" in the Mangroves.

New Jersey Sea Life imagines an underwater version of New York City. Interactive exhibits include the "Urban Jungle," where you'll meet water-loving creatures of the rain forest; the "Tiny Giants Touch Pool," where you can get hands-on with sea stars, anemones, and prawns; "Jellies 54," filled with scene-stealing, disco dancing moon jellyfish; and "Sharks Fis Avenue," where guests can watch tropical fish, rays, and sharks through storefront windows and in an underwater tunnel featuring panoramic views of Manhattan landmarks like the Chrysler Building and Times Square.

In addition to the exhibits, Sea Life will have an ocean-themed, soft-play area for little underwater explorers. It will also offer behind-the-scenes tours as well as daily aquarium talks and feedings.

Sea Life aquarium’s registered charity, Sea Life Trust, will support local projects to protect marine wildlife and its habitats, as well as spearheading conservation campaigns of its own.

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Sea Life Aquarium urban jungle
Wander through the "Urban Jungle" and visit red-bellied piranhas.

In addition to New Jersey Sea Life, Merlin is opening Legoland Discovery Center New Jersey, also located within American Dream. Note that Legoland Discovery Center is an indoor Lego-themed attraction—not to be confused with Legoland New York Resort, whose grand opening date is still a mystery.

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Sea Life aquarium coral reef
See what the coral reef looks like at night.

There will be several ways to visit New Jersey Sea Life aquarium at American Dream, including general admission tickets, annual passes, birthday party packages, school and group tickets, and more. Visit the website for more information.

A previous version of this story was published in 2019. Michelle Vames contributed additional reporting. Photos courtesy of Sea Life

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