For over a year I have been seeing advertisements for the new SEA LIFE Aquarium & LEGOLAND Discovery Center being built in Kansas City’s Crown Center, so I was very excited to visit both. We decided to make the drive to Kansas City for one night to celebrate the 4th of July holiday and check-out these much hyped attractions, which turned out to be great additions to the heavily family-focused Crown Center/Union Station area!
We began our 1-day trip by driving from St. Louis straight to Crown Center, where we arrived mid-afternoon. Our plans included LEGOLAND & SEA LIFE that afternoon, dinner at Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant, a walk through the Power & Light District that evening; the next day we headed to breakfast at Ingredient in Country Club Plaza, off to the Kansas City Zoo for most of the morning, lunch at Rosedale BBQ, and then the afternoon at Crown Center & Union Station, including the Model Railroad Experience. As usual I used Priceline’s Name Your Own Price for our hotel, and for $65 won the 4-star Hotel Phillips located in downtown Kansas City.
NOTE: For a more recent and complete review of Legoland, please click HERE for my review 1-year later!
Initially I was a bit worried that LEGOLAND & SEA LIFE would be crowded based on other reviews I had read, and the fact it was a holiday. To our surprise, there were no lines and plenty of open space to roam. We purchased the combo ticket, which for $29 per person included admission to both attractions (otherwise it was $19 per person for each attraction, so you save $10 with the combo ticket). I would note it’s actually even cheaper if you just buy online ($13.50 each).
|MINILAND = Kansas City made of LEGOs|
|Riding a LEGO dog|
|SEA LIFE Aquarium|
Next up was SEA LIFE Aquarium. Both attractions are located in the same building (LEGOLAND on the 2nd level, SEA LIFE on the 1st) so after riding the elevator back down to the LEGOLAND Shop we went straight into the aquarium. We have been to several other SEA LIFE aquariums (the one at Mall of America and another in London) and have always had a great time; luckily the Kansas City location just as impressive!
They had all the usual aquarium exhibits, including a large hands-on pool that our toddler really enjoyed. All of the exhibits were educational, and I really enjoyed the “fun facts” that were spaced throughout the aquarium. Each exhibit was unique, and the ambiance changed from one room to another, which was a nice touch and kept the flow entertaining. Overall, I actually found this to be one of the better aquariums we have visited!
The aquarium ended up being much larger than I expected, as it does not appear to be very big from the outside. We spent almost 2 hours here, and really had a great time looking at all of the exhibits. At the very end, they also had a large kid’s play area, which was a nice touch and great way to burn off more energy.
|Inside the shark tunnel|
|Touching various sea life creatures|
|Standing above sting rays|
|Admiring one of their exhibits|
|Playing inside SEA LIFE's large play area|