One of our favorite places to go whenever we are in the area is the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth, MN. It is always a nice place to take the kids on a rainy day, and is perfect for all ages!

Great Things About the Great Lakes Aquarium – Duluth, MN

As you enter the aquarium, the first thing you see is an amazing wall of water cascading down into an inviting atrium where you begin your journey into the world of water.

great lakes aquarium

From there you head upstairs either via escalator or elevator and are greeted with exhibits that take you back to volcanic origins and vast seas. Here you will explore the geologic and natural history of the Great Lakes Basin.

great lakes aquarium

Once you’ve finished exploring the fossils and interactive displays, you can take a look at one of the scenic viewing areas to take in Lake Superior and the famous Duluth Lift Bridge.

great lakes aquarium scenic views ships ahoy

After taking in the views, head over to the Baptism River and St. Louis river displays to check out the aquatic habitats. You’ll find plenty of fish and other aquatic life.

great lakes aquarium tank

The Isle Royale display is an amazing tank that runs from the ground floor all the way to the top. Gazing at the fish at they swim by is both relaxing and fun! Be sure to check out this display on the lower level as well where you can find walk-in areas. Every few days there will even be SCUBA divers in the tank to feed the fish and clean the tank.

Great Lakes Aquarium tank

On the top floor, you will also find an Aviary display as well as a children’s play area. One of my favorite spots though is the observation deck. This is a great spot for photo ops!

Duluth kids great lakes aquarium

Since there is no time limit as to how long you can enjoy the aquarium, stay on the upper level as long as you like, but once you do head down to the lower level be sure to take some time and utilize all of the interactive displays. The wave machine, water cycle, and the WOW (wonders of water) areas are a few favorites.

water of the world great lakes aquarium

the water cycle great lakes aquarium

The highlight of the lower level though, is the Otter Cove area. The best time to go is during feeding time because that is when they are active. They like to sleep most other times and you will find it a bit disappointing if they are not out playing, but right after eating the love to play and play!

Otter Cove great lakes aquarium

On the lower level, another very neat exhibit is the Shipwrecks alive area where you can explore what happens to ships after they sink. There are many ‘exotic’ species available to look at as well, and my kids happen to love octopuses so they were excited to take a peek at the one in the tank.

octopus great lakes aquarium

One area on the lower level that I do recommend checking out as a learning experience is the Aquatic Invaders. The impact of these invasive species in the Great Lakes is a real problem and here you can see the different species as well as things you can do to help!

aquatic invaders great lakes aquarium


There are certain exhibits at the Great Lakes Aquarium that do change out to other things occasionally, so be sure to check the website or stop in for a visit to see what is new anytime you will be in the area. There is always something great to see so you won’t be disappointed no matter what!



Thanks to the Great Lakes Aquarium for providing us tickets to experience this wonderful attraction. Opinions are my own.