My family received free admission to the Sea Life Aquarium in exchange for a post about their new Doodle Reef exhibit.
We arrived at the mall a few minutes before it opened. We got an amazing parking spot right outside of the aquarium entrance and went inside to hop in line. The staff allowed us early birds to form a line between their stanchions and once 10am hit, they started processing us through to the aquarium. It was virtually no wait to get inside.
Before we entered the new Doodle Reef exhibit, we made a stop at the touch tank. This is typically my children’s favorite (educational) spot -as they always love the play structures the best.
Doodle Reef Exhibit
After washing our hands, we walked through a few more underwater tanks and then entered the Doodle Reef room. There were big colorful displays explaining what to do.
1. Design your fish (on an iPad)
2. Release your fish
3. Play with your fish (on interactive whiteboards)
My kids loved deciding which fish to use and how to decorate their fish. The interface was very user-friendly and my preschooler had no problem designing his fish. I could see even younger children being able to participate with minimal parent help. The screens were at an accessible level for most kids.
Once they finished their fish, this screen came up. The fun can continue at home with the SEA LIFE Doodle Reef App, but the best was yet to come in the exhibit. After they “Released” their fish, it showed up in the virtual aquarium above their ipads. Both of my kids were so excited to see the fish they designed in the aquarium with the other fish.
There were two interactive white boards in the room. After the fish are released to the aquarium, they are sent to the big screens. Players are given the option to race their fish, play with their fish, or feed their fish. The time is a bit limited on the big screens to allow everyone to have a turn, however since it was not busy, my kids kept making more and more fish!
The room was colorfully decorated and there were tables set up to allow kids to color. I can imagine on busy days, this room could get packed, so it is nice to have so many options in one room. There are also fun and interactive displays all around.
Overall, my kids LOVED the new exhibit. They would have spent the entire visit in the room if I let them. I think this is a great new addition to the SEA LIFE Aquarium at Great Lakes Crossing.
If you would like to visit too, General Aquarium Hours are:
*Last entry is 1 hour before closing time. Subject to change without notice.
SEA LIFE Michigan is located in District 7 of Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, situated right next to the Rainforest Café, just inside Entrance 7.
SEA LIFE Michigan
4316 Baldwin Road
Auburn Hills, MI 48326
Julie is first and foremost a mom of two amazing kiddos, Elliott and Bennett. She is married to her beautiful wife, Betsy, and is an elementary school librarian.
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