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Cabarrus Magazine

Sea Life Aquarium to Open February 20

Jan 15, 2014 10:33AM ● By Jason Huddle
CONCORD -  Merlin Entertainments has announced that its newest aquarium attraction will open on Feb. 20, 2014, at Concord Mills in Concord, NC. Specifically designed to "educate and engage kids and the young at heart", the 36,000-sq-ft aquarium will bring visitors face-to-face with the underwater world.

A release from the company states that the aquarium, which will be located in the former NASCAR Speedpark property at Concord Mills, will boast more than twenty displays will feature 5,000 amazing creatures, including sharks, stingrays, an octopus, seahorses, jellyfish and thousands of colorful fish. (Visit the top creature list here)

The grand opening festivities for the public as well as regional and state tourism officials will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 20 with a ribbon cutting, welcome speeches, the unveiling of the custom mural painted by area children, and a celebration of Merlin's 100th attraction. Doors to the aquarium open to the public at noon.

The attraction was built by Rodgers Builders of Charlotte, NC. Sea Life Charlotte-Concord plans to hire approximately 40 new team members at a Job Fair on Jan. 18-19 at Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC.

Visitors to Sea Life Charlotte-Concord can expect:

  • A 180° ocean tunnel that allows visitors to see sharks, rays and other fish swim right over their heads
  • An interactive touchpool (touch a crab without fear of pinching!)
  • Seahorses in the mangrove (learn which parent carries the babies)
  • The highly intelligent Giant Pacific octopus, the largest octopus species in the world
  • Educational talks and creature feedings throughout the day
  • A kids' quiz trail to keep kids engaged and learning throughout the attraction
  • A presentation video theatre to learn more about marine conservation
  • A children's soft play area to enjoy at the end of the experience
At Sea Life Charlotte-Concord, visitors will travel from the fresh waters of the Catawba River in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the salt waters of the Atlantic Ocean and beyond in about an hour.

Ticket information Regular admission tickets cost $21 for adults and $17 for kids ages 12 and under. Kids ages 2 and under are free. Through Feb. 19, tickets are only $16 for all ages if purchased in advance, online: Annual Passes, offering unlimited entry to the aquarium for 12 months, are also on sale for special rates through Feb. 19. An Individual Annual Pass is $50. The Family Annual Pass (for four) is $192; additional family members are $45 each. Annual Pass holders are invited to attend a sneak peek of the aquarium Feb. 15-16.

Visiting Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Hours are daily 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Sea Life Charlotte-Concord is located at 8111 Concord Mills Blvd., Concord, NC 28027 at Concord Mills. Look for parking on the backside of the mall at Entrance 7. For more information, visit:

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