7 Places to PLAY with Sharks

We know it’s Shark Week … but we’re asking you to step away from the television and check out these seven places to see a real shark up-close and personal — in Orlando and beyond.

Words by Wendy Meyer

Shark Encounter at SeaWorld
SeaWorld Orlando
Valid Park Admission Required
Travel through underwater tunnels to view these majestic creatures as they swim all around you. It’s an interesting way to see sharks from every angle. Did you know you can even touch a shark at SeaWorld? You can with their Sharks Up-Close tour! When you’re done enjoy a meal at Shark’s Underwater Grill and use the tabletop guides to spot the vast variety of species all living amongst each other in the dining area’s huge aquarium. Your little ones will love this!

Shark Month at Sea Life Aquarium
SEA LIFE Aquarium
8449 International Dr., Orlando

Tickets start at $25.50
July is Shark Month at SEA LIFE and we are here for it, y’all! Theres a scavenger hunt, diver selfies and a special shark-themed toddler story time every Tuesday. Check out their Atlantic and Indian Ocean habitats to view the over 500 species of beautiful sharks!
Watch Megan Navarro’s Let’s Go Play: SEA Life Aquarium Video Tour

Swimming with Sharks at Discovery Cove
Discovery Cove
Prices vary (portions of admissions are donated to conservation funds)
This is for the more adventurous explorers. After enjoying an exciting swim with the dolphins, why not swim with some sharks? Participants ages 10 and up can swim along side several species of docile sharks. While you’re at it you’ll receive some education about the importance of these ancient sea creatures.

Epcot Sea Adventures Dive Quest
The Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion, Epcot
$179.00, Experienced SCUBA divers only
Disney does everything just a little bit extra, and this shark encounter is absolutely amazing! Experienced divers can take the plunge into Epcot’s Sea’s with Nemo and Friends Pavilion.  Feeling less likely to take a dip? No worries.  You can observe these divers while watching the more than 6,000 sea creatures from the 56 gigantic windows inside of the pavilion.

Shark Swim at the Florida Aquarium
Florida Aquarium
701 Channelside Dr., Tampa

Dynamic Ticket Pricing
Snorkel with the sharks? Yes, please… Head on over to Tampa and snorkel with more than 1,000 fish including rays and sharks! No SCUBA certification is required, but kiddos must be ages 9 and older and confident swimmers. This is an experience of a lifetime to truly connect with the sea. Shark Swims run at 1:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily.

Swim With Our Fishes at RumFish Grill 
The Guy Harvey Outpost
6000 Gulf Blvd, St. Pete Beach
Prices vary
Eat, PLAY, swim and explore at RumFish Grill’s 33,500 gallon aquarium, featured on the Animal Planet show Tanked! Visitors ages 9 and up can swim with indigenous Gulf species of sharks with expert guides from the Marine Exploration Center. Your trip to St. Pete Beach just got a whole lot cooler!

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium Shark Zone
Mote Marine Laboratory
1600 KenThompson Pkwy, Sarasota
$22 for adults 13 and up, $16 for youth ages 3-12
We are so excited to share this well-kept Florida secret with you! This is one of those special gems that you and your family will love. Mote is one of Florida’s leaders in making strides to help protect and preserve our marine life. They recently had a species of shark named after their founder! Mote boasts the only Center for Shark Research recognized by the U.S. Congress. Their shark zone is second to none, so get over to Sarasota and get to know sharks from America’s leading shark advocates!


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