Review of Atlantis by Jessica Glorieux
Atlantis is a sprawling property with such a wide variety of activities that it seemed anyone I told we were headed to Atlantis said they wanted to go there too! My dad wanted to play in one of their poker tournaments and my boss wanted to bring his middle school aged kids there for a spring break. It’s truly a place for everyone of any age!
Since the property is so large and there’s a lot to do, I’ll really just focus my review on 2 areas: the day camps for kids and the animal experiences.
ATLANTIS KIDS ADVENTURES
The facility for Atlantis Kids Adventures is amazing and state of art. It will impress and satiate any kid’s fantasy while allowing parents to feel great while dropping off their kids. The campers are divided up into age appropriate groups and can spend the morning and/or afternoon and/or evening at camp. Campers switch between structured activities and free time.
Structured activities include a state of the art game room, computer room and arts and crafts.
Free time takes place in the Imagination stations: a Lego room complete with Lego walls, a wizards room with a story telling tree, grocery store, doll house room where kids can play a grand piano and serve tea to their friends.
Parents can also spring for the culinary adventure for kids 6 and up. The cooking facilities are impressive. Each station has its own set of cooking tools and kids can make their own pizza, cupcakes, chocolate bars and candy seascape.
A night out for two option:
Evening sessions are livelier with specialized themes for the evening and provide parents an opportunity to eat at several of the restaurants that do not allow children.
Day camps start at $45/per child for a half day, evening sessions are $60 and add-ons like cooking and meals are extra. Hourly rates are available for $25/hour.
Have a burgeoning singer, animator or beauty queen?
Check out Kids Adventure’s weeklong summer camp with singers from American Idol/America’s Got Talent, animators from Carton Network and the Miss Universe organizers to give kids a once in a lifetime camp experience. Week long camps start at $500
MELLOW KID FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES:
Looking to do something with your kids? There’s the Earth and Fire pottery store where you can decorate a memento or put together a scrapbook souvenir.
Need some downtime? Atlantis also has a small, quiet and free library where kids can hang out and leaf through a great selection of books. (Parents can also surf the web for 30 minutes for free in the library).
I’m a massive animal junkie. ANY chance to interact of see an animal, I readily sign up. That’s why I was so excited to go to Atlantis. There are several options to interact with the animal life.
The Dolphin Cay
The Dolphin Cay was opened in 2007 and houses a family of dolphins that were displaced after Hurricane Katrina. The Cay offers a variety of experiences for persons of all ages; you can do a shallow water interaction that is perfect for kids or even toddlers. My husband and 3-year-old daughter did this together and had a great time of it. The interaction lasts 30 minutes and each person is given plenty of one-on-one time. Want to upgrade your interaction? Opt for the deep-water swim where you can swim along side the dolphins with a water scooter and snorkel for a truly personal experience.
Lions? Well, sea lions!
Dolphins not your thing? How about a sea lion interaction? The sea lion interaction is in very shallow water and ideal for a toddler. We were able to meet Freebie the sea lion for an interaction that included hugs, kisses and lots of sea lion smiles! A behind the scenes tour is also available and highly recommended!
Prefer something else? How about a snorkeling expedition alongside exotic tropical fish, 2 enormous manta rays and sharks.
Thrill seeker? Using state-of-the-art, clear-glass helmets, you can walk on the bottom of the Shark Exhibit and get close and personal with Reef and Nurse sharks.
Prefer less of a scare? There are also hands on experience with Crownnose stingrays and tropical fish where guests have the thrill of feeding the rays and then snorkeling along side them.
From the safety of the glass
Prefer that glass barrier? There are plenty of opportunities to watch the sea life from a safe distance. The Ruins is a huge aquarium that has 2 massive manta rays as well as smaller exhibits and plenty of opportunity to interact and watch the sea life. In fact you can get the feeding schedule and watch as handlers feed deadly moray eels or rub your fingers along a sea cucumber or native conch.
Head over to Predator Lagoon and walk through the aquarium to see hammerheads, saw and reef sharks. You can even take a walking tour and walk right over the hammerheads or grab a bit to eat at the Lagoon Grill, which is on top of the shark tank.
Tips & Helpful Hints:
-We actually found the pool at Coral Towers to be the least crowded & most beautiful place to hang out and swim (it right on the beach).
The bar and restaurant that overlook the ocean were very good and the kids actually sat still because of a small aquarium with baby hammerheads and fish.
There is also Poseidon Pool with fun foam floats near by; as well as a couple private hot tubs no one ever seemed to use!
-Get a copy of the day’s events first thing in the morning. They list all sorts of helpful information you may have missed.
-Book your animal and restaurant experiences EARLY-like as soon as you get there! Restaurants fill up very fast, even the casual diner types places and buffets and the slots for animal experiences are limited! And for more casual kid friendly places, head the Marina.
-Brings snacks (I bought Larabars and instant oatmeal) and refillable water bottles. We found these to be a lifesaver!
-Need Milk? The best deal was at Murray’s Deli at the Marina.
All in all we had an amazing time at Atlantis and I would highly recommend it to anyone. It’s a bit expensive but if you have your heart set on going, check in September or October. The weather is still amazing and there are amazing deals to be had!
Jessica Glorieux is a professional toy-picker-uper and chef to 2 toddlers living in Greenpoint. Project manager by day and writer at motherburg.com by night; any extra time is filled with playing tennis, volunteer projects, talking to strangers and stopping to pet any dog that will have me.