|If you are the first person to see a live squid you are going to get|
your face emblazoned on a kid's tshirt!
Ripley's Aquarium is one of my kids' favourite places. This is largely due to it being an awesome place with lots to see and do and partly because both my kids love aquatic animals. You know those kids who try to teach themselves how to speak dolphin? Yeah, I have one of those. My oldest daughter has a tshirt with Dr. Edith Widder on it. We're talking hard core sea life fans here. So it will come as no surprise that my kids had been anxiously awaiting the opening of Ripley's Aquarium in Toronto ever since they saw the sign announcing construction would commence about two years ago. Even for kids who do not have a favourite marine biologist it will prove to be a fun and exciting day.
|My daughter's favourite creature at the Aquarium, the octopus.|
|For reasons I can't fully explain these guys cracked me up to no end. |
They were in the Canadian Waters section.
There are several galleries in the Aquarium. The first one is Candian Waters which lacks some of the colour and excitement of some of the other galleries but still features some pretty funny and interesting creatures including giant lobsters which were very popular with the kids I took to the Aquarium. I can also say that I had never seen most of the creatures in this section and I've lived in Canada almost my whole life, albeit not under water.
|The Dangerous Lagoon was my younger daughter's favourite part.|
|Petting the wee sea creatures in the Discover Centre.|
|Thanks to my friend Vicki Murray-Moore for taking some great pictures of |
the jellies and other creatures.
|A Weedy Sea Dragon. Come on, that guy is freaky!|
|More jellies by Vicki Murray-Moore.|
The final gallery is the Shoreline Gallery which my kids loved. You can pet different sea creatures including Southern Stingrays. The only way I could get my kids out of this area when it was time to go was by promising them something from the gift shop which is right next to the Shoreline Gallery.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Tickets are $30 per adult and $20 per child. You can buy them online and in fact I would recommend doing so as they have timed entry so if you show up and want to buy tickets you may have to wait until the next available time slot.
- They are pretty accommodating with the times. If you run into problems and are late they will just reissue your ticket for the next time. That is a bit of a hassle though so I recommend showing up during the window on your ticket.
- They are right downtown so parking can be a problem. Check out this map for the nearest parking lots. None of them will be free. If you are on the GO train line, it is probably easier to take that since it is walking distance from Union Station.
- They do sometimes offer discounts for going in the evening but then you only have 2 hours to spend there. If you have little ones who won't last more than that anyway it is probably worth doing. You don't need much more time than that to do the whole thing at a normal pace. They also offer military discounts.
- There is a snack bar with a fair number of offerings but the line up was huge when we were there and there are not many tables. You can find their full menu here.
- The gift shop features the usual assortment of stuff at the usual prices. I did manage to find baseball hats that were reasonably priced so that's what we bought as our souvenirs/summer hats.
- You can rent strollers for $3 if little ones get tired and you want to keep looking at the creatures.
- It is right next to the CN Tower so if you're coming from out of town you might want to combine the two attractions.