10 Things to Do at Ripley’s Aquarium

Ripley’s Aquarium opened in 2013 and millions of people have come to visit since then. The aquarium is an engaging and educational facility that has a huge collection of diverse fish from all over the world. If the marine biologist inside you has been thinking of going, just take a look at the list below and be enticed into this exciting marine world. Once you get here you may even spend 2-3 hours being mesmerized by the fish!

Here are 10 activities I would recommend doing when you visit.

The diving show at Ripley’s aquarium

1. Catch the diving show
The diving show happens right before you enter the area with all the sharks (Dangerous Lagoon) and in it you will see the diver surround themselves with a sea of colourful, tropical fish. There is a host who talks to the audience and teaches them about the fish in this tank while also speaking to the diver so you can learn as you watch. The show only happens a couple times a day, so check out the itinerary on the day that you go.

Looking at the longcomb sawfish in the Dangerous Lagoon

Sandbar shark

A great view of shark teeth from inside the tunnel

2. See sharks in an underwater tunnel while standing on a conveyor belt
I’ve never been to an aquarium before so seeing sharks alone was a great experience, but standing right under them in a transparent tunnel was amazing! I don’t know many other aquariums that will offer that experience. The sharks get really close, and if you don’t want to go at the pace of the moving conveyor belt then it’s completely okay to step off and take your time admiring the sharks.

Piranhas feeding

3. Watch a piranha feeding
There are many scary movies out there that base their entire premise on the fact that piranhas will go out of their way to hunt you if you are swimming anywhere near them. Well, after watching these fish nip and tear apart at their food in only seconds, I would say that… I understand where the fear comes from.

Admire an entire exhibit of graceful jellyfish

4. Be immersed in Planet Jellies
There are five species of jellyfish in this exhibit that are all so completely unique in their shapes, sizes and colours. In this exhibit, you will learn about the life stages of jellyfish and the types of species there are around the world. It’s kind of magical to stand in this section because it has colour-changing displays that light up when you’re looking at the jellyfish.

Cleaning shrimp

5. Let shrimp clean the dead skin off your hands
Have you been looking for an organic, animal-friendly spa treatment? Well look no further because the aquarium offers that for you! You can go right in and dip your hands in this pool full of shrimp, and they will swim towards you and suck all the dead skin off your hands. It feels really strange but you’ve got to try it.

Mmmm fish tacos

6. Eat fish tacos!
I mean, why not have fish tacos while you are at the aquarium?! This was actually recommended by the host of the diving show and it caught me off guard because I thought this was more of a fish conservation place… but it’s all good. The tacos were tasty. Besides tacos, there are plenty of other food options here too.

Clownfish and an anemone

7. Find nemo
Finding nemo is a classic so I think the whole tank dedicated to clownfish and anemone is really cute and nostalgic. You may even find Dory and the rest of the gang here. 

A blue lobster!!

8. Spot the blue lobster
OH MY GOSH A BLUE LOBSTER!!! Have you guys ever watched those videos where a fisherman catches one and then becomes the happiest person on earth? Apparently, they are very, very rare (1 in a few hundred thousand, and some even think 1 in 2 million). BBC news writes that “Bright blue lobsters are so-coloured because of a genetic abnormality that causes them to produce more of a certain protein than others”. They are so cool. I think a trip to the aquarium is worth it just to see this guy.

Taking our turn petting the stingrays

9. Pet stingrays and horseshoes
Have you ever felt a stingray? They are extremely soft and velvety. You can also pet horseshoe crabs at the aquarium, although their texture is just hard and the complete opposite from a stingray. 

Seahorse

10. Spend time admiring your favourite sea creatures
I’ve always loved sea horses. I’ve been obsessed with them since I was a kid because they just seem so magical and graceful. The aquarium does a good job of highlighting this small but mighty creature.

Did you know they also host great events like Friday Night Jazz, Octoberfest, PaintNite, and even yoga classes? Learn more about Ripley’s aquarium at their website.

Have you ever been to the aquarium? What is your favourite part of it? Let me know in the comments below!

Millennials featured in this article: Patrick Gurges (@patrickgurges)

Ripley’s Aquarium
288 Bremner Blvd
Toronto, ON M5V 3L9

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