When your husband gets a free ticket to the new aquarium, you take advantage of it, even if your kid is a little young for it and it’s over 30 minutes away.
Clementine and I packed up early on Wednesday morning and did just that! The drive, while long, wasn’t too bad as it’s basically all free way for us.
Upon arriving, I realized this attraction was much more than just the aquarium. I knew the butterfly exhibit was there too, but there are also about eight different eateries around the area. It’s almost like a Desert Ridge kind of setup. There were several restaurants, an ice cream shop, a juice bar, and a snack bar that sold popcorn, candies, chips, etc. There were also at least two gift shops: an Arizona Territory and then one for strictly aquarium merchandise. I also spotted an arcade.
We arrived about 5 mins after the aquarium opened and went right in. I definitely recommend grabbing a brochure of the grounds, as that contains a map. I didn’t for some reason and I’m pretty sure we missed a couple things.
The standout to me was the aquarium carousel. It’s a large room with theater style seating. The seating area rotates through four different sections: one with a live diver in the water, a sea lion exhibit, a shark exhibit, and a sea turtle exhibit. There’s informational narration and the view is stunning! The entire ride was maybe about 15 minutes and the exhibits rotated quick enough that it kept Clementine interested.
The penguin and otter exhibits are also fun. There’s also a touch tank, which we did not partake in.
Once we left the aquarium, the outside seating was great for Clementine to enjoy a snack. The aquarium is also stroller friendly, with elevators available, as the aquarium does span over three floors. Interestingly, there was a sign posted that said jogging and double strollers weren’t allowed, but I was able to enter with a jogging stroller and the family ahead of us had a double stroller.
We were there for about two hours from parking to leaving. As we were leaving, I noticed there were lines forming for admission, so I recommend going early.
Overall, we had a very fun time!
If you’ve been to the aquarium, what was your favorite part?