We had a wonderful visit to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto. If you don’t know where it is, just look up at the CN Tower and head straight for it. It’s entrance is right outside. Hubby dropped us off at the aquarium and took off to find parking. He found spot a few blocks away so it wasn’t a horrible walk.
As you enter the exhibit area, it is quite dark, I could see it posing a problem of keeping track of my children if it got too busy. My kids didn’t care they just took off. There is a lot too see and there are exhibits in every corner. There’s also fun little hands on activities right next to a tank where little hands get to wonder. They loved the huge lobster tank and watched them fight for bit before we moved on. We found this squid living in one of the tanks and he was great to watch.
There are large floor to ceiling tanks like the kelp forest pictured above which gives you a great sense of what it’s really like in the ocean. The highlight the place includes the walkway that you go on to go under the tank. This is the fun part where you get to see the large sharks, fish and sting rays swim over head. A great photo opportunity as well. The walkway moves so all you have to do is stand and observe as you take pictures. You can get off and walk but it was nice to slow things down and really take things in.
At the end of the walkway, the aquarium opens up into a large play area equipped with a slide and play area for the children. There’s a place to grab a bite to eat here as well and there’s a petting area with crabs, I believe. My boys loved watching the stingrays and they would swim above you and you could see their smiling faces. Thank goodness there were seating areas in front of some of the tanks so mom and dad could relax as the kids explored.
You then follow along to more exhibits with interactive activities and small cubbies and such for your kids to climb into for a great photo opp.
As you walk to the end of the loop, you find yourself above the shark tanks and in the area where you can pet stingrays if they swim by you. You can visit the gift shop on the way out but by that time we were so tired we just sat outside while the kids hoped some stingrays would swim by. They did not.
You’ll find that it’s best to go later in the afternoon after 4pm or on a weekday to avoid large crowds.
The aquarium also hosts summer camps.
$325 + HST per week
$295 + HST per week for annual pass holders*
$50 + HST for extended care
*annual pass holder must be part of the child’s immediate family
Open to children ages 5-13 years old.
Must be at least 5 years of age at the start of camp.
Regular camp hours: 9am – 4pm
Extended Hours: 8am – 6pm
There are great hands on activities and opportunity to meet the scuba divers and get immersed in marine biology.
The Aquarium is open from 9am to 11pm 7 days a week, there is a discounted rate if you visit after 7pm. Admission for adults are $29.98/after 7pm $24.98, youth (6-13) is $19.98/after 7pm $14.98, child (3-5) $9.98/after 7pm $4.98 and seniors are the same price as youth. If you plan ahead and know what time you will be able to visit, you can purchase your tickets ahead of time online and save $2 off the admission price.
Disclaimer: I received free admission for myself and my family, all opinions are my own.