The ocean holds many wonders for children and adults alike. The magical and graceful movements of the animals of the sea captures the heart and imagination of so many of us. My children love fish, fishing and most importantly sharks (Shark Week is huge in our house!). For them being able to visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto was a dream come true.
Both of my boys were a bundle of nerves as we set off to Toronto not really knowing what to expect from the Aquarium as this would have been their very first visit to any kind of aquarium. Stepping inside the building alone transports you to a different place. There is so much to see both above you and below you! My eldest son (also my little budding photographer was excited to be able to capture each moment!).
Stepping into the aquarium after the ticket booth you are greeted by a beautiful globe of the world above. Below is a bright and colourful discovery area for children to touch and explore. Hanging from the ceilings are large skeletons and a large unique water tank with circling fish. There is so much to see just in that first area alone!
The senses really come alive throughout the aquarium. Children are encouraged to touch, see and listen. The lights are dimmed to really make the aquarium come alive – you literally feel like you are under the sea and exploring the ocean and the animals that call it home. The flow of the aquarium allows you to casually tour through the exhibits in a natural way while allowing you to explore at your own pace.
Some of the most exciting parts of the aquarium were the areas you were able to touch fossils, feel what a jellyfish would feel like and even touch a horseshoe crab! All four of us were scared at first to put our hand in the water but being able to touch the crab is definitely an experience we wont soon forget. We loved how each exhibit had so much educational value and encouraged our children to participate in the exhibit through touch and sight.
Our son was able to capture this fantastic picture of a Giant Pacific Octopus. This guy managed to terrify our two year old whom thought it was going to touch him through the glass.
Our eldest son’s favourite part of the aquarium? The Dangerous Lagoon.
And just like the name suggests all of our boy’s favourite ocean animals were there: sand tiger sharks, sandbar sharks, stingrays and so much more. A moving walk way allowed us to be able to really take in the whole experience around us as the animals swam beside us and above us. Our son was able to capture this fantastic photograph of the stingray as it lay above us.
And the man of the hour that amazed and terrified us all. Check out those teeth!
Here are some of my personal favourites photographs that I snapped during our tour through Rainbow Reef and Planet Jellies. This was my favourite part of the whole aquarium. The colours were so vibrant – I just wanted to reach out and touch the glass (which our kids did repetitively!).
I could have stayed all day by the jelly fish exhibit watching both the exhibit light up and the jellies changing colours. It was truly breathtaking.
The gorgeous moon jellies! What a task to try and capture these beauties!
The Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto is an experience that will stay with us for a lifetime. There is so much to see and learn. We are already planning our return visit!
What would you be excited to visit at Ripley’s Aquarium? Have you visited the aquarium before?
Disclosure: I received a complimentary ticket to visit the aquarium. All opinions expressed are my own. Images are both my sons and my own.