Things Ariel Hates Me For #1 – Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

When I was working at SimplyCast, one of my coworkers actually followed my blog. He was a dad and enjoyed reading about what I was up to. Ariel (his name) upon learning that I was moving to Toronto, suggested with true British wit, that I start doing posts about all the fun stuff he can’t do in Halifax. Since I am always looking for new ideas for content, I am taking him up on his offer. That is where “Things Ariel Hates Me For” came from. I hope you (an Ariel) enjoy these. 

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Things Ariel Hates Me For #1 – Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

When preparing to move back to Toronto, I got excited at all the new places to take the boys, go for a bite and simply to just explore. Having already lived in Toronto, I had a solid idea of what there was, but never got to do it as a parent. Everything is a lot different when looking at it through the eyes of a child.

One such place that was high on our radar, was the new aquarium that was built down by the CN Tower. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada looked amazing and was something that was lacking in Toronto, and Canada for that matter.

We have been to the aquarium in Boston, so we knew that Harry would love it.

It was put on the back burner as we settled in and since we also had heard it was crazy busy on weekends, there seemed no hurry for us to go.

But, with my mother-in-law being home for the week, we suggested that we all go. I think she wanted to see it just as much as the boys.

So the plan was set. While Katie worked (sorry), Casey, the boys and myself would hit the aquarium for the morning.

We decided to drive down and park because the transit option involves a lot of walking and we did not want to tire out the boys before we even got there.

There sure was a lot of construction and detours, but we found a parking lot down by the Rogers Centre.

After a short walk over, we made it.

We got our tickets and headed in. As we entered, one of the employees gave us a warning that 600 school kids were pulling up and we should get on with our day.

It was pretty empty when we started and that meant the boys had the run of the place. Harry pretty much ran from spot to spot just yelling “Wow” and “Guys come here”.

Charlie just ran around and was loving the lights in each tank.

There were giant lobsters, eels and other scary looking creatures.

There were seahorses and jelly fish which looked unreal.

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The place moves well. It felt like an Ikea, where you have to wind around the whole place to get to the end.

The tanks were huge.

We entered the dark lagoon I think it was called and that is the main selling point. It’s where you go under the tank and have everything swimming in all directions.

There was also a moving sidewalk as Harry called it, so you could not stand there for too long.

In this massive tank, you had fish of all kinds. There were also sharks. Not Jaws by any means but they looked scary and large when they swam overhead.

There were turtles mixed in as well.

I liked how kid friendly the place was. There were bathrooms everywhere, kid areas to break up the tour and lots of rest areas.

The kids even had their own tiny tunnel that went into the tank so you could get really close.

Overall I was impressed. The boys had a great time and Casey and myself got to see a lot. It would be nice to go back and read some things, but what can you expect when you have kids with you.

Near the end, the 600 kids caught up and the place got loud and crazy.

Luckily by then we were near the end. We learned more about sharks and got to stand on a glass floor to look down at the giant tank.

Finally, the only way you can leave, is the gift shop.

The prices were not that bad. I picked up a bucket full of plastic creatures for the boys and we headed out.

Total time in, about two hours. You could easily spend a lot longer there, but with the giant tour there, we had to get out.

There was a cafeteria style place in the middle, a kid playground and the men’s washroom had change tables. They had it all covered.

Have you been? What did you think of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada?

Here are more photos of our day.

 

Michael Cusden
Michael is the creator of Like A Dad and uses his daily experiences of being a parent and a marketing dude as his content. Always looking to connect with other parents and bloggers.