Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach Review

A big thanks to Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach for having us!  We received complimentary tickets for aquarium admission but all of my opinions are honest and my own.

One of the biggest attractions in Myrtle Beach is Ripley’s Aquarium and it’s always a can’t miss stop for our family.  Located at Broadway at the Beach, the aquarium can be combined with shopping and dining, making it an all-day affair.

Our kids love exploring all of the different tanks throughout the aquarium though those with brightly colored fish are usually their favorites.

We checked out the new Pearl Harbor exhibit and the kids were pleasantly surprised with how informative and interesting it was.  They appreciated the touch table displays because they could interact with the information- which always leads to better retention!

We spent quite a bit of time at the Rio Amazon exhibit since we arrived right as they were doing a feeding. Watching the arapaima and red tail catfish dart and fight over food was really entertaining.  We were surprised to find out that some of the fish ate shrimp while others had cherry tomatoes!

I think we could have spent all day at the giant Rainbow Rock exhibit.  There’s just something about having an entire wall of aquatic life that is completely relaxing– it’s almost like a giant screensaver.

From there we ventured to the tunnels and into the Dangerous Reef.  You hop on a moving sidewalk (like the ones they have at the airport) and are transported through tunnels with sharks and all sorts of sea life swimming all around you and even over your head!

The sawfish are one of the most unique inhabitants of the aquarium- they are also known as carpenter sharks but they’re actually part of the ray family.  I was surprised to learn that in addition to living in the ocean, they also live in freshwater rivers and lakes… guess I’ll be staying out of those now, too!

At Ray Bay, you can actually pet the stingrays!  We’ve done this at a variety of aquariums over the years but this was the first time that Ellie wanted to participate.  She eagerly climbed up on the rocks, stuck her hand out, and then quickly realized that she was just a bit too short to get her hand out far enough to touch one.

Luckily, the people next to us bought fish to feed the rays and they were nice enough to feed them right by Ellie so that she got a chance to touch a few.  She was so excited and even after realizing that the rays were slimy, she still wanted to do it again, and again, and again!

Once the rays realized that the food was by her, they wouldn’t leave her alone and were splashing water at her and coming in close so that she could pet them (and so that they could get a bite to eat).

While we’ve been to many different aquariums before, this was the first one that we’ve ever been to that let you touch a jellyfish!  They have a tank full of moon jellies and they let you touch their backs.

Even though she had no problem touching the stingrays, Ellie wanted absolutely NOTHING to do with touching the jellyfish– and I can’t really blame her!  Lexie, on the other hand, was excited to try and touched several- she said they felt like rubber and slime.  Bleh!  This tank had an employee closely watching and cautioned the kids to only touch the backs of the jellyfish so that they didn’t get stung. While I only watched and took pictures, the kids REALLY liked it and it was a neat experience.

We had a great time exploring Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach and will continue to check it out every time we’re in town.  They do a great job updating the exhibits and ensuring that there are new ones to see so that there’s always something fresh and engaging.

We love going to aquariums when we travel; which one is your favorite??

 

 

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