Draper: Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
Like one of their billboards says, the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is much more than an aquarium. It's essentially a microcosm of various ecosystems around the world.
When Matt's family came to visit, we were especially excited to take our nieces and nephew here. I was personally enthusiastic because I hadn't been yet and I pass it on the way to work every day. I personally love aquariums. It's like a Disneyland but for nature — curated wildlife reality.
When you enter, you're basically at the nexus of the world. After looking at and taking pictures with the huge life-size whale replica, you can choose which ecosystem you'd like to visit first: Ocean, Asia, Antarctic, South America or Utah.
We started with South America. You walk into it and feel like you're in a rainforest because of the change in humidity. There's a 17-foot waterfall as well as a butterfly exhibit where a butterfly actually landed on my hand. This is also where you'll find an anaconda, toucans, and the sloth (although I completely missed the sloth because it was curled up in a make-shift hammock ball sleeping).
There is a ramp leading up to the second floor where we continued our South American adventure across a swinging bridge (optional) and went onto exploring the Ocean.
The Ocean Explorer exhibit is where all the typical aquarium experience is. It includes a shark tank and a stingray pool. If you get there at feeding time (which we did) you can sit along their 40-foot shark tunnel to watch them feed the sharks. I actually didn't realize it was even happening. It's very low-key and completely PG. I fell in love with the turtle that had some kind of disease where it's unbalanced in weight so it's constantly being turned around backwards.
We continued with the Antarctic Adventure. This was probably the most anti-climatic part of the journey. I was really excited to see the penguins, but they mostly looked like statues, and the environment felt very plastic and not to the penguins real environment at all. I did love the jellyfish though.
We saved the Utah environment for last. This was actually really enjoyable and kind of cool to see the kinds of species that live in this state. Definitely loved the otters the most though.
It's important to mention that food around this area in Draper is top notch. We started our day with doughnuts from Beyond Glaze (gourmet doughnuts) and had lunch after our excursion at Waffle Love. Highly recommended.
Have you been here? Do you have a favorite part?
Tickets are $20 per person, children are $14.95, and children two and under are free (Mondays from 4pm-8pm, tickets are $5 off!).