Problem solved - and thanks to Ripley's Aquarium for covering all my mum requirements for a winter family getaway:
- fun and entertaining
- somewhere warm - and no sleigh bells ;-)
The teens asked for 'not boring' and Ripley's is the exact opposite of boring, so - check! I also happen to know that they both have a not-so-secret obsession with photography, If they could both take a thousand pics of cool stuff they'd definitly have a 'not boring' time - another check!
So, mums and dads, here's all the goods on why Ripley's Aquarium takes the cake for 'not boring', and why you'll also love a visit to this fascinating underwater world:
Think 'weird', think 'beautiful', and think 'very very scary'. More than giant fishtanks, Ripley's Galleries are self-contained oceans beautifully curated for stunning visuals and the mesmerizing flow of sealife going about it's business. Teen' cameras and smartphones came out and our time at Rainbow Reef was well documented - I'm sure all 100 species of fish and every one of those 420,000 litres of water were photographed!
This time 'snap-happy' describes both kids and sea creatures. The Lagoon is a moving walkway, a ninty-six meter glass tunnel, and 2.9 million litres of ocean, You are within arms length of creatures with big sharp teeth. They might be hungry. We could be food. But, yay - we're not! Kids who would prefer to snap than be snapped are on it with their time-lapse video of this amazing ocean experience. Seventeen sharks, sea turtles, and moray eels glide overhead. Sharp teeth are forgotten and that breathtaking experience makes me grateful to Ripley's for building some ocean in Toronto.
Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp
Of course 'hands-on' makes it all more real and my tactile teens loved this part. Anika may have been perfectly happy spending our whole visit at the Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp tank. She dipped her hands, they scuttled over, and when I returned a half hour later she was still there. I had to find out why she couldn't leave. I dipped my hands, they scuttled over - lots of them - I think they were waiting for me - and I knew this Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp party just wouldn't be happening without me ... Anika and I both left with very clean hands :-)
Hands-on at Ray Bay was less of a party and more like a meditation. Dozen's of Southern and Roughtail stingrays glide on giant wings. Adam's hand rests on the water, and a ray glides across. It does a graceful sweep of the bay and returns for more. Another round, and this time it pokes its' head above the surface - looking for food, and finding a sea creature way of connecting! For my animal-loving son, connecting with a sea 'animal' was unexpected and amazing!
Two teens are begging for more time - after all, they say, this place has sixteen THOUSAND marine animals, five point seven MILLION litres of water, and fifty-seven exhibits!. OF COURSE they didn't really say that, but those mind-boggeling numbers explain the switch from screen-time to marine-time! My two not-at-all-bored teens were 'not-bored' - we've done the 'fun and entertaining' - and now we're all psyched to come back for the educational, another round of that Dangerous Lagoon, Jellies and lots more warm on a cold winter day!
For more information: Ripleys Aquarium of Canada
Thanks to Ripleys Aquarium for photos - see image for reference.