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Hot In Cleveland

Cleveland Aquarium opens to public

February 16, 2012

By Ashley Ammond

I decided to take to the waters this week with a trip to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. The aquarium held its grand opening on Jan. 19, and opened to the public on the following weekend.

As a student with minimal time to work, I like to save money, but with the recent grand opening of the aquarium I decided to splurge. Tickets are $21.95 per person, not including the $3 one must spend on parking, unless you take the RTA.

The aquarium features over 40 tanks with different species of underwater creatures, including a walk-through shark tank to end your wild-water extravaganza. Each tank hosts marine animals from different areas of the country. There is an entire room dedicated to marine life from Key West, Fla.

Though the aquarium is brand new, the building it is in has been in the Flats since the 19th century. The Powerhouse building has seen many things before, but fish is a first for them. If you want to catch a glimpse of some underwater action, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium is your only chance because it’s the only standing aquarium in the state of Ohio.

For a Friday afternoon, there seemed to be many people of all ages. I got to share part of my experience with a second grade class from a local school, as well as two brothers in their 50s looking to make the weekend a little less boring. Both seemed to enjoy the tour, as they were taking pictures every chance they got.

One room has a large pool of water for the marine animals to swim in, and without a top, it encourages on-lookers to pet the creatures.

One of the workers who was feeding the animals suggested that we put our two fingers in the water, instead of a whole hand, so we didn’t scare the animals away. The children seemed to enjoy this most, but some parents were getting in on the action as well.

I expected a lot out of this trip because of the recent hype in the media during the grand opening; it seemed to be the talk of Cleveland. Unfortunately, the aquarium, on the west bank of the Flats, fell short of my expectations. Ticket prices are a little expensive and it only took me 40 minutes to get through the venue.

Currently, there are no student discounts available; you would think with so many colleges being close by there would be some type of discount given. Though it’s not an option now, an employee who was selling tickets said, “it’s in the works.”

If students are offered a discount in the near future, I would highly recommend touring through the aquarium, but until then, save your cash. This might in a way encourage the company to offer discounts soon.

For more information about the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, visit www.greaterclevelandaquarium.com or call 216-862-8803.