My kids weren't out of school for a week when I heard the dreaded, "I'm bored" statement. Since this isn't my first go at summer vacations, I was prepared. We all hopped in the van and headed to Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper, Utah.
I hadn't been to their new location and was super excited to see the space. When the first thing you see when you walk in is a giant whale hanging from the ceiling, you know you're in for an impressive time!
The first exhibit on your right is, appropriately enough, all about Utah. It contains all the fish and critters local to our state, which I think is important to show our children. We definitely have more than brine shrimp and the Great Salt Lake.
Travelling around the exhibits is like taking a trip around the world. You don't just walk from tank to tank, you learn about each species and what their natural habitat is like. I love trips like this where my children are being entertained and learning at the same time
.A very popular stop on the global tour is the penguin station. I honestly could have watched them all day. They each have so much personality! It was so fun seeing them interact with each other, swim in the water, waddle, and jump.
.It was quite the jump going from Antarctica to South America, but that's the exhibit we headed to next. There was a distinct temperature and humidity shift in this space to accommodate the birds, frogs, and everything else living here.
We had the chance to watch these fish being fed. I wasn't sure what they would eat, but I didn't expect to see chunks of papaya floating in the water. These fish have excellent taste.
I didn't expect to see ducks at the aquarium, but these two kept us busy avoiding the water they'd intentionally splash on you. Pretty sure Daffy and Donald's personalities were based on these two.
My middle kiddo wasn't a fan of the splashing, so we took a break in the lobby where they had a hands-on lesson about the fishing industry. He even taught us about it later that day.
Not going to lie, this is my favorite animal in the aquarium! I was so excited to see that the Asia exhibit houses two Clouded leopards. What can I say? I like big cats and I cannot lie.
I never thought I'd think a catfish was cute, but this guy just looked so happy to be there, he reminded me of The Incredible Mr. Limpet.
One of the busiest and coolest exhibits is the domed tank that you walk through. Different varieties of sharks, stingrays, even sea turtles swim right over your head. It's like being in the ocean.
I think this picture sums up our trip perfectly. My kids were in awe of the amazing world we live in and all the animals, fish, plants, and people in it.