CLEVELAND — The Greater Cleveland Aquarium is wrapping up its Spring Discovery Days this weekend, but there are still plenty of opportunities to explore.
Guests must make reservations to reserve a time slot for a staggered entry, but once they’re inside the aquarium, they can stay as long as they like. The smaller crowds allow visitors to see some things they may have missed.
“Now that you have this space in the galleries and there’s not a crowd around you, you’re able to stop and take that closer look,” said general manager Stephanie White.
The Aquarium was built inside a historic powerhouse, so designers had to get creative and many of its exhibits start at the floor, jut out from thick, brick walls or are entirely freestanding structures. It features over 2,700 species that span from the Great Lakes to the oceans across the world.
“Our exhibits are built where they’re 360 degrees, you can take a walk around. They’re kid friendly so you can stoop down, look from above,” White said.
In total, there are eight galleries, including an 11,000-gallon touch pool inhabited by cownose, southern and Atlantic stingrays and a 175-foot sea tube that takes you to the ocean floor where barracuda, pufferfish, angelfish and three species of sharks swim beside and above you.
While feeding is off limits, guests can still pet a sting ray or try to spot an elusive Giant Pacific Octopus.
“During the pandemic — we all have learned a new way to relax and take our days a little slower,” White said.
If guests are still unsure about whether they’d like to visit, there are still virtual options for them to enjoy from the comfort of their own home.
“We had to switch gears for our educational school field trips. Kids aren’t doing the normal field trips in their hybrid lesson plans,” White said. “You can take a virtual tour of the stingray touch pool with an educator. Have live Q and A at the same time. You can have the screen on multiple computers so multiple family members can watch at the same time and interact.”
The aquarium is open Mondays – Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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