If you’re looking for a fun and educational way to spend the day, you could visit one of Ohio’s wonderful aquariums. The Toledo Zoo, Columbus Zoo, and Greater Cleveland Aquarium all offer excellent aquatic adventures—and contribute to global conservation efforts.
Despite being landlocked,
Ohio has plenty of opportunities to learn about earth’s oceans and the creatures that call it home. If you’re planning an underwater adventure at one of the Buckeye State’s aquariums, then the only real question is, which one should you visit?
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#1: Toledo Zoo & Aquarium
Address: 2700 Broadway Street,
Toledo, OH 43609
Admission cost: Adults (12-59)—$26, Children (2-11)—$23, Seniors (60+)—$23
Toledo Zoo has an excellent
aquarium that features over
3000 living specimens housed in 178,000 gallons of water. Guests can see creatures and simulated aquatic habitats from all over the world. Some of the aquarium's most popular exhibits include:
The Giant Pacific Octopus
Moon Jellyfish that can change color
Various other bioluminescent creatures from the deepest parts of the Pacific Ocean
At the aquarium, you’ll be able to get up close and personal with the denizens of the deep at the Ocean Lab and the Touch Tanks. Plus, every day at 2:00 pm, you can watch as live divers descend into the tanks to feed the animals.
While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the rest of the zoo—there are dozens of great
experiences for you to enjoy, from the Aquarium Adventure Trail to the Safari Railroad Tour!
If you enjoy your visit to the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium, you can
become a member to support the organization and earn unlimited free admission!
Pro Tip Before you visit the
Toledo Zoo & Aquarium, make sure you’re familiar with their rules for visitors. Also, if you’re a resident of Lucas Country, bring a valid form of ID with your address on it—it’ll earn you a $2 discount off the cost of admission.
Conservation efforts at the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium
The Toledo Zoo & Aquarium carries out
across the globe to protect the lives and habitats of all sorts of wildlife. The zoo’s current major initiatives are largely focused on protecting the following animal populations:
Closer to home, the zoo also sponsors the
Wild Toledo Prairie Initiative—a project aimed at restoring and preserving the area’s vital prairie habitats.
#2: Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
Address: 4850 W Powell Rd,
Powell, OH 43065
Admission cost: Ages 3-9—$18.99, Ages 10-59—$24.99, Ages 60 and up—$18.99
Another of Ohio’s best aquariums can be found at the
Columbus Zoo. The marine facility there, known as the
Shores & Aquarium, plays host to a wide variety of aquatic animals, from the Aldabra tortoise to the West Indian manatees.
While you’re visiting the aquarium, don’t forget to check out Discovery Reef and Stingray Bay, where you can see the animals stretch their fins in larger enclosures.
Pro Tip Columbus Zoo is another institution that offers residents a sizable discount. If you live in Franklin County, bring an ID with your address on it—you’ll save $7 on admission.
Conservation efforts at the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo is committed to furthering the cause of
conservation by educating the public, providing financial support to its
partners all over the world, and engaging in some
conservation projects directly.
One of the zoo’s main aquatic conservation efforts is to protect and rehabilitate manatees through their partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Manatee Rescue and Rehabilitation Program.
The Columbus Zoo is also spearheading a new do-it-yourself conservation project to help change the way fish are collected for aquariums. You can read all about it
#3: Greater Cleveland Aquarium
Address: 2000 Sycamore St,
Cleveland, OH 44113
Admission cost: Adults (age 13-99)—$19.95, Children (ages 2-12)—$13.95, Under 2 or over 100—Free
Each of these galleries offers guests the opportunity to see different animals and exhibits. But there’s even more to the aquarium than that—it also plays host to a nearly endless stream of exciting and entertaining
Conservation efforts at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium
What is the best aquarium in Ohio?
Now that you know a little bit about Ohio’s three best aquariums, let’s see which one you’ll enjoy visiting most. What Ohio aquarium is best for you will depend on what you’re hoping to get out of your trip.
If you’re looking for the largest aquarium in Ohio with the most diverse aquatic population, you’ll want to go with the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. Although the aquarium in the Toledo Zoo technically has more living specimens, it’s still not quite as large.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for the aquarium with the most active role in conservation, the Toledo Zoo is going to be your best bet.
Meanwhile, the aquarium in the Columbus Zoo is great for kids, field trips, and school-related events.
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