Aside from the spectacular sea creatures, here are some more surprising reasons to check out the aquarium this fall – and one of them involves beer steins and schnitzel.
It’s no secret that Toronto is a favourite fall destination. “The 6ix” has a lot happening in the cooler, crisp autumn months, whether it’s celeb-spotting at Toronto International Film Festival, hiking in Rouge National Urban Park, or all-night art appreciation at Nuit Blanche. But did you know that Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada also has a great lineup of activities for the fall season?
For starters, a different type of autumn colours are visible: cruising the 57 live exhibits, marvel at a kaleidoscope of colours from the Rainbow Reef and 20,000 sea critters from waters all over the world. It’s also a less busy time of year to visit Canada’s largest indoor aquarium – with fewer (or no!) crowds, you may get a chance to enjoy the marine life in utter tranquillity. With nine galleries, six play zones for kids, and a calendar packed with fun programming and events, here are our top five reasons to visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada this fall.
Celebrate Octo-berfest at the Aquarium
Forget Munich! Grab your lederhosen and mosey over to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada for the third annual Octo-berfest at the Aquarium party. On the night of Friday, September 27th, the Aquarium transforms into a lively Oktoberfest celebration in the heart of downtown Toronto. Expect to feast on traditional smoked Oktoberfest sausages, chicken schnitzel, loaded potato pierogis, plus sweet pretzels and strudels, as well as stock your stein with ales from Ontario’s finest craft breweries. Eat all the things so you’ll have the energy for dancing to live music from the Matt Lebar Ensemble. A big bonus: annual pass members save 50% on tickets (up to six total).
No need to hop a plane for a one-of-a-kind close encounter with exotic marine life. At Ripley’s Aquarium, just don a wet suit and hop into the Ray Bay for 30 minutes of water time with cownose, southern, spotted eagle rays, and roughtail stingrays. Anyone older than six years of age can snorkel and swim with these gentle pancake-shaped creatures, as well as get a behind the scenes tour of the animal care areas and filtration system of the Aquarium. As a special souvenir, participants also get a USB with 50 photographs (or more!) of the experience, as well as a token towel and bag.
Slumber Party at the Aquarium
A family sleepover at the Aquarium? Yes, you can! Spend an evening exploring the Aquarium after dark, where you’ll get a chance to wander the empty galleries, learn all about the sea life swimming in the waters, and participate in educational activities. After a delicious bedtime snack, unroll your sleeping bags in the Dangerous Lagoon shark tunnel – an underwater glass gallery that showcases some of the Aquarium’s most spectacular species. If this doesn’t dazzle the kids, nothing will.
Be an Aquarist for a Day
Have you got what it takes to care for 20,000 sea critters? Prove it by being an aquarist for a day. Anyone over 14 years of age can spend a busy morning working alongside the Aquarium’s Husbandry team, which involves preparing food for the animals, monitoring water quality, and observing animal feedings. You’ll also get some exclusive experiences with the exhibits, as well as “Instagrammable” pics that will leave your followers green with envy. This is a terrific activity for teenagers!
Grown-Up Fun Galore
The Aquarium isn’t just for kids: it’s also a playground for grown-ups. The calendar is packed with programs and events for adults, from photography classes to Paint Nite to Friday Night Jazz (complete with adult drinks). For a fitness activity with a view, sign up for Yoga at the Aquarium. Start your Tuesday perfecting your Warrior pose while watching stingrays glide through the water in the Ray Bay. For those craving a little food for thought, there’s also Below the H2O – a series of presentations from passionate individuals dedicated to animal and environmental conservation. Tickets sell out fast for these talks, so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming fall and winter events.