There is a reason we visit Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach every time we visit Myrtle Beach. It is awesome. Evey time we visit we see something new and fun. I love that there are hands on experiences as well as exhibits that will entertain the entire family. When you visit be sure to include these 5 can’t miss experiences at Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach is full of great exhibits that get you up close to some of the seas most amazing animals. Located at Broadway at the Beach, you could plan on spending an entire day visiting the aquarium and exploring the entertainment district. I suggest purchasing your tickets ahead of time and arriving about 20 minutes before opening to be among the first to enter. There are also combo tickets available that are worth looking at if you plan on visiting other attractions.
5 Can’t Miss Experiences at Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach
Touch a Jelly Fish!!
Never in my life did I think I would touch a Jelly Fish but to my surprise the tops don’t sting!! We all had an opportunity to touch the jelly fish and this was a really cool experience. I was a little nervous but I pushed through it and touched the top. It felt like a hard gummy bear and bounced as it floated through the water. It was an incredible experience. You do need to be careful not to touch the tentacles and I would suggest holding younger kids hands to help them.
Live Mermaid Show
Yes you read that correctly…the aquarium has live mermaids!! I didn’t believe it myself until I saw the show. The mermaids sing and swim while interacting with the sting rays and shark in the tank. It is a sight to see! During the show my kids kept asking me if they were real mermaids. Of course I said “What do you think?” I don’t think they knew what to think but we had a lot of fun! At the end of the show you go to the top level of the museum(Ray Bay) for a meet & greet with the mermaids.
Try to claim a spot along the rocks to meet the mermaids if you can. Although they did a very good job of talking and spending time with all the kids waiting to meet them, it was very crowded. If meeting them is a priority for you, watch the show from the back ramp so you will be among the first at the meeting. If you are up in front for the show you will be last to meet the mermaids. We watched from the ramp and had a great view.
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Pick up a Horseshoe Crab and Touch a Shark at the Discovery Center
I am not the bravest around animals but I did touch the shark, even if it was quickly! Located in the discovery center, you can touch sharks and horseshoe crabs, and also check out a few interactive exhibits. There are a lot of aquarium staff around to help you and pick the animals up if you are not brave. They explain how to hold them and what to do. It is a great experience.
This is my favorite part of the aquarium. You get on a people mover and it takes you through an underwater world. There are sharks, eels, and a turtle. We also love seeing the colorful coral at the end. If it is moving to fast you can stop off and move at your own pace. I love the views from this and we like to go through two times because there is so much to see. Honestly the pictures are the best way to share how amazing this really is.
Touch a Sting Ray
This experience is at Ray Bay and if you can reach one it is really neat. I have to admit I have never been lucky enough but my husband has. Touching the Sting Rays is a really cool experience but make sure your kids are close. You have to lean over the side and the water is low. I am always clutching the kids…afraid that they may fall in!! This is also the area you meet the mermaids.
Best Visiting Tips:
- Purchase Tickets online.
- Arrive 15-20 minutes before opening.
- Look over the show times for the day and plan accordingly.
- If you are planning on watching the mermaid show arrive 20-30 minutes early to get a spot to sit.
- Exit is through the gift shop so be prepared to walk through with your kids. (It’s always nice to have a plan!)
- There are a few Add-On experiences for a fee. They include Glass Bottom Boat Adventures, Sting Ray Experience, Dive with Sharks, and Behind the Scenes Tour. Check the website for more information.
We can’t wait to visit again and maybe I’ll even touch a sting ray! Are you planning a Myrtle Beach vacation? Check out my Ultimate Guide to Myrtle Beach.
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