We get it: the kinds of places you’d go as part of a school field trip aren’t necessarily the first destinations you seek out when visiting a new city. But the Greater Cleveland Aquarium is different.
If you’ve never seen sharks being fed, jellyfish glowing like lava lamps or Lake Erie perch not dredged in batter and sitting on a pile of french fries, you need to come see the nearly 5,000 species of fresh and saltwater creatures swimming throughout this converted 19th-century power plant.
Passionate aquarium employees mingle with guests, sharing interesting facts, leading hands-on demonstrations and answering your most important questions like, “Ew, what is that thing?!”
The aquarium is located inside The Powerhouse, a brick landmark that once generated electric power for Cleveland’s streetcar lines and remains a lasting visual tribute to Cleveland’s industrial past.
What You'll See:
- Saltwater animals and glow-in-the-dark jellyfish now live in parts of two former smokestacks.
- The building’s old coal tunnel houses exhibits and giant steel girders frame a touch pool where the brave can stroke stingrays as they glide by.
- A 230,000-gallon “SeaTube” that houses sharks, stingrays, moray eels and salt-water fish that swim above and alongside visitors walking through a 175-foot enclosed tunnel.
- Daily public feedings that, at least three times a week, include sharks.
What Else to Do?
- The aquarium offers overnight stays for families several times a year, granting aquamarine enthusiasts a literal chance to “sleep with the fishes.”
- A handful of after-hours, adults-only events known as “Adult Swim” (get it?) that include local beer, wine and spirits tastings (rum anyone?).