Houston’s own aquarium is associated with the Aquarium restaurant, but you can see the fish and other exhibits without dining. It’s part of the Downtown Aquarium complex that also includes rides and games in a fair atmosphere. Spend a day at this destination with your family by enjoying any of the following activities and exhibits.
Downtown Aquarium
410 Bagby St.
Houston, Texas 77002
(713) 223-3474
Marine Biologist Or Zoologist For A Day

Twice a month, the Downtown Aquarium’s education department allows 6 to 12 year-olds the chance to go behind the scenes and learn what it’s like to be either a marine biologist for a day or a zoologist. For only $55 per person, the kids get an eye-opening experience interacting with animals and learning about the creatures that inhabit the oceans. Those who participate in either program get a t-shirt and lunch. For those who are not squeamish about dissections, choose the Marine Biologist for a Day program because this is the chance for kids who participate to get a close encounter with a squid’s internal organs. Check the calendar for upcoming dates of these events.

Related: Best Zoo And Aquarium Events In Houston

Carnival Rides And Games

Part of the appeal of the Downtown Aquarium is the outdoor carnival adjacent to it. These rides and games are not included with admission to the aquarium, but you can purchase tickets for them at the same box office where you buy your exhibit tickets. Rides include the Ferris wheel, shark voyage train, Lighthouse Dive, Frog Hopper and a carousel. If you have ever driven past downtown Houston at night and seen the 100-foot lighted wheel, it’s the Downtown Aquarium’s Ferris wheel that is part of the midway section of the complex and a must-experience ride. When you tire of rides, you can enjoy midway games to win great aquarium-themed prizes.

 Latin Beats

Dates: Every Friday in June, July and August 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Every Friday night during the summer, you can salsa the night away from 7 to 10 pm at the Downtown Aquarium. This is a great way for parents to enjoy themselves after the kids have gone to bed. They can take salsa dance lessons before the party begins and try out their new moves until 10 p.m.

Shark Weekend

Dates: August 8 and 9, 2015

Save the dates for August 8 and 9 – that will be Shark Weekend at the Downtown Aquarium. The event will feature games, booths, shows and activities for all ages. Whether your family has young or old children, you will all find something to do at Shark Weekend as the Downtown Aquarium showcases sharks and helps to educate the public about these sea creatures. Though the Shark Voyage ride is available at any time of the year, it will be most appropriate to take this tram through the shark tank during Shark Weekend. The Shark Voyage costs an extra $4.99 per person, and children shorter than 42 inches must have an adult ride with them.

Stingray Reef

The Stingray Reef has finally opened at the aquarium as a part of the aquarium. This exhibit has a separate admission fee of $2.99, and you will have to pay $2.50 for food for the stingrays if you want to feed them. A value pass is available for $4.99, which will get you both entry and food. If you thought that you could not have a petting zoo experience at an aquarium, the Stingray Reef exhibit will prove you wrong. You and your family can touch the rays as they swim in the tank, and you get the joy of feeding them, too.

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Crystal Hessong ia a freelance writer and a lifelong, fourth generation Houstonian. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.