Tag Archives: cleveland aquarium

Cleveland Aquarium Winner and Some Blogkeeping News

This past weekend the Cleveland Aquarium drew the line against shark finning, a practice by fishermen that is responsible for the loss of 2,500 sharks every 30 minutes.

As part of the first annual Cleveland Shark Weekend, the Aquarium teamed up with conceptual and visual artist Jim Gundlach to host an art awareness program.

CoolCleveland.com was there and has this video of volunteers and the public outlining 2,500 sharks in their parking lot to symbolize the decimated shark population.

If you missed Shark Weekend, don’t worry. You can learn more about sharks and other marinelife with a visit to the Cleveland Aquarium year-round and can keep track of special events like Shark Weekend here.

And today one lucky Clue Into Cleveland reader will win a pack of 4 tickets so they can go check out the Cleveland Aquarium!

After counting up all of the giveaway entries and entering everything into random.org…

…the winning entry is #44 – @AmyTolley1.

Congratulations, Amy – that daily tweeting paid off!  Please email me at clueintocleveland (at) gmail (dot) com to get your tickets.

***

I also have a bit of pre-emptive blogkeeping news. Between work hitting its busiest time of the quarter and getting ready for a new season of PlayhouseSquare Partners, I might be lightening the number of blog posts over the next couple of weeks.  I’ll still be updating, but if you see fewer posts here and there, that’s why.

As I mentioned, one of the reasons is because of PlayhouseSquare Partners. This Thursday (August 2), Partners is hosting one of our bigger events of the year — YP Night at the Cinema, where we’ll be making a number of announcements.

Join me at YP Night at the Cinema on Aug 2

A pre-movie party for young professionals starts at 6pm in the Ohio Theatre. There will be drinks, movie theater snacks, and networking. Plus, all of the Partners committees will have info about this year’s upcoming events — including the announcement of this year’s Jump Back Ball theme.

If you like what you see and want to join Partners, we’re offering a one-time 20% discount on membership that evening. So a $100 Mezzanine membership will cost only $80 (you’ll save twice if you plan on attending Jump Back Ball, because one of the membership benefits is a discount to JBB). After the party, you’ll have a free ticket to the West Side Story Sing-a-Long which starts at 7:30pm.

Admission for YP Night at the Cinema is free, but tickets are required. You can get a free ticket by calling 216-640-8408.

And if you attend, stop by the Social Committee’s table, say hi to me and my co-chair Emma, and share your thoughts on what sort of Partners social events you’re interested in seeing this year.

Cleveland Aquarium's Shark Weekend + a Giveaway!

The Cleveland Aquarium’s underwater tunnel allows guests to get up-close to all angles of the Aquarium’s sharks and other sea creatures

One of the highlights of Scott’s and my first visit to the Cleveland Aquarium was the underwater shark tunnel.

Designed by Marinescape, the Seatube is a a clear, 145’ walk-through tunnel that allows guests to get up-close to all angles of the Aquarium’s sharks and other sea creatures (as well as a few scuba divers!).

In this and other tanks throughout the renovated Power House, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium houses over 18 sharks, including nurse sharks, sand tiger sharks, sand bar sharks and black nose sharks.

To celebrate sharks worldwide, the Aquarium is hosting its first Shark Weekend this coming Saturday and Sunday (July 28 and 29).

Sand shark at the Cleveland Aquarium

Because of activities like shark finning (which is responsibile for killing up to 2,500 sharks every 30 minutes), shark populations are in a global decline with their numbers falling by more than 80% in many cases.

To help build awareness of the problem – as well as how everyone can help sharks through their personal actions and buying choices, the Aquarium’s Shark Weekend will feature the free event SHARKS: Draw the Line.

SHARKS: Draw the Line is a community art project that will take place in the parking lot adjacent to the Aquarium on July 28 and 29.

Sharks: Draw the Line takes place July 28 and 29

From 10am-4pm on July 28, volunteers will use plywood templates to draw 2,500 silhouettes of various shark species, ranging from about 3 feet to 6 feet in length.

The collection of shark silhouettes on pavement will make clear the epic ecological loss that shark finning causes as each hour passes.

Then on July 29 from 10am-4pm, visitors may pick up colored chalk and fill in the line-drawn sharks, creating a bright mosaic to help turn the tide in public awareness.

In addition to the art project which was created by Northeast Ohio sculptor and graphic designer Jim Gundlach, the Aquarium will host other outdoor activities and entertainment. And a local and international petition will be available for attendees to sign that will be sent out in hopes of providing better protection for all sharks and their ocean ecosystem.

This weekend, help the Cleveland Aquarium raise awareness of sharks’ plight and save 20% on admission after the event

As a thank you, the Aquarium is offering 20% off same-day admission to any person who participates in SHARKS: Draw the Line that would like to visit after the event. GCA Passholders can also bring 1 free guest on Shark Weekend.

And to celebrate Shark Weekend, I’m also giving away a 4-pack of tickets for the Greater Cleveland Aquarium!

With this 4-pack, you can treat your family or gather a group of friends anytime of the year for a trip to the Aquarium. You can even use the Aquarium tickets for a fun double-date to beat the summer heat!

Fun at the Aquarium with SMITTEN…in Cleveland and Blog-The New Black

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway

**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) The Aquarium is home to an assortment of sharks and other marine life. What’s your favorite lake or sea creature?

2) Like “Greater Cleveland Aquarium” and “Clue Into Cleveland” on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know you did both.

3) Follow @CLEAquarium and @ADHicken on Twitter and leave me a comment letting me know you did both.

4) Twitter users can get an extra entry each day for tweeting: “Celebrate Cleveland’s 1st annual Shark Weekend and enter @ADHicken’s giveaway for a 4-pack of @CLEAquarium tickets: http://wp.me/pPIgG-1n3”  (Each day you do this, you must leave a new comment.)

5) Subscribe to receive Clue Into Cleveland blog posts in your inbox or Google/blog reader and leave a comment letting me know you did. This can also include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “You’ve Got Mail” section of this page.

You have until Monday, July 30 at 11:59PM to enter. On Tuesday, July 31, I will select a winner using Random.org and will announce the winner’s name on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – good luck!

***Disclosure: I was provided 4 tickets to give away to a reader. As always, the opinions I share are 100% my own. All images except the last one are courtesy of the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.***

Beating the Heat at the Cleveland Aquarium

The Cleveland Aquarium opened back in January after a massive revamp of the FirstEnergy Powerhouse

After spending all afternoon in the sun yesterday for a wedding rehearsal and bbq, I think it really struck me for the first time how incredibly hot this summer is going to be.

It took every ounce of self-control to not go running into the nearby river to cool down. I can’t imagine what the day would have felt like had we not been so close to the water.

Scott did not have this internal conflict because he doesn’t like to swim. He completely agrees that being near water helps keep down the heat, but for him there isn’t much to do except stare at them. So the question becomes: on a 90 degree day, how do we both find cool water that’s interesting to be around if you’re not in it?

Easy!  Go to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium!

Aquarium exhibits are nicely incorporated into the historic Powerhouse while still maintaining much of the building’s brickwork and passageways

Scott and I have been eager to see what Cleveland’s Aquarium offered since it opened in January.   However, because I tend to avoid attractions (and the crowds that accompany them) immediately after they open, I waited until very recently to take a trip to The Flats and visit it for the first time.

I’m not going to lie – as much as I love Cleveland, the only times I visited the Flats and the Powerhouse previously were when I was dragged there for something with work. But thanks to the Cleveland Aquarium, I actually had a reason to want to go.

While Scott was most excited to see the aquatic life (especially the turtles!), the biggest draw of the Aquarium for me was seeing how they transformed the historic Powerhouse building.

Working with the Cleveland Aquarium, Marinescape – who has developed 23 major aquariums throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia and Russia- revamped the entire Powerhouse to bring their first aquarium to North America.

MarineScape’s designs include an underwater tube where you can get close to the sharks and other aquatic life (we even caught a few photo opps with the scuba divers)

I was not disappointed in seeing how they incorporated the Aquarium into the old building. Within the Powerhouse they squeezed in over 70,000 square feet of aquarium space, including 10 exhibition areas with 30+ tanks and Marinescape’s Seatube – a clear, 145’ walk-through tunnel.

Tanks are tucked inside recessed archways, and exhibits move through long, brick passageways and coalmining tunnels. Even the building’s smokestacks are incorporated into the design with a glimpse of the sky through one of the exposed stacks and ”sky lobsters” (my term – not scientifically accurate at all) in another.

I loved this unusual view of lobsters in the Aquarium’s smokestack tank

Our visit started in the Ohio Lakes & Rivers exhibit, where they showcased walleye, dace, slider turtles and other aquatic life that can be found in our backyard waterways. From Weird & Wonderful to the eels in the Florida Keys, the other exhibits showcased more exotic fish.

My favorite part, though, was the slightly daunting but impressive underwater Shark Tunnel.  I really enjoyed how immersed you are within it and we had a bit of fun with the scuba divers who wanted to get in on the photo-taking action.

Overall Scott and I enjoyed our experience and found it relaxing and comfortable.

For instance, I was happy to see they added a few benches as well as an assortment of Adirondack chairs in the rays’ touch tank area after a friend of mine visited opening weekend and reported she couldn’t find a place to sit.

The staff was also very helpful and patient with visitors – especially when it took  me 5 attempts to pet the rays thanks to my squeamishness.

The Ohio Waterways exhibit where we learned about what’s swimming beneath the surface in Lake Erie and our local rivers

I think the only thing we wished is to have been able to spend more time there. It takes only an hour to an hour-and-a-half to get through the variety of aquatic life found in the Aquarium. However, seeing as it’s not even a year old, there is time for the Aquarium to continue to grow its offerings.

The plus side is that because of its close location to downtown, Ohio City and Gordon Square, you can make a day of exploring Cleveland by squeezing in a few other attractions after a morning at the Aquarium.

Admission costs $19.95 for adults; children 2 through 12 cost $13.95, which is a few dollars less than most aquariums. While parking is $3 Monday through Friday ($5 on the weekends), there is some free street parking in the area.

The addition of seating areas like this one at the touch tank make it easier for anyone who needs to rest during their visit

The best deal, though, is the Annual Pass, especially for a family of 2 adults and 2 children. At $130, this Family Pass is the route to go if you plan on attending at least two times a year. A single pass for one adult is $50; couples are $90.

In addition to unlimited admission for one year, passholders get express entry, extended hours, discounts on aquarium programs, and invitations to pass holder parties, exhibit openings and special events. The Nautica Queen also offers a 10% discount on cruises and Just Add Water provides a free Discover Scuba Experience for passholders.

During our visit we got to see the Aquarium’s not-very-camera-shy baby alligator; numerous programs are offered that allow guests to meet and even sleep with some of the fish

Although the Aquarium opened only six months ago, they’ve already started hosting a handful of programs which is what will have me coming back.

Free animal encounters and feeding times take place throughout the day in the shark, freshwater and touch tanks. For an extra $10 on Wednesdays and Thursdays, guests can tour behind-the-scenes with an expert aquarist to see the food prep area, water quality laboratory, and dive zone and learn how the Aquarium cares for marine and freshwater species.

My favorite (and possibly the creepiest) fish I saw during our visit to the Aquarium

And it’s not all educational programs (though there are plenty of them!). On the first Monday of each month, the Aquarium offers Toddler Time for passholders, featuring activities with the Aquarium’s Pygmy and Sharky mascots, snacks and story time with Captain NEO.

At their Red, White & Brew party on the Fourth of July, guests of all ages can enjoy the Aquarium’s exhibits followed by entertainment, beverages, and a great view of downtown’s fireworks. The Aquarium has also hosted fishing clinics for dads, yoga in front of the Shark Tank, and their Zzz’s with the Sea overnights.

Did I have fun during my first visit to the Cleveland Aquarium? I think this picture of me right after I got a high-five from a ray answers that.

When I first moved to Cleveland five years ago, I kept hearing about the city’s previous attempts to bring an aquarium to the city.While I think there is room to grow with it, I’m glad to see we finally have one that uniquely uses its space and gives new life to a piece of Cleveland history.  Just consider the Family Pass for your best deal.

Disclosure: A guest and I were invited to attend a Bloggers Breakfast and tour the Aquarium in exchange for sharing my opinion about my visit. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.