Loveland Living Planet Aquarium Draper UT acts as a one-of-a-kind wedding venue that offers soon-to-be-weds a variety of settings for their special day. This unique aquarium is home to a diverse range of swimming sea creatures and also features ballrooms that can accommodate a large number of guests.
Visitors may recognize this aquarium because of the giant structure that looks like an alien and frames a large outdoor plaza. The structure was used as a stage for U2’s 360° World Tour. Read on to learn more.
Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is one of Utah’s unique attractions and a must-see for everyone. Its world-class facility showcases the diversity of Earth’s ecosystems including kelp forests, coral reefs, Antarctic waters, and South American rain forests as well as our own landlocked Mountain West.
Visitors are welcomed by The Claw – a distinctive fin-like structure that was the stage and set for Irish rock band U2 on their world tour in 2009. It now stands as a signature attraction and part of a nine-acre Science Learning Campus at 12033 S. Lone Peak Pkwy in Draper.
The main section of the Aquarium is Ocean Explorer where guests walk a 40-foot shark tunnel that allows them to feel like they are underwater. Other highlights are the Penguin Research Station and a touch pool that features seahorses, Sea jellies, octopus, piranha, a rescued Green sea turtle, and Gentoo penguins.
Journey to South America
From the outside, Loveland Living Planet Aquarium looks like a giant whale – and it’s even more impressive up close. Its distinctive fin-like shape frames a stage canopy that adds to the fluid feel of this world-class facility, Utah’s ninth largest.
Once inside, visitors find a two-story area with doors to different exhibits. The first is Journey to South America, a rainforest-themed walk through an aquarium with anacondas, two-toed sloths, and poison dart frogs. There’s also a fun rope bridge to cross (one-way only).
Upstairs, Expedition: Asia has small-clawed otters, binturongs, and Asian fish. And then there’s the 40-foot shark tunnel, which puts visitors “underwater” as they walk past sharks and rays swimming inches away. This is one of the most popular areas in the entire aquarium. Other popular habitats include Penguin Research Station, Ocean Explorer, and Discover Utah. You’ll also be transported to the far reaches of the planet with EECO Voyager, the aquarium’s newest virtual reality experience. A great place to also visit is Sugar House Park.
The aquarium has a clear shark tunnel that allows visitors to walk between and under sharks. Small children are entranced by this. It is a good way to show kids the power of nature and how important it is to protect the environment. Another area of the aquarium that is popular is the Journey to South America exhibit which is made to look like a rainforest. It houses animals such as 14-foot anaconda, piranhas, caiman, desert insects, tree boas, and frogs. It also highlights various rainforest plants and some bioluminescent creatures.
The large, spider-like structure which stands in front of the aquarium was once a stage and set for the band U2. It has been re-engineered to suit this unique venue’s needs. It will be the base for a futuristic virtual reality tour of ecosystems around the world and help people understand that oceans, forests, and deserts are all part of a single global ecosystem.
Once you step inside the aquarium’s large entrance area you see a two-story building with doors to various experiences. A large ship dominates the middle with a model humpback whale and baby hanging from the ceiling, plus an indoor playground.
From there it’s a choose-your-own-adventure experience as you walk through different habitats and exhibits. Our favorite was the clear shark tunnel, where you are literally able to walk between and under sharks that swim above your head. Small kids were completely enthralled.
The penguin habitat was fun, too. You can pet the stingrays here and watch the penguins play together. You can also buy cute penguin donuts here.
You’ll want to plan on a few hours here to see everything. Be sure to check the daily schedule for the stingray and penguin feeds and the Shark Tunnel. You’ll also want to spend time checking out the Ocean Explorer, Journey to South America, and Discover Utah galleries. Discover more interesting articles.
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