Spending a day at the aquarium is fun for all ages! That’s especially the case if you’re planning a trip to Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach. This aquarium is home to over 6,000 amazing fishes, so you can bet there’s plenty for everyone in your family to look at!

Although visiting the aquarium can be fun, it can be tiring too. Especially if you’re going to be there the entire day, and especially if you’re visiting the aquarium with young children. Make sure everyone has a great time until you get into the car at the end of the day with these tips.

Learn About Marine Life Before You Go

If you’re traveling to the aquarium with young children, it can be a lot of fun to learn about marine life before you go. Go online to learn about the ocean or rent some books from your local library.

It’s even more fun if you learn about the kinds of animals you’re going to see at the aquarium! A few include:

  • The emperor angelfish
  • Horseshoe crabs
  • Weedy sea dragons
  • Sting Rays
  • Sea turtles

This aquarium also has some unique exhibits that could use a little research before you pack up and go. Learn about Pearl Harbor and the Amazon so you’re primed and ready to see the replica planes and rainforest animals in these unique exhibits.

Know When to Go

If there’s some flexibility with when you can go to the aquarium, consider going when it isn’t quite so busy. As you might expect, the aquarium is busiest on the weekends. Holidays and summer vacation tend to be busy times too.

No matter what day you go, give yourself some time away from the crowds by getting to the aquarium as soon as it opens, or sticking around in the late afternoon and evening when most people have left for the day.

You should also consider when to each lunch! Restaurant times are the busiest between 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM. Plan ahead with an early breakfast so you can eat at 11:00, or eat a morning snack so you can eat a late lunch at 1:00.

Know What to Pack

You don’t want to bring too much stuff along because it’s just more stuff you have to lug around, but there are some things you should bring with you if you want to make sure everyone is comfortable and happy at the aquarium.

That includes things like:

  • A small first aid kit, including band-aids
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Sunscreen and/or sun protective clothing
  • Sunglasses
  • Phone chargers
  • Ponchos and umbrellas, if it’s supposed to rain
  • A stroller for when the kids get tired

In addition, the aquarium is a lot more fun for kids if you bring along a magnifying glass so they can get up-close-and-personal with small fish.

Plan Your Day Ahead of Time

It’s a good idea to plan ahead and decide which rides you want to ride at a theme park, but it’s even more important to do some preplanning if you’re going to the aquarium. That’s because aquariums have many programs throughout the day that are only scheduled during certain times.

For example, little girls would love to see the mermaids swimming with the fishes, but you’ll only catch this show at 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM on the weekends. If you want to watch the staff feed the animals at Rainbow Rock, there are multiple shows to choose from, as is the case with the Ray Bay Dive where divers hand feeds the creatures their favorite meals.

Talk with the Staff

The people who work at theme parks and aquariums have many secrets, and more often than not, they’re willing to share those secrets with you!

Don’t be afraid to ask the staff about particular exhibits. They may be able to tell you more about the animals on display than you can find on the information placard. They can also provide you with information about shows and other special activities you may want to visit within the park.

In some cases, if you linger at an exhibit or after a show is over to talk to one of the staff members, they may provide you with a unique interactive animal experience!

You’re certain to have a great time at Ripley’s Aquarium looking at all the fishes, as long as you prepare for the day with the tips on this list.