‘Sea’ the New Changes at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium

‘Sea’ the New Changes at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium

Photos by Angela Gartner

Changes are underway at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, which is housed in the historic FirstEnergy Powerhouse on the West Bank of the Flats in downtown Cleveland.

Last fall, the aquarium started making renovation plans after parent company Jacobs Entertainment Inc. invested $250,000 into the attraction.

The improvements, which include bringing in about a dozen new species, plus upgrades to its galleries and breakout spaces, will span over 12 months — during which the aquarium will stay open.

With the first phase almost complete, visitors see upgrades to the Asia and Indonesia galleries, where they can find the Japanese Red Shady Maple Tree, constructed with in-house recycled material. Also, the Coastal Boardwalk is being upgraded to a traditional boardwalk where visitors can enjoy a day at the “beach.”

About a dozen new species will be on display — including Green Tree Python and Weedy Seadragon exhibits, which can be viewed beginning in early June.

The littlest ones and their parents will love the new Imaginarium, which will have a hands-on play space where kids can pretend they are aquarists, SCUBA divers and exhibit designers.

“It’s a free play gallery for kids,” says Tami Brown, the aquarium’s general manager and Splash Fund director. “We really wanted a free play spirit and have a more mission-specific experience.”

Upcoming renovations include changes to the Rainforest gallery, and the Industry and Habitats area, which dives into how animals and modern industry have an impact on each other.

The aquarium also will provide visitors with an opportunity to learn about conservation efforts and how to help the environment throughout the attraction’s exhibits.

About the author

Angela Gartner has been the editor at Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine since 2014. She has won local and national awards for her features, columns and photography over the years. Previously, her work appeared in publications including The News-Herald, Sun Newspapers and The Chicago Tribune. She grew up in Northeast Ohio and is a mom of two boys. The whole family is busy every weekend with sports and finding new happenings around the region. She is also a board member and past president at the Cleveland Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She loves reading, writing poetry and taking the family's Scottish Terrier on walks.

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