The new Shreveport Aquarium is open for business! Read about my experience in this blog post.
I love aquariums. Not as much as I love zoos, but it’s a very, very close second. I’m just fascinated by the entire world that lives under the water, a lot of which can be stemmed back to my love of The Little Mermaid. I can’t remember the first aquarium I ever went to, but I’ve been to several, and I just get so lost watching all of the sea creatures in their little habitats. I’m obsessed with touch tanks, even though I also feel bad for the animals because I’m sure that’s not their ideal way of living. If you’ve ever seen Finding Dory, that’s what I imagine it to be like for them.
My favorite aquarium is of course, the one I went to in the Bahamas at Atlantis. Not only is it absolutely gorgeous and huge and has a variety of animals, it’s also one of the film locations for Holiday in the Sun, and anyone who knows me knows that I love me some Mary-Kate and Ashley. A few of my favorites in America are the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston and the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. I could go on, but I think you get it by now. I’m fascinated by sea life (helloooo working on a boat for a year).
When I found out that we were getting an aquarium in Shreveport, I was so excited. If you’ve never been to Shreveport/Bossier City, one thing to note is that even though Shreveport is the third biggest city in Louisiana, it’s still a quaint little place, and from a millennial’s perspective, there’s not much going on. The city is catered toward families and retirees – a great place to settle down, but not necessarily a great place for young adults who are fresh out of college and looking for some life experience. But I digress.
My biggest piece of advice when going to the Shreveport Aquarium: Take your time. It’s not a big place, so take your time looking at all of the fish and sea animals. Take some photos. Crawl into the little viewing bulbs. Get intimate with the animals in the touch tanks. Don’t rush through it because it’s quite small, comparatively.
When you go to the Shreveport Aquarium, I highly recommend purchasing a ticket online because they give you a time slot so it doesn’t get too overcrowded. If you buy your ticket at the actual aquarium, you’ll have to wait until the next available window. Tickets for adults are $12, kids 3-8-years-old are $8 and children under 3-years-old are free. There are also several other discounts.
The Shreveport Aquarium is home to over 3,000 animals, and there are over 270 different species of sea creatures. While we were standing in line, I asked my boyfriend “If you were any animal in the aquarium, what would you be?” He said a sea turtle, and I said either a seahorse or a jellyfish. All of our inner sea creatures were at the aquarium.
Aquariums are gorgeous in and of itself, and the Shreveport Aquarium was no exception. The animals live in beautiful, vibrant tanks, and we spent so long just gazing at how beautiful and fascinating all of the creatures looked.
The Shreveport Aquarium is great for kids because there are a ton of touch tanks. You can touch starfish, stingrays, cleaner shrimp and even jellyfish! I was super excited about the jellyfish because hello, inner sea creature. The jellyfish they have in the touch tanks are the least dangerous jellyfish, and they encourage you to just touch the top of the jellyfish and don’t push on them. They feel like giant contact lenses. It was so neat. They also have a tank where you can climb in and stand up and have jellyfish swimming all around you. Cheesy moment: I told my boyfriend to “kiss me in the jellyfish” and that’s probably one of my favorite kisses we’ve ever shared because duh, we were surrounded by jellyfish.
They have a whole room dedicated to the touch tank for the stingrays. I swam with and fed stingrays while I was working on the cruise ship, and those were huuuuge and intimidating, but I became so fascinated by how cool they are and was excited to show these little stingrays some love. They were all very active and swimming around like crazy. My boyfriend kept on sticking his hands in the water and saying “high five!” He did get a few from the stingrays.
Throughout the aquarium, they have little areas where you can crawl in and look at the fish from below. When you’re looking through the bulbs, it makes the creatures look so much smaller, but it’s neat because you get to see them close up. They also have a short hall where the tank is all around and above you, and there are sharks swimming everywhere. It’s so neat to walk through.
At the end of the aquarium, they have a small gift shop, and it also leads into the aquarium’s restaurant, Salt. My boyfriend and I sat at the bar for a drink and chatted with a man named Mike who apparently is a regular there. He was a really cool guy, and I hope we run into him again around town.
I think the Shreveport Aquarium is great for families and that it’s a great addition to the downtown area. I didn’t eat the food at Salt, so I can’t speak on that, but I did have a glass of Cabernet that was $12, and to me, that felt a little overpriced considering… (Don’t worry. I’ll just go to Thrifty and pay the same price for a whole bottle. Don’t mind me.) I don’t know that I’ll be visiting the small aquarium again anytime soon, but I will recommend it to people visiting from out of town and those with children.
Have you ever been to the aquarium?
Even though I grew up in many cities around the world, I’ve been calling Shreveport/Bossier City, Louisiana home since 2006. When people visit the city, they’re often underwhelmed by the amount of things to do, but as the third largest city in Louisiana, there’s a lot more to the area than meets the eye. In my series, Shreveport Sunday, I’m excited to share some of my favorite things about living (and eating) in Shreveport/Bossier City. To see all of the posts in the Shreveport Sunday series, click here.