Downtown Aquarium

Eleven exhibits, including an immersive 4-D theatre experience, and a unique restaurant, beckon the visitor to Denver’s Downtown Aquarium.

In the North America exhibit, visitors will find the homes of a variety of different habitats. Come explore these interesting habitats and get nose-to-nose with some of the amazing creatures that call our continent home.

»The Exhibits at Downtown Aquarium

The Exhibits at Downtown Aquarium

The Desert environment is home to under 10 inches of rain each year and it has an exceptional evaporation rate, which exceeds the annual rainfall rate. Desert animals have adapted to extreme temperatures, dryness, and the lack of shelter from the sweltering sun overhead.

Under the Sea mimics the coral reefs just offshore many seas, with their numerous caves and crevices that spawn excellent habitats. Coral reefs are famous the world over for attracting divers and snorkelers to their wondrous habitats. Those willing to take the plunge will be treated to countless varieties of fish in rich hues and coral in fanciful shapes.

Mermaids may be the stuff of legends but aquarium visitors may actually watch them swim among their friends in the sea as they teach about the importance of taking care of our environment. This is a family-friendly, interactive show choreographed to music and performed in the Under the Sea Exhibit.

At the Wharf shows visitors the tides and waves that are crashing in and out constantly. Animals in this exhibit show off their various adaptations to survive in such a tough environment. Many of them submerge themselves for extended periods of time, only to have the tide go out again, leaving them exposed to the air and sun. Other animals bury themselves under the rocks to avoid the swells, while others let go and drift with the tide.

Can you imagine that seven percent of the Earth is covered by rainforests? At the Downtown Aquarium, the rainforest exhibits mimic different kinds of tropical rainforests. Some of the exhibits represent rainforests that are periodically flooded. Other habitats in this area represent a protected mangrove swamp, where knotted roots offer small fish the benefit of great hiding places.

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»More Exhibits

More Exhibits

Barrier reefs consist of ridges of coral that run parallel to coastlines. These reefs act as barricades to break down the energy of a wave prior to it reaching the shore. At the aquarium, visitors will find a coral lagoon, protected from the surf by a barrier reef.

Ancient ruins and temples are some of the world's most amazing mysteries. Temple ruins from many cultures are still able to be seen today.

In the shipwreck area, the paintings call to mind a shipwreck and the exhibits mimic the edge of the coral reef, where the majority of shipwrecks happen.

The At the Beach exhibit shows off several interesting and unique animals that can be found in shallow water just off the shore. These animals live on sandy or rocky sea bottoms. They hide themselves well.

Downtown Aquarium’s 40-seat movie theater boasts headrests and cup-holder armrests, and are equipped with multiple effects to experience the movie’s action. Its films change throughout the year based on the holiday and season. Among the films that were shown in 2015 were Planet Earth, Polar Express, SpongeBob Squarepants, Ice Age, and Pirates Rapids. Find out about the current film selection by calling the theatre.

In 2003, Landry's Restaurants, Inc. purchased Colorado's Ocean Journey Aquarium. Landry's opened the completely redesigned Downtown Aquarium in 2005.

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»Dive into Dining Adventures

Dive into Dining Adventures

Visitors may commence their underwater adventure right from their tables at the Aquarium Restaurant, where guests are seated around the 50,000-gallon aquarium – the centerpiece of the room. Over 100 species of colorful, tropical fish from the Caribbean Sea, Hawaii, South Pacific and the Indian Ocean make their homes in this wondrous tank, where a diver handles feedings twice a day in full view of the dining room. Featured food for human guests includes fresh fish, seafood, and steaks.

Contrary to what its name implies, The Dive Lounge is a posh bar offering Happy Hour every Monday through Friday. The Dive Lounge is also available for private affairs.

The elegant décor and top-ranked culinary team will guarantee your event is a smashing success at the Nautilus Ballroom. Made special by hand-painted ceilings and beaded chandeliers, The Nautilus Ballroom is the ideal venue for corporate meetings, bar and bat mitzvahs, anniversaries, birthdays, and weddings – with its own in-house wedding coordinator. The ballroom seats 50 to 250 guests with room for up to 500 for stand-up receptions. The room also has the capacity to support leading-edge audio-visual equipment.

Conservation

Downtown Aquarium and its eateries are dedicated to educating visitors on the importance of being respectful of the world and supporting the conservation of the environment. Their mission is to support other like-minded programs. Toward those goals, Downtown Aquarium partners with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, Wildlife Alliance, Earth Share, National Marine Fisheries Services, The Nature Conservancy, Ocearch, The Ocean Project, Texas Parks & Wildlife, WildAid, and The World Parrot Trust.

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»Activities

Activities

Discover the wonder and mystery of the underwater world and more through camps, overnights and behind-the-scenes tours.

Snorkel or scuba dive with the fish at Downtown Aquarium.

Snorkel with the Fish

Experience a swim with moray eels, giant groupers, rays, guitar fish, green sea turtles and many others in the aquarium’s Under the Sea exhibit. This activity is open to those six and older. Private and group snorkel trips are available.

Dive with the Sharks - Scuba Adventure

Show your courage with a dive into the Sunken Shipwreck exhibit to find a Napoleon wrasse, sandbar sharks, sand tiger sharks, zebra sharks, three sawfish, guitar fish, green sea turtles, and fish from the world’s waters. This program is open to those 10 and older. Dive certification is required.

Dive with the Fish - Scuba Adventure

Experience a scuba dive with moray eels, giant groupers, guitar fish, rays, green sea turtles and many of their friends. This event is open to those who are at least 10 years old. Dive certification is required.

Marine Biologist for a Day

Ever consider a career as a marine biologist? See if you have what it takes. This fee-based event is open to students from grade 1-12. Experience the science behind the exhibits. Learn how to dissect a squid. This program features a biologist dive show, a guided tour, animal feedings, and squid dissection. Included also are T-shirts and lunch.

Zoologist for a Day

Yes, there are tigers at the Downtown Aquarium and this fee-based program introduces visitors to extensive species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and – tigers. Spend a day learning how these animals are handled and trained. Build animal enrichment toys, interact with animals and speak with the tiger and bird keepers. Also included are T-shirts and lunch, and the program is open to students from grade 1 through grade 12.

Wild Dreams Overnight

Pack along your sleeping bag and see if you can sleep through the night among the sharks and rays. An exciting night awaits children for this program at the Downtown Aquarium, where visitors will explore the exhibits, learn about the animals and their habitats, make a craft, play games and more. T-shirts and breakfast are included.

Sea Safari Summer Camp

Summer camp at the aquarium is a blast. Experience rivers, reefs, rainforests, and more. Camps last five days and are open to children in grades 1 – 6.

Animal Meet and Greets

Meet and greets are available with a sloth, porcupine, serval, hawk, eagle, binturong, tortoises, snakes, or parrots.

There are also several birthday party packages available, ranging from $18 per child to $95 per child. Teenage birthday parties are also available.

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700 Water Street, Denver, CO 80211, website, Phone: 303-561-4450

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Downtown Aquarium in Denver, Colorado