Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium aims to educate and inspire visitors to discover and explore everything this is to know about the Earth’s many diverse ecosystems. Visitors can expect to find an engaging and entertaining aquarium with more than 2,500 different animals from 450 species on display in various specialty exhibitions.
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The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium was founded by marine biologist, Brent Andersen. He originally started pursuing his vision of developing a world-class Salt Lake City aquarium in 1998. He began gathering support by driving an outreach van he named the “Aqua-Van” to local schools around Utah. The van was filled will a wide variety of exhibits and fun educational activities.
By the summer of 2004, Andersen had gathered enough support that he was able to open a smaller-scale exhibit previewing what his aquarium would look like. This exhibit was more than 10,000 square-feet and was on display at the local Gateway Mall. The exhibit was open to the public and provided more than 150,000 visitors a year with unforgettable marine experiences.
The exhibit was popular for about 2 years until Andersen was able to expand the exhibition to a building in Sandy, Utah totaling more than 43,000 square-feet. At that time there were about 1,700 different animals. The aquarium hit a record in 2012 when it hit more than 457,000 visitors in one year.
The official Loveland Living Planet Aquarium that many people know and love opened its doors in 2014. The name “Loveland” was added at that time to honor one of the aquarium’s most generous donors. Currently, there are now more than 2,500 different animals and a wide variety of educational programs and exhibitions.
There are a wide variety of exhibitions at the Aquarium including various salt water animals, fresh water animals, reptiles, amphibians, as well as many endangered birds and rare bugs.
Animal Meet and Greet: Almost every single day at various times, the zoo keepers will host an animal meet and greet. Guests can come face-to-face with all kinds of reptiles and amphibians while learning all about what makes them so special.
Shark Tank Diver Talk: Every day, visitors are invited to interact with the divers who are responsible for caring for sharks. Visitors will learn about their daily activities as well as plenty about the sharks they care for.
Stingray Feed: Guests are invited to witness the frenzied and fantastic stingray feeding at the zoo each day. Be sure to attend the splashing good time and maybe even get the chance to pet a stingray yourself.
Penguin Feed: Guests are invited to witness the adorable penguin feeding each day. Since penguins each approximately 10% of their body weight each day, it sure is a delight to watch them in action. During the feeding, guests will learn all kinds of fun facts about these incredible flightless birds.
There are many other events held daily at the Aquarium including a hawk watch, various lectures, yoga with the sharks, summer camps, scout nights, workshops, and of course, annual summer camps. Be sure to visit the Aquarium calendar for more information.
Education & Programs
Because the mission of the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is to educate and inspire, there are a wide variety of educational and outreach programs hosted year-round. Students of all ages are welcome to attend the summer camps, reserve a field trip with their class, or attend a scout workshop. There are also plenty of opportunists for teachers and educators to pursue their professional development.
The outreach programs consist of 3 specialty vans that visit schools and educate children in grades 2, 4, and 6. The first is the rainforest van which is aimed at 2nd graders and introduces them to concepts regarding mapping skills and tropical rainforests. Students will be able to identity the various locations around the world where there are rainforests and learn about what it takes to preserve these vital and delicate ecosystems.
The second outreach van is aimed at 4th graders and is called the Utah Waters Van. This outreach program is aligned with the Utah State Office of Education and its Core Science Curriculum. Students will learn all about the water cycle, wetlands, and about the importance of water conservation.
The third and final fan is aimed at 6th graders and is called the Ecosystems Van. This outreach program meets the SEEd Standards of Utah State. It includes many activities, interactive games, and various models used to educate students about ecosystems around the world.
Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, 12033 Lone Peak Parkway, Draper, UT 84020, website, Phone: 801-355-3474