When my daughter was first born it was a whirlwind, but once things settled down and we'd been in the house for what seemed like ages in the middle of the winter we really started to get that cooped up syndrome. We needed to get out of the house and go somewhere other than the grocery store. AS nice as it was to have plenty of visitors to our home we wanted OUT. Then came the dilemma of where to take a newborn that was appropriate for her, but still entertaining for us. Our kiddo was not one of those quiet kids who simply slept anywhere you took her. We had never gone to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium before and decided it would be a perfect foray out into the world for a little person. We were definitely correct.
The Cleveland Aquarium is located at 2000 Sycamore Street, Cleveland (otherwise known as the west bank of the flats) That's what was (maybe still is?) known as the Powerhouse. It was built in 1892 as literally a powerhouse for an electric streetcar line. More recently it once housed a variety of businesses such as a piano bar, an arcade and restaurants. Through all this time it definitely maintained an industrial vibe with tall smokestacks, lots of exposed brick and steel so it was interesting to see how something like an aquarium was built into the space.
Now the Greater Cleveland Aquarium is not particularly large like the Georgia Aquarium and it can be rather pricey for a day out but it is definitely unique and worth a visit. The aquarium was broken down into galleries that each focused on a different aquatic area such as Ohio Lakes and Rivers, Indo-Pacific, and Coastal regions and the types of fish plants in each area varied accordingly.
It was interesting to see how such an industrial space was converted to hold wildlife. They utilized the space so creatively that jellyfish are even housed in one of the smokestacks! In addition to the exhibits a watchful eye could even spot some striking nautical themed art with an industrial edge.
What was extra special about the aquarium was how close you could get to all the exhibits, which for tiny infant eyes was perfect!
Other highlights included a pretty amazing 11,000 gallon touch tank where visitors could "pet" stingrays (something we took a pass on this time with an infant), tortoise encounters, live coral, and lots of biodiversity.