Mid vacation we took a beach break and visited the Ripley's Aquarium in Myrtle Beach.
We usually steer clear of touristy trap kind of places. Okay, not so much recently considering we went to South of the Border last month..... But. We'd been to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher several times and decided to try something new.
It was the middle of the week and it was pretty crowded. Fortunately, when we walked in the door there was no line to meet the Mermaid - one of the big crowd draws - so we jumped in line and met the real mermaid right away.
She was probably in high school, but did a great job interacting with the kids. Big Girl thought for sure she was Ariel from The Little Mermaid (even with brown hair!) and they chatted about King Triton.
The costume looked pretty good and the kids didn't question if she was real or not. All the girls around us (some older than our daughter) thought she was real.
We were a little bummed that you couldn't take your own pictures with the Mermaid, so no photos of that one.
After hitting the touch tank.
... another big hit, we grabbed a seat early for the Mermaid show.
I'm gonna be honest here. It was pretty goofy. But the kids loved it. Not just ours, but all of them gathered around.
The mermaids in the show were older than the meet and greet one. They jumped in the tank with several of the large fish and small whales and swam all over the place for the crowd.
They did flips and turns and blew bubbles in heart shapes. Even sitting on the floor, the kids loved it.
Then it was onto the Underwater Glide Path. This was pretty cool. First off you were on a moving sidewalk, so it really helped with the crowd flow. The sidewalk took you through a tunnel of fish called the Dangerous Reef.
There was tons of bright coral and of course plenty of "fish."
On the way out, we decided to see the dinosaur exhibit. If we had it to do again, we would probably skip it. The line was pretty long, and the dinosaurs were all motorized.
Suprisingly, Little Man wasn't freaked out by the dinos and liked a few of them. The cool part here is that you could touch the dinosaurs. There wasn't very much in the way of educational materials, but by that point in the trip, I wasn't even taking the time to read all the names. We were all getting tired and were ready to head back to the beach house.
Overall, Ripley's was pretty cool. It was kind of pricey. For the three of us (toddlers are free) tickets run over $50. For two hours of entertainment. The kids did enjoy it, but I really wish it hadn't been so crowded and that we could have taken our own picture with the mermaid.