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“A nice aquarium but a tab overpriced.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Greater Cleveland Aquarium

Greater Cleveland Aquarium
2000 Sycamore Street, Cleveland, OH 44113
216-862-8803
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Ranked #57 of 191 things to do in Cleveland
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Owner description: The Greater Cleveland Aquarium energizes curiosity by passionately educating and entertaining about aquatic life and conservation. Set in a powerhouse built in 1892, see an octopus, touch stingrays, meet African tortoises, discover seahorses and jellies in more than 50 exhibits. Don't miss the 170-foot SeaTube, surrounding guests with sharks, eels, fish and rays.
Ohio, USA
Top Contributor
373 reviews 373 reviews
131 attraction reviews
Reviews in 119 cities Reviews in 119 cities
668 helpful votes 668 helpful votes
“A nice aquarium but a tab overpriced.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

The third time was a charm for us in terms of visiting the Cleveland Aquarium. On our first two attempts the crowds were huge and the wait was very long. A friend had advised not to go when the place was crowded as there was not a lot of room around the exhibits. Good advice as we soon found out. We finally made it into the aquarium on Christmas Eve.

The aquarium is built in an old power plant. Overall I think that the designers did a nice job of integrating the exhibits into the old industrial building, including an overhead tank for the jellyfish in the old smoke stack. And while the flow through the exhibits is pretty good, there is not a lot of space between the tanks, so if there is a crowd you will have to wait your turn.

It also seems that the layout of the aquarium is fairly accessible to persons with disabilities, including wheelchairs. The only steps that I recall were from the street-level building entrance down to the aquarium entrance, but there is a small elevator available for transport of folks who cannot handle the stairs. Once in the aquarium the path through the exhibits and tanks is flat and mostly level (some very slight ups and downs to negotiate).

There are several rooms of tanks. The first area has freshwater tanks focusing on Ohio rivers and lakes. But there are also reef displays and larger tanks with sharks and other large fish. All of the exhibits and tanks were very nice, although some of them seemed to be a bit cloudy. It was not enough that you could not see the fish, but the seawater tanks just did not seem as clear as I remember at other aquariums. There were several folks available throughout the aquarium to answer questions (not sure if these were all paid employers or if some might have been volunteer docents). There is a large tank about halfway through the tour that is the “petting zoo” with several rays and other critters ready “shake your hand.”

When we visited, the crowd was light, so we were able to see all the tanks, exhibits and plaques with little to no wait. It took us about 45 minutes to make it through whole of the building, including taking a few photos. While it was a nice visit, I thought it was a bit overpriced ($44 for two adults).

Oh, and of course there is a small gift shop at the end of the tour.

We had an enjoyable time at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. I do recommend visiting if you have time. Its location is just a bit off the beaten path, being in the west side of the Cuyahoga River from the downtown area, but it is not that far of a drive from the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and could make a wonderful combination for a day with the animals.

Visited December 2012
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Kansas City, Kansas
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Overpriced”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

Staff not very friendly...Aquarium very small...10 mins to get thru exhibits...not worth the price...go to the zoo instead...

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cleveland, ohio
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“A nice afternoon out !”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

We had a family member from out of town visiting from Florida & looking for something to do along with our 93yr. old Grandmother who's in a wheelchair along with two children ages 6yrs. & 7yrs. so the aquarium is where we decided. We live about 6 miles away so it was a quick trip through downtown. * For out of towners your gps might lead you into some ghetto.. We have some areas in our beloved city that are going through a rebuilding process... The aquarium is located in the nautica complex so there is a $5 charge for parking.. Kinda a bummer but, there's plenty of parking! The building formerly known as THE POWERHOUSE is pretty cool looking & glad to see it being used & not torn down! The aquarium itself is small but, thats what we were looking for having a senior & two children. My boys really LOVED the sea ray touch tank. We spent about an hour there alone touching very playful rays. They had very friendly & knowledgeable staff. Great gram also participated with touching the rays until one splashed her in the FACE ! Too funny ! We also got to see local Lake Erie fish & eco systems as well as, turtles.piranhas, & jellyfish.. Santa & one of his helpers were in the shark tank & we even got to see the sharks being fed! The shark exhibit was everyones favorite part as its in two parts a regular window view & a walk through tube.. JAWS 3 anyone??? In total we spent 3 hours there.. Was it expensive? -YES, two adults & two children $78 + parking.. Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! We made some wonderful memories which money simply can't buy.. For people that might think " oh she's NEVER been to an aquarium before.." We have NEWPORT is very nice, Baltimore is my favorite along with Pittsburgh zoo & aquarium! " Im looking forward to seeing more family friendly entertainment downtown..

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Bay Village, Ohio
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Too expensive and Too small”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012 via mobile

I went here while downtown with my family and was very disappointed. Most of te dish are native Lake Erie fish and turtles that you can buy at te local pet store. They have a Florida Keys exhibit which starts off with the Lion Fish. This is dry disappointing as that is actually and invasive species and in the keys you are encourage to catch these nussiance fish and remove/kill them. The shark tank is cool, especially since you can walk through it, but in general there isn't a lot of fish and its a lot of money for what you walk through in a very, very short amount of time.

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Akron, Ohio
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
33 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“only average and too expensive”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

Just OK for an aquarium and very expensive. NO discounts. Pay for parking. If you are going to go around a meal time...eat elsewhere - very expensive.

Visited June 2012
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