The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is a large aquarium, and it has fun things to see and do outside and inside. We love visiting this aquarium, and our feet are always tired by the time we walk through and see all the exhibits. We will walk you through all of the different exhibits in the aquarium in the order that we like to go, so that we don’t miss anything.
Journey to South America
The South American exhibit is two stories. You begin on the bottom floor where there is a waterfall and lots of trees and bushes. We saw some insects and arachnids, as well as whistling ducks. Many of the birds are out in the open, and it is fun to have them flying around.
We are always amazed at the size of the large river giant fish. Once you pass the huge fish, you will start heading upstairs. The sloth lives up here, and hopefully you can catch him when he is moving around. We also love the variety of frogs. The poison dart frogs are so colorful.
One of the highlights at the top is the rope bridge to walk across. They made this area look and feel like a rain forest with the huge trees. The humidity is killer, and I am usually sweating by the time we leave this area.
After we leave the South America section on the second floor, we walk over to the Asia area. Some of our favorite animals are in this section. Our boys love the binturong and the clouded leopard. Hopefully they are moving around when you visit. There are some cool birds and reptiles in this area, too.
While you are on the top floor, make sure to check the schedule for when the next 4-D show is happening. These movies are included as part of your admission, and they are fun. You wear 3-D glasses, but there are also some extra 4-D effects like water and wind blown in your face. We always enjoy the different movies when we go.
Tuki’s Island Play Area
Also on the second floor is the play area. Tuki’s Island Play Area and Party Center has a climbing structure for kids to explore. Our boys loved playing here where they were young. There are some slides, and there is a large structure, but also a smaller one for little kids. This attraction does cost extra on top of the admission fee.
Penguin Research Station
After you finish on the top floor of the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, head down the ramp to the penguin exhibit. This is a large exhibit with huge glass walls so you can watch the penguins in and out of the water. There are also some benches here to sit and rest your feet while you watch the penguins.
Deep Sea Lab
Leave the penguin exhibit from the opposite way that you came, and follow another ramp down to the deep ocean areas. Along the way you will another area where you can view the penguins. In the deep sea areas you can see Japanese spider crabs and jelly fish. The exhibits talk about how scientists explore in the deepest areas of the ocean.
Now that you are back on the bottom level, head back into the Utah exhibit. This exhibit begins right next to the South America and we really enjoyed this area. It is designed to look like the Utah landscape with arches and hoodoos and wooded areas. All of the animals are natural to Utah. There are many fish, amphibians, reptiles, but the highlight here is the otters. The otters are so playful and are usually running, playing and climbing all over. We always spend a long time watching the otters.
The final exhibit on the lower floor is the Ocean Explorer, which is by far the biggest. There are two different touch pools in this area, and there are many different fish: seahorses, octopus, and many coral reef varieties. The first touch pool has starfish and anemones. The second touch pool has sting rays and sharks. After you explore the tanks, you come to the best part of the aquarium: the shark tunnel.
I don’t know if that is it’s official name, but it is amazing. You walk right under the rays, sharks, and other fish swimming all around you. There are benches all along the edge of the tunnel, so you can sit and enjoy your time among the sea creatures. After you finish walking the tunnel, you come around the corner to two huge windows into the tank. You can see the sharks really well here, too.
Gift Shop and Cafe
There is a cafe in the Loveland Living Aquarium. The cafe has quite a large menu, and lots of treats, too. Check their menu out online before visiting, and consider buying one of their cute penguin donuts. The exit is at the back of the gift shop, so you will walk through the shop on your way out.
The aquarium has a large outdoor area to explore. If you live in Utah, you have probably noticed the large spider like structure in front of the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. This display was once the set and stage for the band, U2, and now lives in front of the aquarium building. Different events are held on this stage.
Our boys like the playground and the ziplines. They love to spend some time playing here. The playground is designed to look like coral under the ocean, and some elements look like fish and clams. There is also a water feature that is fun to play and splash in. Kids can move different elements around to change the way the water flows.
You can visit the outdoor exhibit at the beginning of your visit, or at the end, or both. We usually base it on the weather.
The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is located in Draper at 12033 Lone Peak Pkwy, Draper UT, 84020. We do feel that visiting the aquarium is pricey for families. When we visited in 2022 it cost our family $112. The family pass is $249, so that is the best deal if you plan to visit a few times throughout the year. It also gives you free admission to the Tuki Island play area. There is one day per year that the aquarium does $2 tickets. We share on our social media channels about this. Another way to save is to visit on Monday nights. After 5 pm, you can save $5 off/ticket. Check their website for current prices and information.
If you are looking for other animal adventures in Utah, check out our website for more info.