Utah now has a world-class aquarium—The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. Opened March of this year in Draper, the new location is 136,000 square feet (three times larger than its previous home), allowing visitors to be fully-immersed in the diverse ecosystems from around the world.

297bMarine biologist Brent Andersen who founded the Living Planet Aquarium, says, “Building this aquarium has been accomplished through the support from our friends and donors and the hard work and dedication of hundreds of staff, volunteers and board members over the years. To see it now come to fruition is a wonderful experience. After all these years, it is a privilege and an honor to open the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium. Visitors will be amazed by all that this new facility has to offer.”

The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, located off I-15, has been a visionary dream in the making. A preview exhibit officially opened to the public in 2004 at The Gateway mall with 18 exhibits covering 10,000 square feet of space. Then, in June of 2006, the Aquarium relocated to a 43,000 square foot facility in Sandy, featuring 67 exhibits and over 1,500 animals. The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium now houses 5,000 animals in 74 exhibits.

297cOne of the most unique features of the Aquarium is the 40-foot tall Journey to South America Gallery. Visitors will be able to experience the temperature, humidity, and plant life found in the Amazon rainforest. Free-flight Amazon birds and many new species will be part of the exhibit, including a giant anaconda, electric eels, and poison arrow frogs.

One of the most popular attractions at the new Aquarium is the shark tank. At 300,000 gallons, it is the largest tank at the aquarium and features a 40-foot walk-through tunnel, where sharks, rays, sea turtles and other fish swim all around Aquarium visitors.

Don’t forget our arctic friends. The Aquarium is home to 11 gentoo penguins. Visitors can enter the Falkland Island Research Station where they’ll have the chance to observe the unique behaviors of these birds as they splash, dive and “fly” underwater in their naturalistic habitat.

The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium is also home to Utah’s first 4D theater. 4D is a 3D movie incorporated with additional sensory effects such as wind, mist, scents, leg and back ticklers and seat vibrations. With exciting films such as Great White Shark and The Last Reef, the 4D experience is a can’t-miss feature attraction.

The Aquarium is a fun and educational adventure year-round. Families, groups and kids of all ages can learn about the animals, enjoy interactive exhibits and delight in the new 4D theater experience.

For tickets and membership information, visit thelivingplanet.com

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