Idaho, North America

East Idaho Aquarium

Before Christmas my oldest daughter asked me to come to Idaho to watch my grandkids while she went on vacation. It’s crazy cold in Idaho in the winter, so I must really love her. I started making a plan of things to do with my grandkids and the first thing on my list was visiting the new East Idaho Aquarium.

East Idaho Aquarium - Idaho Falls

Disclosure: I was provided tickets to the East Idaho Aquarium in exchange for my honest review of their facility. All opinions are 100% my own. 

We arrived at the East Idaho Aquarium and started our adventure at the hand washing station. Be sure to wash well before you enter so you don’t bring in anything that might hurt the animals. Also, wash on your way out, so you don’t take anything from the animals with you.

East Idaho Aquarium - Idaho Falls

There are so many things for things for you to look at, learn about and experience. This is the lobster tank. You can reach in and touch them because they have rubber bands around their claws.

East Idaho Aquarium - Idaho Falls

Fish

I saw this Rhinopias Scorpion Fish and was amazed. I haven’t seen or even heard of one of these before. Aren’t they interesting looking? These fish are related to the lion fish and have similar venomous spines. They wait for their prey and ambush them.

East Idaho Aquarium - Idaho Falls

There is an entrance fee and then you can purchase tokens to feed various critters. We used a lot of our tokens on feeding the sting rays. It felt really cool when they sucked the shrimp out of my fingers. The kids got a kick out of it too.

East Idaho Aquarium - Idaho Falls

Throughout the aquarium, you can find pictures like this one of the hand. This means you can reach in and touch whatever is in the tank or cage. This was the Garra Rufa or Doctor Fish tank. When you reach your hand in the tank, be prepared for them to tickle you. These fish are toothless and they eat the dead skin off of whatever is in front of them. I would love to have a tank of these to keep my hands and feet from looking dried out.

There are also sharks, some really big fish, an albino Burmese Python, lion fish, an eel and cuddle fish. Really, lots to see.

Bonus, we got to see some brand new seahorse babies! They are so tiny and kind of look like trash in the tank, until you focus on them. Then you can tell what you’re looking at. So cool! (Do you know the seahorse dads are the ones that actually has and tends the babies?)

East Idaho Aquarium - Idaho Falls

Lizards

There is a big lizard cage where you can walk in and feed (with a token) and touch the lizards. Lizards are such neat creatures and they are really resilient too.

Funny story. When we lived in Martinique, my daughter was parked under a tree at the park and a big lizard fell out of a tree and broke the windshield on the car she was in. Then, it got up and walked away. You can see a picture of it HERE.

East Idaho Aquarium - Idaho Falls

We went into the Lizard cage and gave the lady a token and got some lettuce to feed the lizards. This big guy really loved it. Actually, most of the lizards loved it, but a few did not.

East Idaho Aquarium - Idaho Falls

There are also some cute, smaller turtles in this cage. The lizards and turtles are rescue animals. They seem to have a pretty great life and the East Idaho Aquarium. It’s great that they had a safe place to go.

East Idaho Aquarium - Idaho Falls

Photo Ops

There is a virtual reality SCUBA experience that the boys loved. They want me to take them diving now. They need to learn to swim first though. There is a television above the VR space where you see what they are seeing.

East Idaho Aquarium - Idaho Falls

There is a great big replica shark jaw, a big wooden turtle and some other places where you can take some fun photos with your kids.

East Idaho Aquarium - Idaho Falls

The day after our adventure, my oldest grandson drew these pictures of his favorite places at the aquarium. His were my favorites too. The sting ray and the Dr fish.

The East Idaho Aquarium has a little bit of construction going on right now, out of the way, for another 2 or 3 weeks. Future exhibits will include toucans, caiman, more sharks and a station to hold spiders. Pretty sure I would skip holding a spiders, but the kids would love it!

My opinion? We loved it so much. It wasn’t so big that the kids got bored or cranky, but it was the perfect size for them to have loads of fun. It was clean and there were helpers all around, so if you have a question, you can ask. Five minutes after we walked out the door, the kids were asking when we could go back. That is a huge win in my book!

Do you like aquariums? What is your favorite critter when you go?

East Idaho Aquarium - Idaho Falls East Idaho Aquarium - Idaho Falls

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East Idaho Aquarium - Idaho Falls

 

Visiting the Idaho Falls, Idaho area? Be sure to check out these posts of ideas of other fun things to do!

 

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20 Comments

  • Reply Brooke March 24, 2018 at 11:38 am

    such a cool interactive experience for kids! I wish I had done more of this as a younger kid-but I didn’t and therefore became a very ‘precious’ little girl afraid of touching ‘icky’ things like reptiles but my sister always LOVED touching any animal she could get her hands on-and now her daughter, my niece is the same! Places like this really enrich children’s lives and allow education to trigger curiosity…..!

    • Reply ppadmin March 26, 2018 at 1:39 pm

      You’re so right. When we can learn and experience things, it takes the fear and ‘icky’ out of them. Happy for your niece.

  • Reply Fiona Maclean March 24, 2018 at 11:40 am

    What a fabulous interactive experience – I’d love to feed stingrays too – assuming they don’t sting! No wonder your kids loved it. I’ve never seen another Aquarium where you can reach out and touch the fish!

    • Reply ppadmin March 26, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      They didn’t sting or even try to. It felt so neat to feed them.

  • Reply Marcus and Mel March 25, 2018 at 12:53 am

    We are slowly working our way through the US states and have yet to visit Idaho but I think we’ll avoid the winter. The warmth an aquarium sounds a good place to go and I love that you can interact and get your hands wet with the rays, although I’m not too keen on the reptiles. That Scorpion Fish does look incredible and the VR scuba diving sounds fun.

    • Reply ppadmin March 26, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      The aquarium is a new addition to the town and it’s a great addition too. Such an excellent way to introduce kids to marine life.

  • Reply Elaine Masters March 25, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    I do love Aquariums and spent hours in the San Francisco one when I was in college. Cool about the VR experience. Nurturing little bubble blowers is always a good thing. Lucky kids!

    • Reply ppadmin March 26, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      I totally agree. If they have a great experience, they will probably care for marine life better as adults.

  • Reply Linda March 25, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    We have visited aquariums around the world. I have never seen a Rhinopias Scorpion Fish before. Feeding the stingrays must have been fun. But I am not sure I would want to touch the lizards. Sounds like this was a great outing for the kids.

    • Reply ppadmin March 26, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      The lizards were really neat, but my daughter in law has one and my daughter used to have one, so we have some experience with them. We all had a really great time.

  • Reply Sherianne March 25, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    I don’t think I have been to an aquarium with lizards, love that you can feed them!

    • Reply ppadmin March 26, 2018 at 1:56 pm

      It was a really great experience for the kids and the adults too. We enjoyed it.

  • Reply Linda de Beer March 26, 2018 at 11:43 am

    You sound like a cool grandmother! I bet your grandkids loved you for taking them to the new East Idaho Aquarium. What does it feel like to touch a lobster? I don’t know whether I’ll be brave enough to put my hand in their tank. I won’t mind feeding the lizards though.

    • Reply ppadmin March 26, 2018 at 1:59 pm

      Thank you. The lobsters are actually pretty smooth on their shells. We have hand caught them before in Martinique. Their claws weren’t rubber banded shut there though. It was a fun trip!

  • Reply Ash March 26, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Aquariums are great places for kids (and adults too) to have fun and learn at the same time. We learn some facts about creatures and interact with them which are cool experiences like you had. And a good way of having an alternative activity during winter.

    • Reply ppadmin March 27, 2018 at 6:01 am

      Yes to all of this! It’s great when kids can learn while they’re having fun. I think it makes it more memorable.

  • Reply Nisha March 27, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    First, your grandchildren are adorable !

    And what a fabulous experience it must have been for all of you. Feeding the stingrays must have been fun too. Touching the lizard? Not me. I am scared of reptile family. 🙂
    Hand washing station is quite interesting.

    We have been to quite a few aquarium and love them.

    • Reply ppadmin March 28, 2018 at 6:08 am

      Thank you! We sure love the grandkids! They are a lot of fun to spend time with. Feeding the stingrays was really neat. I highly recommend it if you ever have the chance!

  • Reply Meg Jerrard March 27, 2018 at 8:26 pm

    The new East Idaho Aquarium sounds like an incredible family day out – I love that it’s interactive and that the kids can actually reach into some tanks to touch the fish – so glad there’s also a big emphasis on hand washing to keep the animals safe though in this case 🙂 The sting rays are cool – and it’s so awesome that you canfeed the lizards. I think I would have a ball more than the kids would :D!

    • Reply ppadmin March 28, 2018 at 6:09 am

      We loved it so much! They were talking about going back as we were walking out the door. Always a good sign. I also liked all of the hand washing stations they had. A great way to keep the critters and kids safe.

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