Five reasons why the Two Oceans Aquarium should be on every family's bucket list

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Not only will the kids have a fun time, there is so much to learn when visiting the Aquarium!
Not only will the kids have a fun time, there is so much to learn when visiting the Aquarium!

Cape Town is popular for its many tourist attractions from wildlife safaris to historic landmarks, but one of the best places to go if you're a parent who wants an experience that will be educational, exciting and objectively safe for their kids, then the Two Ocean's Aquarium is the place to go. 

The Two Oceans Aquarium is a well-known and yet, underrated tourist attraction, located at the Victora and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa.

The aquarium shows more than 3 000 creatures, providing a diverse showcase of Atlantic and Indian Ocean marine life and offering a brief glimpse into the underwater world. 

News24 spoke to Renée Leeuwener, who is the Communications and Media Executive at Two Oceans Aquarium, about why the it's a great place to explore as a family. 

Here are five reasons why the aquarium should be at the top of every parent's bucket list. 

A child-friendly environment 

Leeuwener assures parents that the aquarium is not only child friendly but parent-friendly as well. 

There are push-chairs available at the Visitor Services Desk for parents or guardians who may need them and various facilities on offer where children can play while parents take a moment to relax if needed. 

The large hallways also allow space for kids to explore the marine life around them at their pace, and when it's time to take a break and grab a bite, there is an on-site restaurant available.

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Live puppet shows

For children between the ages of 3 and 9, the aquarium hosts puppet shows in the auditorium in scheduled intervals that are announced over the intercom. 

"A visit to the aquarium can keep the little ones busy for many hours," says Leeuwener.

An educational experience

The aquarium is filled with thousands of sea creatures, including anemones, jellyfish and clownfish, making it the perfect sanctuary for learning. 

Walking in, you're immediately encapsulated by the diversity gallery of colourful ocean life, and with the help of informative signage and displays with fun facts, families can get on swimmingly without a tour guide.

"Each exhibit in the aquarium has extensive signage attached to it. Not only that, but there are also aquarium staff and volunteers on the floor who are always happy to help and answer questions."

"Not only will the kids have a fun time, there is so much to learn when visiting the aquarium," says Leeuwener. "The information that is shared is done in a subtle and fun way, so the experience is also educational. The aquarium also features a number of interactive exhibits that the little ones always enjoy."

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Interactive exhibits

The aquarium features a number of interactive exhibits that have proven to be enjoyable for many little ones. 

The aquarium offers a western clownfish exhibit – popularly known as the Finding Nemo exhibit, where children can climb into the dome at the centre of the exhibit and look at Nemo up close.

The 9-metre-long I & J exhibit gives everyone a close-up of ocean life from stingrays to sea turtles while the adjoining 10-metre walk-through allows families to see the life under the sea from a different perspective. 

"The exhibits are of course the biggest drawcard as they allow the little ones to get up close to some of their favourite animals like sharks, penguins, seahorses and many, many more."

Leeuwener also recommended that families make time to enjoy the following features: 

  • Save Our Seas Foundation shark exhibit
  • The Shark Alley
  • The interactive Turtle Wall
  • The Touch Pool
  • The microscope

Discounted prices

Lastly, a selling point for many parents includes the adjusted prices for children under the age of 18.

The pricing is as follows: 

  • Adults: R210
  • Children 14 to 17: R160
  • *Children 4 to 13: R100
  • *Children under 4: Free

*Please note that children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. 

For more information, visit the Two Oceans Aquarium website here


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