Date Night: Denver Downtown Aquarium

Michele lovin’ the huge shark tank!

I am trying to enjoy every minute that I can with my wife, Michele before I head back to Alaska for the summer while she and I decide what to do with moving her and my daughter Nicole up.

Last night was date night for the two of us. Even though we have lived in Denver for years neither one of us had been to the Denver Downtown Aquarium.

We arrived to a wonderful dinner at the Aquarium’s restaurant owned by Landry’s. They also own the famous Bubba Gump, the Saltgrass Steakhouse and of course, Landry’s Seafood. I thought it was a bit bizarre for a seafood restaurant to own an aquarium but the idea works great!

Watch out for the cute poisonous dart frog!

We were seated right next to the 155,000 gallon aquarium and watched the huge Red Snapper and Jacks swim by as we enjoyed our dinner. We ordered a tasty appetizer of all the favorites: onion rings, breaded jalapenos, mozzarella sticks and this great shrimp and cheese dip.

MIchele ordered Sirloin and Lobster Tail while I ordered the “girl” plate of Asian white fish topped with scallops and shrimp. While mine was good, Michele’s was better (she always orders what I want, anyway). She shared some of her steak, shrimp and lobster. This is date night. you are supposed to share!

After a very enjoyable dinner we headed upstairs to the aquarium exhibits. It was 15 bucks a piece to get in but at this late hour it was not too crowded. We had a couple hours to see everything before it closed at 9:30 pm.

I have been to a lot of aquariums, zoos and attractions over the years and I will have to say that the Denver Downtown Aquarium rivals even the huge National Aquarium in Baltimore.

The self-guided tour winds you through all the eco-systems of water life from the tropical rain forests with a school of piranhas that can eat a whole cow in 3 minutes, to the coral reefs with Nemo and seahorses, and the estuaries with the small fishes and marine life.

They even have four Bengal tigers at the aquarium that seemed more at home than the local zoo. I guess if you are going to be a tiger I would rather bask in the climate controlled indoor comfort of a place like this than a scorching outdoor exhibit any day.

When we came upon the huge shark tank I was amazed. It was breathtaking! The tank allowed you to see sharks (and all sorts of other marine life) above your head as you walked through the glass tunnels to standing on platforms with the huge fish swimming under your feet. I have never seen anything like it.

At the end of the tour they have a “touch” tank or whatever it is called and it took all the courage that Michele could muster just to touch one of the rays!

The Aquarium also offers the opportunities for visitors to set an appointment to swim and snorkel in the huge exhibits as well as a very unique way to earn your S.C.U.B.A. certification. How cool is that? 

The look is priceless!

After the aquarium tour Michele and I took a walk in the cool late spring breeze at at little park along the South Platte River before driving over to our favorite ice cream stand: Little Man Ice Cream just up the road.

What a wonderful evening with my BFF. I know we will be apart for the next few months but with memories like these, together we will always be in each other’s hearts.