With the opening of “The Aquarium at the Boardwalk” to the public last week, Branson has another unique non-weather dependent adventure for its visitors to enjoy year-round. The $50 million 46,000 square foot facility was built by Kuvera Partners, the owners of Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center in Branson.
Fish and fun is the focus of The Aquarium at the Boardwalk
Tej Sundher, a Kuvera Partner, said, “Redeveloping the Grand Palace site with an Aquarium is – without a doubt – the most impactful way to reactivate this key section of Highway 76 [the Branson] Strip… The Aquarium at the Boardwalk will focus on fish and fun. Right at the start, we’re creating the atmosphere of a classic boardwalk and then taking you under the sea to explore and play and get great photos, along with enjoying spectacular views of a wide variety of sea animals.”
The Aquarium at the Boardwalk is not a museum
The Aquarium at the Boardwalk is not a museum. Its classic bright boardwalk theme evokes feelings of excitement, fun, and adventure. Visitors view a myriad of sea creatures beautifully displayed in recessed wall tanks, walk under the “sea” surrounded by hundreds of circling fish, participate in interactive events such as pop up bubbles, an exciting submarine ride with Aquarius” and “Finn,” climbing through a 24 foot high Kelp Forest, petting areas with stingrays and starfish, and much more.
On December 1, 2020, four generations of my family experienced a morning at The Aquarium at the Boardwalk. As a great grandfather, seeing the excitement in the eyes of my three great-grandchildren, Cruz 5, Winston 3, and my lovely Estelle, 2, along with the joy of their grandmother and parents sharing the experience with them, was priceless.
Three Generation share thoughts on their Aquarium at the Boardwalk experience
But, how did they feel about the experience? In their own words, let’s see what the other three generations thought:
My daughter Mary, and their grandmother, said, “The water tunnel was one of my favorite exhibits. As I walked through the tunnel in awe, sharks, stingrays, and beautiful ocean fish swam all around me. The bright coral reefs brought the experience together for me. It’s as close to scuba diving that I’ll ever get. My favorite thing was helping my grandkids pet the stingrays and starfish in the areas where they had open water displays.
Mishay, my granddaughter, and their mother said, “It was a fun experience taking my kids to The Aquarium at the Boardwalk. I love that you can fit it into a busy day, take your time, and let the kids play and explore. It was exciting seeing the sharks, fish, and stingrays swim above my head. My 2, 3, and 5 year-olds thought it was terrific. It should be on every family’s Bucket List of things to see and do while in Branson, and we look forward to going again.”
When asked what he liked the most about the Aquarium, my five-year-old grandson Cruz said, “My favorite part was climbing at the end and seeing all the ocean creatures. I loved the zebra eels and the big lobsters. “Touching the stingrays was kind of scary, but I loved touching the starfish and sea anemones because they were slimy and followed my fingertips.” About the exciting submarine ride Aquarius and Finn took him on as they went to the “gathering place,” he said, “When the squid landed on the submarine, it almost gave me a heart attack! There were even lots of vibrations. It was so much fun. I’d do it again!”
Three-year-old Winston said that his favorite part was climbing at the end and that he also liked climbing on the ship.
Mishay said that Estelle loved the mirror maze in the Jelly Infinity Room, with its changing light colors and all the mirrors. She could have wandered in there forever, playing hide and seek with herself.
Location and ticketing information for The Aquarium on the Boardwalk
Its location at the southeast corner of the intersection of Glory Road and Highway 76, on the former Grand Palace property, places it near the middle of the famous Branson Strip and all it offers. For more information and tickets on The Aquarium on the Boardwalk, call 417-335-FISH or visit their web site.