I quite enjoy going to aquariums (even though I do know that keeping wildlife in captivity is not the best for them). Nevertheless, we decided to visit Aquarium du Quebec on the day we departed from Quebec. The Aquarium du Quebec (1675 Avenue des Hôtels, Québec, QC) is located about 20 minutes away from the airport and it was west of where we stayed. Thus, we visited this tourist attraction right before we headed to the airport.
We had called ahead of time and found out that the gift shop was able to store our carry-on luggage during our visit which helped with our travel plans. As well, I had perused online reviews which said that the visit would take about 1.5 hours. This was also good to know when planning our visit.
Aquarium du Quebec was celebrating their 60th anniversary at the time of our visit too!
We arrived on a bitterly cold Monday on the second last day of 2019. It wasn’t until we arrived that we found out that most of the exhibits were actually outdoors! We were not prepared for that at all. (I actually thought it was going to be like the Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto where all of it was indoors — loved that aquarium.)
We bought our tickets in the outdoor booth. A ticket for an adult was $20.50, a senior was $18.50, a child from 12 to 17 years was $10.25 while children under 12 years are free. They also have family rates for $41 for one adult with two kids or $61.50 for two adults with two children.
We headed straight towards the main building where the cafe also was to have lunch first. Their cafeteria is not very large by any means but big enough for up to 25 people and with hot and cold selections with plenty of drinks and snacks and desserts. It’s very family friendly.
We had the Trio Sandwich combo (a choice of sandwich and two sides). We had a cheese and ham croissant sandwich (so toasty and satisfying) with soup (you could choose soup in lieu of the two sides) and a chicken wrap with a carrot slaw salad and quinoa salad. Everything was tasty. I had a hot chocolate while Ken had a coffee.
After this, we headed towards the exhibits in the main building. The first part involved lots of different types of fish found in the Quebec and Ontario rivers. There were platforms for you to stand on for shorter individuals to see the fish clearer. We spent a lot longer time here than we should have because the later exhibits were actually way more interesting!
The end of the exhibit in the main building including a short tunnel where it was built so that the fish and wildlife swam over your heads. It was definitely not as impressive as the one from Ripley’s in Toronto but still fun to have for those who haven’t been to the Toronto aquarium.
After this, we ventured outside to view the seals and outdoor exhibits. But we quickly moved on to the jellyfish exhibit which was indoors.
At the time of our visit, the polar bear habitat was also temporarily closed. They were undergoing renovations to double the size of their current polar bear enclosure to meet the highest industry standards and for the safety of their employees and visitors. If you are planning to visit Aquarium du Quebec and want to see polar bears, make sure the habitat has finished renovating first to avoid disappointment.
Wow, the jellyfish exhibits were amazing! There were so many types of jellyfish and also encased in the most beautiful displays.
As well, the seahorse exhibit was beyond spectacular. I don’t think I’ve been to such a comprehensive exhibit of so many different types of seahorses before. This was definitely the highlight of the visit. There were even tiny minuscule baby seahorses too that looked like specks of wriggling floating dust in the water but when examining closer, they were tiny seahorses! It was so amazing. At the same time though, I couldn’t help but think how helpless these little fragile guys are and what humans are doing to the earth. We might not have many of these precious creatures left in the next 100 years. 😦
The end of our visit included a big pool where you could touch stingrays! This is a great activity for the young and old. First, you have to make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching the swimming rays though. Lots of kids joyfully played with the water and grazed the rays’ fins as they swam past fingers in the smooth circular touch tank. This was so fun. The rays are so smooth! You are only supposed to touch the rays with your two fingers — the peace sign fingers — but unfortunately a lot of kids just used their entire hands.
Their gift shop was cute with lots of stuffed animals, books, and collectibles. The aquarium closed at 4 p.m. so we make sure to retrieve our stored luggage before it closed.
I really enjoyed the Aquarium du Quebec! The jellyfish and seahorse exhibits are absolute must-visits and you can spend so much time in there learning about the different species. They had really great information panels too next to each tank where I learned so much about these fragile deep sea creatures. I’d also recommend visiting in the warmer months so that you can enjoy the outdoor exhibits a little more.