Ripley’s Aquarium Hosts Festival of Trees

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Ripley's Aquarium is famous for its amazing display of sea life, but the holiday season sees the addition of plant life to its lineup with the annual Festival of Trees event.

This popular Broadway at the Beach attraction gets into the Christmas spirit with a tribute to the United States of America. Fifty trees representing all 50 states are decorated with ornaments that represent the character that makes each state unique.

The South Carolina tree, for example, is adorned with sea shells, golf balls and other items related to the Palmetto State. Guests can find the trees from their home states and children can learn a lot about states they've never visited by touring the exhibit, which highlights the diversity and celebrates the rich heritage of the United States.

Ripley's Aquarium even puts on a scavenger hunt for visitors to comb through the rows of trees and answer trivia questions about the display. It's a fun way for families to learn a little US geography and get into the Christmas spirit at Ripley's Aquarium. The Festival of Trees runs through New Year’s Day 2015, while the rest of the aquarium is open year-round.

Along with the Festival of Trees geography lesson comes the usual experience in oceanography at Ripley's Aquarium, an 85,000 square foot facility filled with water tanks and unique aquatic life forms. Get up close and personal with various species of sharks at the Danger Reef display, pet stingrays at Ray Bay, and pick up horseshoe crabs at the Discovery Center.

Ripley's Aquarium is open seven days a week, 365 days a year, and features a wide range of displays featuring rare species of aquatic life. Check out the Rio Amazon exhibit and see piranha and other native species in their natural environments, and don't forget to catch the popular Mermaids Live show featuring the mythical creatures in action.

Ripley's Aquarium also features the Cargo Hold souvenir shop and the Feeding Frenzy snack bar. Special educational and recreational programs are also available, including surfing camps, a Swim with the Stingrays program and a Sleep with the Sharks sleepover.

Ripley's Aquarium is located at 1110 Celebrity Circle within the Broadway at the Beach complex and is open from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on weekdays (9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the weekends). For more information, call 843-734-8888 or visit


(Posted: 11/24/14)