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Greater Cleveland Aquarium Discounts and Coupons

If you are interested in getting straight to the Great Cleveland Aquarium discounts and coupon information, please scroll to the end of this post.

Cleveland Aquarium logo

The Greater Cleveland Aquarium (GCA) opened their doors officially January 21, 2012. It is the first time we have had a stand-alone aquarium in the area, and we are pretty excited to get to make a trip down there to see it. The closest thing we had, prior to the GCA, was the small aquarium at the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo, which is old, in need of updating, and nearly impossible to get to with a double stroller since it is located at the top of a giant hill.

We will probably hold off on going to the GCA for a while until the initial crowds die down. The disappointing thing, is that despite our family being members of the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo, and the Port Clinton African Safari, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium has no affiliation with other facilities because they are not accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.

You may recall from previous articles that our zoo membership is an invaluable tool in our travels because it allows us free or 50% off reciprocal admission to over 100 other zoos across the United states and Canada. Reciprocal benefits alone save our family at least $100 or more per year in zoo admissions. Plus we love doing either short day trips to surrounding cities or including a zoo as part of our travels when out-of-state. The cost of the memberships easily pays for itself throughout the year.

I have been reading a lot of commentary on the new aquarium, and the biggest complaint is the high price of admission. At $21.95 for an adult and $15.95 for a child (2-12), it might be hard to justify for a family of four having to drop over $75 for daily admission, not even including parking and any other discretionary spending. A family would be better off spending $130 on a Family membership, which would start paying for itself after the second visit.

My problem with it is a membership only gets me admission to the aquarium, and not 100+ other zoos and aquariums across the area. It is a big hurdle for the Greater Cleveland Aquarium to overcome. Lots of the public have chimed in that they would rather go to Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium or some of the other substantial aquariums or zoos across the country.

I suspect once the initial attendance dies down at the GCA, discounts will start to become more readily available.

2012 Cleveland Aquarium Discounts and Coupons


Below is a list of current promotions offering discount tickets to the Great Cleveland Aquarium.

- Groups of 15 or more can purchase discounted tickets for $17.95 (Adults) and $11.95 (Children under the age of 12)
- Active-duty and retired military (with proper ID) receive a 20% discount
- Effective September 4, 2012, the GCA will offer Senior (ages 60+) pricing, receiving a $2 discount per ticket. Starting September 4th, the GCA is also introducing senior annual passes with the ability to add on children (2-12) for an additional $25/child. New Senior pricing for passes will be Senior Individual: $45; Senior Couple: $80; Grandparent Pass (2 seniors and 2 children): $130.

Unfortunately, with a large amount of public criticism and negative press, the Cleveland Aquarium refuses to offer discounts of any kind to draw people into the facility. Either demand is really high and there is no need for discounts, the Aquarium costs way to much to operate to validate any discounts, or the marketing people have no idea how to encourage families to visit the facility.

Expired Offers

- The Northeast Ohio Menchie’s Facebook page is offering a $2 discount off the price of single ticket admission if you purchase a limited time Deep Sea Blueberry frozen yogurt by February 29, 2012. The discount is only valid March 1, 2012 – March 30, 2012.

Menchie's Feb 2012 Great Cleveland Aquarium Discount

There is a $2 minimum purchase, of which you will also receive $1 off the purchase of your yogurt.

8/23/12- Added Senior Discounts
5/10/12- Added Group and Military Discounts
1/30/12- Originally published

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Comments (33)

  1. Places like aquariums sure seem to be getting expensive don’t they? I appreciate the fact that they’re getting fancier, but I can’t remember the last time I went to one of these places without a coupon of some sort. It’s just pretty hard to justify that much money for a family visit.

  2. AmyRenee

    Did you see that they aren’t allowing strollers or wagons? Between that and the price I don’t think our family will be going anytime soon. Maybe 1 parent with 1 kid as a special treat, but not the whole family. Too bad, I was looking forward to the aquarium too!

    • InACents

      @AmyRenee: I believe the no stroller policy was only during the grand opening period since there was limited space. You might want to check with them before going, but assuming you go on a day in the future when the initial attendance draw is down, they might start waiving the no stroller policy.

      • blackcat725

        I think the stroller policy is all of the time due to the layout of the Powerhouse:

        “While the FirstEnergy Powerhouse offers a unique setting for the Greater Cleveland
        Aquarium it contains several narrow viewing areas. For the comfort and safety
        of all our Guests

        Strollers and wagons are not permitted in the Aquarium.
        (Special needs strollers are always welcome.)

        We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

        • InACents

          @blackcat: Thanks! Yeah, I’ve been reading several conflicting reports lately. As more reviews keep coming out, I have read how tight of quarters it is to really maneuver with a stroller. Yet I’ve been told the policy is only temporary. I somehow believe it to be permanent though.

          I have to think with the place only requiring about an hour worth of time to visit, a baby carrier might be a lot more feasible for such a small place.

          • Denise

            if you call their phone, it tells you that strollers are welcome Mon-Fri, but not on the weekends….

  3. Nancy

    I think the admission price is to high.

    It will cost a family of 4 plus parking around $86.00 to go to the Aquarium that is rediculous in todays economy.

    Was looking forward to going but that is alot of money for an hour or so.

    • InACents

      @Nancy: I totally agree! We will be on a lookout for any discounts and coupons that people can use to try and get admission a little more affordable.

    • sean

      Nancy, it is RIDICULOUS that an adult cannot spell. I’m surprised you have money to spend anywhere with your spelling skills.

      • CJ

        I agree Nancy….I would like to go but it is very expensive!

        And Sean, some people do not spend every hour of their day spell checking. Life is too short to worry about pleasing every nut job out there :)

      • Mary

        Nancy… I’m with you toooooooo costly for our family! And the spell check comment it so useless and truly mean…. Who cares? Really? Oh wait, it’s a guy…. That says it all! Enough said… Sean, get a life! Lighten up…. Most of the time I am to busy to even type out whole words…. Nancy, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to comment on the aquarium cost! Sean, you may want to think about getting anger management classes, since you obviously have taken time out of your useless day to make a truly unkind comment towards someone you don’t even know! SMH LOL TTFN life’s short enjoy the moment!

    • Get Real

      [Edited to remove personal attacks] You need a new job! Get a family pass! Really, the only way to do anything in “this economy” is to have a pass so you don’t have to worry about it. Go to Shedds…. If you do general admission that gets you crap plus $22 for parking in Chicago vs $5 here it still cost less here, but if you do their whole aquarium it is way more at $38 plus that insane $22 for parking… not counting the fact you have to go to CHICAGO and in “this economy” lets see how much that would be in fuel to get there!!!! As for all the other whiners out there… get your kids out of their strollers and make them walk! I have always said if they can’t walk it, they are too young to be there! They won’t remember it anyway and if they are old enough to remember it then they have the legs to carry their own selves and maybe won’t grow up to be in the obese children category that you are pushing them towards. As for all those that want to talk about price and discounts, go buy an 55 gallon fish tank, put in some fish and run it for a year! You will now see that it costs ALOT!!!! So do the math and please also put into perspective that the zoo has been around FOREVER and is a 503c non-profit but the aquarium is for profit and is only in the first stage of its development. Give it some time to get on it’s feet and maybe one day it maybe up to your whiners standards when it has expanded and then hope that the cost is still the same!

  4. Rhonda

    This is fantastic for Cleveland but the PRICE of admission is extremely too high – and no discounts for Seniors. My parents want to take my daughter but with the price of admission are unable too.
    I believe once the Aquaurim has been around a few months and the hoopla has dropped perhaps they will address the outrageous admission.

  5. Susan

    My family was planning on go this weekend to the Cleveland Aquarium after seeing an article in the Vindy. Now, after seeing the price to get in, no thanks!!!! I love aquariums, but I can’t justify spending close to $100 for my family of 4 for 1-1/2 hours.

  6. Lisa

    Absolutely overpriced! If you want to bring more business to Cleveland this is not how to do it. Lower your price so more can come in to see it, you will make money. Really, this is not worth the price for 1.5 hours visit that really takes less than that.

    No discount for seniors, really????????

  7. Jim

    Went to the Aquarium last week and spent just about an hour. The venue was neat, being in the PowerHouse, but the available attractions were very disappointing. Many of the displays had fish that you could find at your local pet store, not much of a variety of sea life, a tank full of neons???…. give me a break. I see enough shiners, perch, blue gills, and bass when I go fishing. These prices AREN’T comparable to other aquariums because other aquariums are in a whole different class.

  8. Lisa

    Entirely too much money for admission

  9. Lisa

    entirely too expensive!

  10. Renae

    As I was planning our summer activity schedule, my kids asked if we could go to the new aquarium. I thought it might be a great idea, since it was right in Cleveland and we’re in a suburb not too far away. Well, that’s a great big “NO-GO” for our family of 8. The kids alone would be almost $100!! And the visit takes less than an hour?? Who can justify that price?

    ~Renae

    • @Renae: Yes, unfortunately, it is a recurring theme and the Cleveland Aquarium plans on not only doing nothing about it, but also never addresses any of the consumers concerns. Taking a quick look at their Facebook page and the pile of negative comments with no responses is a perfect example of poor marketing.

  11. Karen

    I wanted to take my granddaughter this weekend, but we won’t be attending due to cost. Between my husband and myself and granddaughter, cost is $60+. I’m sure it is great, but I remember taking my children to the old aquarium when they were little; it was a perfect Sunday afternoon outing. Too bad. There is nothing Cleveland has to offer that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Indians game, aquarium, the list goes on and on…..

  12. Linda

    yes – the individual tickets are expensive…and the cost of a family of 4 – 2 adults and 2 kids over the age of 2 is $75.80…if you get an annual family pass for 4 it’s $130….all you have to do is go often enough – and it’s worth the price – go 4 times and it ends up costing $32.50 per visit for the family of 4…that’s not bad – if you’re going to use it at least 4 times in a year :-)

  13. Tess

    Just went to Shed Museum, expensive and boring. Too much of the same over and over. I hope Cleveland’s is better. I will know tomorrow.

  14. Pat

    TOO expensive. I went to the aquarium in Atlanta which is amazing for almost the same price. We are talking about much less for almost the same price.
    Can’t find discount tickets anywhere. Has anyone found any?
    I would like to support local business, but not totally.

    • @Pat: Unfortunately, the Cleveland Aquarium refuses to issue any sort of discount to encourage attendance. Once the “new” factor settles in, and they realize the negative perception the public has due to the high costs, they will be clambering to persuade people to come.

  15. Sergio

    I have a childcare & would like a membership pass need info.

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