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Southwest’s largest aquarium to open in Scottsdale over Labor Day weekend

(OdySea Aquarium Photo)

PHOENIX — Finding something for the kids to do over a long weekend can be a chore for parents, but they now have one new option in the Phoenix area.

OdySea Aquarium, the self-proclaimed largest aquarium in the Southwest, will officially open its doors Saturday near Via de Ventura and the Loop 101 in Scottsdale.

The aquarium features large-scale exhibits, touch pools, a 3D theatre, and the SeaTREK experience, which puts visitors in the water for a guided tour walking along the “ocean floor.” The experience does not require you to know how to swim or have a diving certificate.

“The futuristic entertainment component of the OdySea Aquarium goes far beyond delivering a standard aquarium experience,” Amram Knishinsky, the aquarium’s founder, said in a press release. “It will offer experiential engagement like no other in the country.”

The aquarium also houses sharks, turtles, jellyfish, electric eels, stingrays, octopus, penguins and more.

In total, the facility will have more than 50 exhibits housing more than 30,000 individual animals across 500 species.

Food and beverages — including beer and wine — are available for purchase.

OdySea recommends people purchase tickets ahead of time as it uses a timed entry system. The aquarium will be open daily from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., but will have special hours for Labor Day weekend.

The OdySea Aquarium joins two other attractions that are already located in the same space: Butterfly Wonderland and the OdySea Mirror Maze.

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