What wine would you pair with octopus? Are you in the mood for a sauvignon blanc? Have about a merlot? How does that sound with eight tentacles and 2 beady black eyes?
What would you pair with a shark? Something strong and flavourful like a dark ale?
Have a beverage that you would enjoy with jellyfish? Wait, what?! Jellyfish?! Are we eating the jellyfish? No. We are not. We are not eating the shark or octopus either. Where am I going with this?
On the second Friday of every month, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in downtown Toronto hosts a musical underwater adventure – jazz night! The aquarium stays open until 11:00 pm and a jazz band serenades guests of the aquarium as they sip libations, completely in awe of the aquatic life around them.
On any given day, Ripley’s Aquarium is worth visiting, but what is super awesome about this event is that it takes place after dark – so you’re not likely to bring your children along… and since there are 3 cash bars in the aquarium to partake in beverage purchases, it’s pretty perfect for an overdue date night. You see, we have two younger children and when you visit with your children, there’s a lot of wrangling, child minding, snack catering, and mind losing (theirs and mine). Quality mom and dad time while there with the kids is not going to happen. Going there as part of a couple, relaxed and with wine in hand means you can actually take in the scene and sights and appreciate the rainbow reef or ray bay without grabbing little hands or having to run back to Canadian Waters to grab them.
While there are not serving food around the aquarium, the grab-and-go food spot by the Discovery Centre (and where the band plays) is still open if you feel like a hot dog. I think I’d feel weird eating fish tacos while looking at fish. Eat dinner before you go!
There is honestly nothing more fun on a Friday evening than going through the Dangerous Lagoon on the moving sidewalk while having your third glass of wine WITH NO KIDS IN SIGHT!
It’s not all about booze and jellyfish viewing, I swear! As a total side note, when I have had a couple of drinks, I can only spend a few minutes in Planet Jellies before I start getting confused by the colours! It’s a trip!
My best piece of date night advice – wear good shoes if you’re going to the aquarium, not crazy heels that will hurt you after you have walked a little while in them. There is a lot of ground to walk through, some inclines and declines and you might want to be in the mood to carry on the date to one of the great bars or pubs in the area.
Website to buy tickets here.
Accessible by public transit: sort of – you can walk from Union Station
Best way to get there: walk, taxi or Uber.
Leave your car at home, parking lots in the area ask for big money because it is in the area of the Air Canada Centre, CN Tower, Rogers Centre and Steam Whistle Brewery.