Visitors to Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach are in for a treat come the holidays. For the entire month of December, the aquarium’s ‘Festival of Trees’ is included along with regular general admission. Ripley’s Aquarium staff have decked the halls with over 55 decorated Christmas trees reprinting every state in the United States and more. The entire aquarium has been transformed into a winter wonderland with lights, bows, and trees that my family loves, especially when set against the backdrop of colorful aquatic galleries.

The 85,000 square foot aquarium is also now home to an African penguin colony! And while they may not be penguins from the North Pole, they are such fun to see this time of year. In addition to the penguins, all the other great things the aquarium offers (like the 330-foot underwater glide path, Planet Jelly, Rainbow Rock, and more) remain great educational tools for kiddos who have been out of school this year.

Ripley’s Aquarium has put in place preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including mask requirements, encouraged social distancing, increased cleaning protocols, and closure of some of the high touch point areas. The aquarium is open 365 days a year, free for children under the age of 3, and located at 110 Celebrity Circle at Broadway at the Beach.

For more information on seasonal offerings or to buy tickets, visit