Bella and Rio’s Playground has arrived in time for the school holidays…

The National Aquarium (TNA) is already home to some pretty wild interactive experiences, open to all ages – making it an exceptional day out for the whole family.

But now, located in the amphibious wonderland that is TNA’s Flooded Forest, a brand new interactive play centre — Bella and Rio’s Playground — designed with the specific intent of getting kids up close to nature, has just opened and is completely free to ticket holders.

image gallery
image gallery
image gallery
image gallery
image gallery
nav left 3 of 12 nav right
image gallery
image gallery
image gallery
image gallery
image gallery

Named after local aquarium residents, the pair of hyacinth macaws, Bella and Rio’s Playground offers inspirational, exciting and educational experiences such crafting and colouring models of the Flooded Forest’s animals (including macaws, anteaters, monitor lizards, and capybaras) that will come to life on an animated wall display.

By interacting with these digitised creatures, Kids will have the opportunity to learn more about the exotic menagerie — and their fascinating roles on the ecosystem.

Talking about the launch of the new facilities Paul Hamilton, General Manager TNA said: “ The aquarium has always been envisioned as a wonderland for families to come and explore, enjoy, and engage their curiosity and we are even more certain that the launch of Bella and Rio’s playground will contribute to our success and growth as it serves as a hub of learning and laughter within The National Aquarium.”

Elsewhere in Abu Dhabi’s own Atlantis

There are more than 46,000 animals spread across The National Aquarium’s 11 experiential zones. Where the mission objectives are balanced between, education, conservation and enthralling visitors.

You might also like

44 of the best ways to beat the heat indoors this Abu Dhabi summer

In addition to the themed zones; an XXL reticulated python known only as ‘Super Snake’; back stage tours; and marine animal rehabilitation projects, there are also a range of marine life meet and greets.

You can, for example, have an ‘Ocean Encounter’ feeding sharks measuring up to two metres in length for just Dhs180. And that price includes access to the ‘Aquarium Journey’. Want to take it to the next level? You can also now dive with the sharks, and experience their gentle shrapnel-toothed beauty up close.

More interactive educational fun stuff comes in the form of video mapping volcanos, tinkering with plankton, you can meet Khalid –  the pearl diver, and get hands-on with an ice-age interactive feature.

There’s also a ‘Junior Marine Biologist’ educational programme where kids aged five to 15 will get an insight into the fascinating world of marine biology (and presumably a gratifying sense of a day’s hard graft). They can literally get their hands dirty with aquatic animal feeding and cleaning. Between Monday to Friday, it runs from 2.30pm to 5.30pm and costs Dhs350 per child. Email education@thenationalaquarium.ae at least three days in advance to reserve a spot.

The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi, Al Qana, Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, general admission from Dhs105. Tel: (02) 418 6666thenationalaquarium.ae

Images: Provided