Go for a walk with several species of sharks at the Sea Life Grapevine Aquarium in its underwater shark walk tunnel.EXPAND
Go for a walk with several species of sharks at the Sea Life Grapevine Aquarium in its underwater shark walk tunnel.
Courtesy of Sea Life Grapevine

Look Out ... Sharks! A Guide to Spending Shark Week With Real, Live Predators

One of the most hallowed weeks of the year is almost upon us: Shark Week. It's that glorious time of year when the Discovery Channel and everyone else pays homage to one of the most feared and majestic creatures of the ocean, presumably so sharks see it as a sign of respect and don't try to eat us the next time we go swimming in the ocean.

Of course, times are tough, and not everyone can afford the slowly increasing scourge of the average cable bill. So what do the rest of us do to show our Godfather-esque respect to this mighty evidence of oceanic evolution? Thankfully, there are plenty of places around the Dallas-Fort Worth area where everyone can admire these eating machines of the briny deep.

Let's start with the Sea Life Grapevine Aquarium (3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway) that's already filled with 15 species of sharks like the black tip reef shark. The aquarium will have several special shark activities during Shark Week, such as live shark feedings at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 25; Thursday, July 27; and Saturday, July 29. Guests can purchase a special behind-the-scenes tickets to get up close during the feedings and see the aquarium's new baby epaulette sharks.

Regular visitors of the Grapevine Aquarium already know about its regular shark attractions, such as the underwater "shark walk" viewing tunnel and the interactive Shark Mission exhibit that teaches players interesting facts about sharks while they play a series of touch screen mini games.

If being surrounded by water and swimming sharks or giant screens filled with the great white's toothy grin sounds like something you'd be too scared to even put down in your dream journal, there are some equally interesting and less frightening options. The Children's Aquarium at Fair Park (1462 First Ave.) will host Shark Day on Saturday, July 22, with its collection of sharks featuring live shark tank feedings. The braver among us can feed and put their hands on a live stingray in the aquarium's stingray touch tank.

Other Shark Day events at the Children's Aquarium at Fair Park will include special shark coloring and craft activities, a shark conservation pledge station, a shark and stingray scavenger hunt, and plenty of opportunities to have photos taken with a bunch of shark stuff.

Finally, let's say you're the kind of person who can't muster the strength to be in the same room as a shark, even if you're separated by inches of reinforced concrete and glass. The Dallas World Aquarium (1801 N. Griffin St.) also has you covered. The aquarium has several species of sharks and stingrays in his Cenote and Mundo Maya exhibits, as well as daily feedings at 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. It also has a way to view these majestic creatures from afar with its 24-hour Shark Cam if the thought of being near one turns your stomach into knots.

Shark Week, Sunday, July 23, to Friday, July 28, Grapevine Sea Life Aquarium, 3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway, Grapevine, $16, visitsealife.com

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