Ripley’s offering online ‘edu-tainment’ for students, families during COVID-19 outbreak


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – While families scramble for education and entertainment that can satisfy everyone at home, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! has virtual options for both.

“We have created a way for our guests to engage with Ripley’s virtually,” said Suzanne Smagala-Potts, the public relations manager. “‘Ripley’s Aquariums at Home’ and ‘Outside the Odditorium’ can be used as hubs for a schedule of live Facebook events, downloadable educational materials, arts-and-crafts, and more.”

Or, as they also like to call it, “edu-tainment.”

For the slightly older kids, this combination could include their two YouTube series, “Weird True Facts” and “Ripley’s Rarities.” These feature unbelievable stories that you are not sure you want to be true, like the time a man sewed a monkey and a fish together and tried to claim it was a real organism. Mr. Ripley himself was responsible for debunking his claim.

Meanwhile, for the young learners, the daily Facebook live videos bolster interactive educational opportunities, such as painting with penguins’ feet, feeding an octopus, and taking a tour of their massive facility. The latter even involved unveiling one of Luke Skywalker’s lightsabers from “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” which was hidden away in a vault.

And, of course, for the pre-K folks, they have eccentric coloring pages that can be printed out from their website.

Above all, Ripley’s has been mastering the weird-but-can’t-look-away showcase for over a century, and now is the perfect time to repurpose that arsenal into a lesson plan.

For more information, you can head here to the Odditorium.


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