ST. LOUIS ( -- A family visiting St. Louis got a big surprise at the St. Louis Aquarium at Union Station Thursday.

They were the one millionth visitors since the aquarium opened a year and a half ago. The unsuspecting family got a gift basket and a season pass.

The aquarium offers hands-on and interactive experiences and has brought in a million visitors from all over the world.

"I think it makes such an impact for everybody. Of course we are so happy to have a million guests, but when they are here they also explore other places," said Tami Brown, executive director of the aquarium. "They eat at our restaurants, they go to other attractions, so we are really excited to be just scratching the tip of contributing to the tourism economy in St. Louis."

Now that the aquarium has opened back up from pandemic closures, they will be adding more habitats and welcoming school groups this school year.

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