Monday, March 1, 2010

Fishy Fun

Yesterday we went on a family day trip to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa.

We were meeting family and thought this would be a great place to entertain the kids so we could visit but WOW, we were ALL entertained. The grown-ups probably liked it just as much as the kids did. They had some great exhibits and shows too. Olive's favorite was the Penguin Promenade, which was pretty neat. The little penguins were so cute waddling around! They also had a shark show, a dive show, and a Wetlands show that we saw. There were so many fascinating aquatic animals. My favorites were the sea dragons - a creature related to the seahorse that looks like floating seaweed and lives off the coast of Australia. (see picture below) They also had a bunch of very pregnant seahorses - and did you know that the males are the ones that bear the children? How great!

There were also some "Touch Tanks" where you could touch sting rays, sharks, starfish, and sea anemone. Otters, alligators, and more were swimming around the Wetlands exhibit. One of Olive's other favorites was the outdoor playground. (go figure!) They do have a water playground in the warmer months.
The aquarium is located in downtown Tampa, right next to the cruise ship terminals. We saw two massive ships in the port, which was almost as exciting as the creatures inside.
Prices were fairly reasonable. You do get a $3 discount per ticket if you purchase online. Parking is $6 per car. They do have food there in cafes and the food was pretty decent and not terribly overpriced. (Tip: The kids meals are bigger than adult meals at half the price). Enormous gift shop that is fully stocked with everything (both cute and tacky). Olive came home with a stuffed striped pink fish and Buttons got a mermaid book (both very tasteful and adorable).
All in all, a great outing. So next time you're in the Tampa area, check it out!

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