The Florida Aquarium

DH flew into Tampa on Friday to join us on our Florida family reunion. Tampa is about an hour west of Orlando, where we were staying. We took advantage of his late-morning flight arrival to get in a visit to the Florida Aquarium.

It turned out to be a perfect day to be inside. Rain had moved into the area and made for a rather gloomy (and chilly) afternoon, so it wasn’t like we were “wasting” any of the sunshine we rarely see in Ohio this time of year!

The Florida Aquarium is full of great exhibits that showcase the abundant marine life in the Tampa bay area. We started off with a walk into the Wetlands.

IMG_6197

I loved the entrance, which has you walk UNDER a clear tank so you can see turtles and small fish from below.

IMG_6198

The Wetlands exhibit, along with alligators and river otters, has an amazing number of birds. Although we don’t think of birds as marine life, there are a large number that rely on coastal and sea resources for their survival.

IMG_6203

IMG_6223

IMG_6225

IMG_6235

But while the birds were beautiful and fun to watch, they weren’t nearly as compelling as the alligators.

IMG_6209

IMG_6211

IMG_6215

We also enjoyed a special show put on by the River Otters. The pictures don’t show it well, but three of the otters “performed” for the girls by doing a neverending series of backflips. They were mesmerised by it.

IMG_6216

IMG_6220

IMG_6221

Past the Wetlands exhibit, there was a nice exhibit on Florida coastal areas. We got to see one of several stingray exhibits.

IMG_6229

IMG_6228

More birds, too:

IMG_6235

IMG_6236

IMG_6242

IMG_6243

Next we visited an exhibit on aquarium design. They had some really interesting examples of styles of aquariums and the kinds of fish one might choose to put in each style. We liked the glass ones best.

IMG_6244

IMG_6246

IMG_6247

They also had some adorable vintage aquarium bubblers. This led to a discussion about how oxygen was important for fish, even though they don’t breathe air through lungs like we do.

IMG_6251

IMG_6249

IMG_6250

IMG_6256

Finally, we came to the girls’ favorite: sharks.

IMG_6259

The aquarium also had a few touch tanks, where patrons could actually feel some of the sea creatures. This one is full of sea stars and anemonae.

IMG_6276

We saw many wonderful exhibits full of colorful fish. The further away from shore, the more colorful the creatures seemed to be.

IMG_6285

IMG_6290

IMG_6295

We all still loved the sharks best, though.

IMG_6286

IMG_6287

This was a really informative trip.

IMG_6301

I liked that there was lots to see, but that the exhibits were very intimate and kid-friendly.

IMG_6302

IMG_6303

IMG_6313

Even the sharks.

IMG_6326

IMG_6335

Advertisements

Comments?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s