The very first thing we did was the Sea Lion show. We were right by the entrance as it was starting, so it was great timing. All of their sea lions were rescued, and unable to be returned, and their stories were shared with us. We weren't allowed to take pictures during the show, however, they mentioned the sea lion noses in the gift shop . . . I just wish they hadn't been crammed into a tiny little package. She loved it though! She had a good time during the show, and was even answering the questions (like the difference between a sea lion and a walrus) when they were interacting with the audience.
After the show, we made our way through the aquarium. One of the things Eleanor wanted to see was the dolphins. We had talked about dolphins when reading My Blue Boat in her preschool work, so the was a hit!
The penguins were fun, and the three bigger kids could crawl through a tunnel and go "inside" the exhibit. I've seen this elsewhere too. Elliott had to hold Eleanor up so she could see. If I'd realized, I would have gone with them to hold her up, but she still enjoyed it.
I love how there are multiple viewing areas at all different levels, so the kids don't have to feel like they're always behind the tall people, or in someone's way. Some of them are through tunnels and in little "hideaway" areas, so they feel like a kids-only adventure. It also helped that we went mid-week, early in the day, and since it was early September, it was field trip free! This meant overall, it was not crowded at all and my kids had quite a bit of uninterrupted viewing access.
Most everything was labeled, but I liked how they had large cards when you entered each main exhibit, so that you could identify the different species.
I don't remember what this thing was called . . . but Emory loved it and insisted I get a picture of it!
Eleanor was so excited she could touch a sea star! I had to help her reach inside, so no good pictures of the kids, but the touch tank was a hit.
The boys liked the Japanese spider crab as well!
Eloise loved this viewing area, because it was large, colorful and active. The aquarium was very stroller friendly for the most part. (Except during the show when we had to park it - but even that was very well done - they gave us a tag to retrieve it, instead of leaving it unattended!)
This area also had the interactive touch screen so you could look up all the fish in this exhibit.
It's a little dark because of the lighting in some areas, but she had to take a picture with "Mr. Grouper" from the show Bubble Guppies.
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