Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Field Trip: Sea Life Aquarium

A couple of years ago a small aquarium opened in our neck of the woods. Since we've been to several aquariums before, and since I rarely agree to pay full price for anything, we haven't spent the $14 per ticket and visited.

Until recently.
When I discovered Sea Life was offering tickets at half price for homeschoolers, I was quick to plan a day to go. My kids were excited - new animals to see, things to explore, and it all counted as school. And I was excited - an afternoon "off" from teaching and for a bargain price.

Triple win.
The kids had habitat passports they carried around with them during our visit. For each different water habitat we visited they got a stamp in their passports, and when we exited the aquarium they received a shark tooth for a job well done.
I'll be honest: I don't like water life. Observing behind glass is okay; knowing it could touch me in the ocean is absolutely NOT okay. Brightly colored fish are beautiful and sharks are cool, but eels? Jellyfish? Really?!
We spent about two hours walking through exhibits - enjoying chances to touch some sea stars and watch the stingrays eat lunch.
An interesting caveat that I wasn't expecting included a "behind the scenes tour." The kids were able to see where animals were cared for if sick or injured, the kitchen area where food was prepared, and various holding tanks for different animals. Best of all, we walked a platform above the largest tank in the aquarium and were able to get a birds-eye view on the sharks, stingrays, and fish swimming below. Very interesting!
All in all, it was a great day out. I think hands-on learning - actually touching and seeing things rather than just reading about them - is the best kind of learning! For anyone local, I do think it's best to wait for a coupon or discount of some sort before visiting. I understand the need for ticket prices to cover costs, but I'm not sure Sea Life merits $14 a ticket. My free-for-you perspective.

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