The Florida Aquarium is one of the hottest places for families to travel that offers not only entertainment, but also a great educational experience. It has been rated as one of the best aquariums in the world and boasts more than 20,000 aquatic plants and animals. Unlike other zoos and aquariums, you get to enjoy several exhibits and activities.
Located in Tampa, FL, The Florida Aquarium is open daily from 9:30am to 5pm. It closes only two days per year, on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. There are over 200,000 square feet for you and your family to enjoy at the Florida Aquarium, and thankfully the entire indoor center is air conditioned for your comfort.
There are currently four viewing galleries at the Florida Aquarium; the Wetlands, Bays and Beaches, Coral Reef, and Ocean Commotion. The Wetlands focuses on Florida's natural plants and animals, such as birds, crocodiles, alligators, stingrays, nurse sharks, and more! Your family will leave feeling like Florida wildlife experts. In the Bays and Beaches gallery you will learn about saltwater animals. See a family of seahorses, and learn about the layers in a bay. The Coral Reef gallery shows you what it looks like 60 feet under the water! You will see a huge reef in a gigantic 500,000 tank, as well as 1,600 tank inhabitants. The Florida Aquarium's newest gallery is Ocean Commotion. Walk through a fog screen to be transported to a place of fun underwater learning with the sounds of the ocean.
Those considering a fish tank for their home will enjoy the Aquirimania exhibit. You can learn how to set up a saltwater tank at home, and see some exquisite tanks already set up. You will also learn the history behind in home aquariums, some do's and don'ts.
Get up close and personal with penguins in the Penguin Promenade exhibit, a once in a lifetime experience.You will be right next to real penguins without any type of border, fence, barrier, or glass to separate you from the beautiful animals. The Penguin Promenade experience happens daily, but you will need to check on the day you go for the exact show times. The penguins will come right up to you and want to play in this amazing exhibit.
Do your children believe in dragons? At Dragons Down Under your children can view real life underwater dragons from Southern Australia! These dragons are very rare and exquisite to see. The Florida Aquarium is one of only a few places in the world with a permit to display these sea dragons, as they are almost extinct. In this same exhibit you can also see Florida's dwarf seahorse, which is also almost extinct.
Toddlers and younger visitors to the Florida Aquarium will enjoy the No Bone Zone exhibit, featuring tanks just the right height for little adventurers. There are 1,200 square feet of invertebrates. This exhibit features a 600-gallon tank where kids can touch and feel Sea stars, Crabs, Urchins, Mollusks and other spineless creatures from around the world. There's a 400 galloon viewing tank kids will love, and giant shells for children to climb in like sea urchins.
Outdoors there is a two acre splash park for you and your family to enjoy called Explore A Shore. See the 24 foot tall two story pirate ship and shoot water cannons at the kids. The 10 foot tall eel rock structure has ladders and cargo nets to climb. Kids of all ages will enjoy the waterslide, coral caves, and dolphin surfboard. Toddlers have their own safe place to play in the splash park called Shipwreck Shore.
Dive With The Sharks will have guests ages 15+ scuba diving with real sharks, while Wild Dolphin Ecotours will have you seeing dolphins up close from a boat. Admission for these two exhibits can be purchased separately.
The Florida Aquarium is one of the greatest places a family can visit for not only fun, but educational once in a lifetime experiences.
The Florida Aquarium is located in Tampa, Florida.