The Florida Aquarium
The Florida Aquarium is home to many impressive exhibits, particularly the Wetlands Gallery, which is enclosed within an architecturally stunning spiral dome that mimics the perfect environmental temperature and light for the animals and plants inside the huge glass-paneled dome. The design has even been listed in the American Institute of Architect’s Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places. But the natural setting is only second to the lively animals that inhabit the area. From exotic free flying birds like blue herons, white ibis, and roseate spoonbills to sharks, alligators, eels, river otters and endangered sea turtles, the ecosystems of Florida flourish with natural coral reefs, lush flora, and touch tanks to learn about Florida’s native surroundings. Also, dive into the beauty of the Coral Reef Gallery, where you’ll marvel at the underwater worlds that divers experience from shallow-water fish to deeper waters inside a 500,000 gallon tank. From there, visit the Bays and Beaches, where mammoth-sized Goliath Grouper (up to 300 pounds!) swim and feed Stingrays by the typical Florida beach environment. Lastly, there’s the new Ocean Commotion Gallery that’s an interactive adventure fun for the family using lights, sounds, and information using wireless devices on the Florida Aquarium’s free Wi-Fi.
Shows & Activities
Catch the live animal shows throughout the museum exhibits from Trail Talks to Secret Sea Life Superhero. Also, don’t miss Meet-and-Greets with lovable penguins for close encounters and photo opportunities, as well as with special characters from “Tango,” “Rocky” and more. There’s also a family-oriented area, Sea Squirt Cove, where you can read and play. Or relax and experience mini films in the 4-D Theater, bringing on-screen images to life with effects such as bubbles, snow, seat vibration and more.
The Splash Pad
On a hot Florida day, there’s nothing better than chilling out for a few hours in the Florida Aquarium’s rainforest-themed water playground. Kids have a blast with the water jets, geysers, slides, and other interactive areas in this fun splash zone. From a sand box to slides, recess has begun, and parents can cool off in the shade by Sandy’s Snack Shack, while children run wild.