When the Florida Aquarium first opened its doors on March 31, 2015, I was living in England as an USF exchange student focusing on graduating and securing a teaching job. Several years later when I became a SAHM, I experienced the Florida Aquarium for the first time with my first born and fell knee deep in love with it.
Since then first encounter, my children and I have enjoyed an ocean of memories.
But on Tuesday, I enjoyed a special day with my youngest to celebrate 20 years with one of Tampa’s best family attractions.
Of course, the Florida educator and explorer in me loves the three distinct Florida habitat exhibits: the Wetlands Trail, Bays and Beaches and the Coral Reef. When walking through these three exhibits, guests will get a glimpse of Florida wildlife as if they were canoeing along a river or SCUBA diving off our shores. I’ve always been impressed by the careful attention to detail which creates a very realistic backdrop for the visitors and its residents.
Given that some of the residents have been there since the beginning, keeping them healthy and happy is the Florida Aquarium’s number one priority.
As my son enjoyed watching the Lemurs and the SCUBA divers enjoy their celebratory birthday cakes, I couldn’t help enjoy my own little slice of sweetness. Seeing my son giggle over splashing stingrays and splash pad slides defined why the Florida Aquarium is our own little buried treasure in Downtown Tampa.
Here are 20 reasons why the Florida Aquarium is such a wonderful place to visit.
- Tons of hands-on fun
- Multiple touch tanks
- Three distinct Florida habitats to explore
- Up-close encounters with Florida marine life
- Explore-A-Shore splash pad
- Behind the scene tours
- Backstage passes
- Interactive exhibits
- Entertaining and educational shows
- Non-Native animal exhibits such as pythons, lemurs and penguins.
- Dolphin cruises
- Swim with the fish
- Sleep with the fish (sleepovers)
- Dive with the sharks.
- Special events for every holiday
- AqauCamps (summer camps)
- Evening Tide Talks
- Free admission for educators
Here’s to decades more of education and conservation, Florida Aquarium!
To learn more about the Florida Aquarium and its 20th Birthday Celebration, hours of operation or to purchase tickets and/or annual passes, visit www.flaquarium.org
Disclaimer: I received a on-eday admission to the Florida Aquarium. All opinions shared are my own.