Celebrating Twenty Years with the Florida Aquarium #FLAQturns20

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.

Florida Aquarium

2003

2006

Winter 2009

Summer 2009

2011

2011

2011

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.

  1. Educational
  2. Tons of hands-on fun
  3. Multiple touch tanks
  4. Three distinct Florida habitats to explore
  5. Up-close encounters with Florida marine life
  6. Explore-A-Shore splash pad
  7. Behind the scene tours
  8. Backstage passes
  9. Interactive exhibits
  10. Entertaining and educational shows
  11. Non-Native animal exhibits such as pythons, lemurs and penguins.
  12. Dolphin cruises
  13. Swim with the fish
  14. Sleep with the fish (sleepovers)
  15. Dive with the sharks.
  16. Special events for every holiday
  17. Swaptember
  18. AqauCamps (summer camps)
  19. Evening Tide Talks
  20. 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 Celebrationhours 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.

Denise

From start to finish, Denise is Run DMT, a Tampa Bay marathon mom on the run trying to maintain an easy pace through it all between races and raising three beautiful, brilliant children (ages 13, 9, 4). In 2007, I discovered a passion for running and in February 2015, I completed my tenth marathon, however, I continue to train for a variety of races and triathlons. In my spare time, I founded Tampa Bay Bloggers, a hyperlocal blogging network.

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7 comments

  1. April says:

    I just love the Florida Aquarium! I so wanted to go to the 20th celebration but had other plans. It looked like the otters had so much fun with their “cake”. I love your pics of your kids growing up at the aquarium.

  2. Jenny says:

    I was actually at the grand opening 20 years ago and the Tampa Trio and I have returned more times than I can count, and I’ve brought tons of school groups through the aquarium too! Such a gem to have in Tampa! #FridayShareFest

  3. Beth says:

    When I moved here almost 20 years ago the aquarium was relatively new so it held my then small childrens’ attention span for about 45 minutes. It’s nice to see that the programming and exhibits have expanded with the growth of our community. Thanks for sharing via #TBB #LinkLove :)

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