In my last ditch attempt to hold on to my children’s pre-school days, I packed up the kiddos, hopped in the car, and headed north to Baltimore for the day to visit both Port Discovery and the National Aquarium. To learn more about our morning at Port Discovery and print out an exclusive Resourceful Mommy coupon, please read my Port Discovery review post.
I love the National Aquarium and have visited it several times in the past…but never with my children. There is something daunting about taking little ones to a stroller free environment where most of what they will see is behind glass, out of reach.
It turns out – my kids loved it!
The format of the aquarium is perfectly designed for even the youngest minds to learn a little something. My daughter clearly understood as we moved from the mountain streams to the brackish bay and out to the ocean – first the shore and then the deep. While my three year old did not seem terribly interested in the details of the exhibits, he certainly enjoyed watching the fish, and he pointed out his favorites, even asking questions from time to time.
Many of the children Noah’s age wandered from salt water tank to salt water tank in search of Nemo. I’m fairly certain that if the aquarium would just toss one clown fish into each tank, they could quite possibly get away with charging double the current admission price!
While the sharks, fresh water fish, and salt water fish of all sizes, shapes, and colors certainly fascinated my children and provided numerous learning opportunities, it’s important to note that the aquarium is about far more than just water life. Entire habitats are recreated throughout the museum, including various animal species.
The parrots in Amazonia ranked among Emma’s favorites…
…while Noah seemed to favor the brightly colored poison dart frogs.
Without a doubt, however, the highlight of the day was the Dolphin Show. Today’s dolphin show is nothing like those from many years ago at various aquariums where trainers joined the animals in what amounted to nothing more than feats of strength and death-defying antics. The dolphin show at the National Aquarium at once shows the strength and beauty of these amazing creatures while also teaching the audience about the entire species and ocean life in general. We viewed the 3:30 show – right in the middle of Noah’s nap time – and he remained riveted to the edge of his seat throughout. I have to admit that I did as well!
Planning Your Visit:
- Fridays After Five – General Admission prices take a dive to just $8 every Friday night! The National Aquarium is wonderful…but it does not take an entire day to enjoy, especially if your kids are not the stop-and-read-every-sign type. Beginning September 18th and occurring through March, guests entering the aquarium between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. (exploring until 9:30) pay just $8 for admission. Starting in October, the first Fridays After Five of every month will feature special activities and performances. Guests also have access to all exhibits, including the special Jellies Invasion: Oceans Out of Balance, which my children were too timid to view.
- Exciting Fall Events – Along with Fridays After Five, there are many special activities all fall long, many of which are geared towards young children. Check out the entire list of Fall National Aquarium Events and information!
Thank you to the National Aquarium for providing tickets for my children and for me during our Wednesday visit. We very much enjoyed being guests of your amazing facility!