When summer days turn long and hot and the kids show signs of boredom, pile everyone into the car and head for an aquarium. Wandering through viewing tunnels surrounded by blue oceans and thousands of brightly colorful fish makes everyone feel better. Here are six outstanding family-friendly aquariums to consider.
Habitat tanks replicating the Amazon basin, an Australian river gorge, an Atlantic coral reef and a tropical rain forest introduce children to the concept of ecosystems. Visitors will see many species of sea turtles, sharks and jellyfish, along with the giant Pacific octopus, Australian freshwater crocodiles myriads of tropical fish, reptiles, ...view middle of the document...
Other favorites with children include the tiny blue penguins, tree kangaroos and cockatoos of the Borneo habitat and the sloths, toucans and swans of the Orinoco River rainforest.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Parents of children under 10 give this aquarium top marks for its ability to hold children’s interest from entrance to exit. The space is compact but easy to navigate, and is loaded with so many interactive displays that boredom is not an option. The 7,000 square foot Splash Zone features a kid-sized tunnel lined with displays of colorful tropical fish, along with a myriad of other hands-on and interactive features that make learning fun. Kids love to watch the penguins, sea otters, fish and sea turtles at feeding time, and the 90-foot window of the Open Sea exhibit offers a spectacular view of gliding sharks, tuna, jellyfish, sea turtles and many varieties of smaller fish.
Oregon Coast Aquarium
This indoor-outdoor facility focuses on aquatic life along the beautifully wild Oregon shore. Indoors, submerged viewing tunnels take visitors through three different habits, progressing from rock canyons like those just offshore to a shipwreck inhabited by sturgeon, halibut and flounder to a seemingly limitless expanse of open sea rich with schools of...