The Florida Aquarium is a nonprofit organisation and marine life park located in Tampa, Florida. It was established in 1995 and offers educational and interactive exhibits showcasing the diverse aquatic life of Florida and the world.
That’s why Florida Aquarium is a popular tourist destination in Tampa, Florida, offering a variety of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. Here are some of the best things to do at the Florida Aquarium:
- Explore the Exhibits
- Watch Shows
- Take a Tour
- Visit the Touch Tank
- Attend a Special Event
- Dine with a View
Best things To do in The Florida Aquarium
1. Explore the Exhibits:
The Florida Aquarium features several exhibits that showcase the diverse marine life found in Florida and around the world. Some of the exhibits include:
- Bays & Beaches: This exhibit showcases the unique coastal habitats of Florida, including mangroves, sea grass beds, and the Gulf of Mexico.
- Coral Reef: This exhibit replicates a Caribbean coral reef, home to over 100 species of marine life including tropical fish, sea turtles, and moray eels.
- Wetlands: This exhibit showcases the diversity of Florida’s wetlands, including alligators, otters, and wading birds.
- No Bone Zone: A touch tank exhibit that lets visitors get up close and personal with stingrays, horseshoe crabs, and other sea creatures.
- Sea Turtle Rehabilitation: This exhibit features rescued sea turtles that are being rehabilitated and cared for until they can be released back into the wild.
- Aquatica: A 3D theater that takes visitors on an immersive journey through the world’s oceans and rivers.
These are just a few of the exhibits offered at the Florida Aquarium. The facility also hosts special events and educational programs for visitors of all ages.
2. Watch Shows:
The Florida Aquarium offers several shows that allow visitors to learn about and observe marine life in action. Some of the shows include:
- Feeding Frenzy: This show features the aquarium’s divers feeding a variety of sea creatures, including sharks, rays, and sea turtles.
- Dive with the Sharks: This is a unique opportunity for certified scuba divers to dive in the aquarium’s 550,000-gallon coral reef exhibit and interact with the resident sharks, rays, and tropical fish.
- Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Program: This show highlights the Florida Aquarium’s sea turtle rehabilitation program and the efforts to protect and conserve sea turtles in the wild.
- Penguin Playhouse: This exhibit showcases the antics of the aquarium’s African penguins and provides visitors with an opportunity to learn about their behavior and habitat.
- Sea breacher Experience: This high-speed, underwater adventure takes visitors on a thrilling ride through the aquarium’s exhibits.
These are just a few of the shows offered at the Florida Aquarium. Show schedules and availability may vary, so it is recommended to check the aquarium’s website or ask a staff member for the most up-to-date information.
3. Take a Tour:
The Florida Aquarium offers several tours that provide visitors with a more in-depth look at the facility and its exhibits. Some of the tours include:
- Behind-the-Scenes Tour: This tour provides a unique look at the workings of the Florida Aquarium, including a visit to the animal holding areas, food preparation kitchen, and filtration systems.
- Coral Reef Safari Snorkel: This tour allows visitors to snorkel in the aquarium’s coral reef exhibit and see the colorful tropical fish and other marine life up close.
- Wild Dolphin & Manatee Watch: This tour takes visitors on a boat ride to search for wild dolphins and manatees in the Tampa Bay area.
- Animal Encounter Programs: These programs provide visitors with the opportunity to get up close and personal with the aquarium’s sea turtles, penguins, and other creatures.
These are just a few of the tours offered at the Florida Aquarium. Tour schedules and availability may vary, so it is recommended to check the aquarium’s website or ask a staff member for the most up-to-date information.
4. Visit the Touch Tank:
The Florida Aquarium features a touch tank exhibit called the “No Bone Zone” where visitors can get up close and personal with sea creatures such as stingrays, horseshoe crabs, and starfish. The touch tank provides a hands-on experience that allows visitors to learn about the animals and their behavior.
The Florida Aquarium staff supervise the touch tank to ensure the safety of both the visitors and the animals.
5. Attend a Special Event:
The Florida Aquarium frequently hosts special events throughout the year, offering visitors a chance to experience the aquarium in new and exciting ways. Some of the special events include:
- Summer Camps: The Florida Aquarium offers summer camps for children, where they can learn about marine life and participate in hands-on activities and games.
- Sleepovers: The aquarium offers sleepovers for families, where they can spend the night among the exhibits and participate in exclusive after-hours activities.
- Dive-In Movies: During the summer, the Florida Aquarium holds Dive-In Movies, where visitors can watch a movie while floating in the aquarium’s enormous coral reef exhibit.
- Holiday Celebrations: The Florida Aquarium celebrates holidays like Christmas and Halloween with special events and activities for visitors of all ages.
- Fundraising Galas: The aquarium holds annual gala events to raise funds for its conservation and education programs.
These are just a few of the special events offered at the Florida Aquarium. Event schedules and availability may vary, so it is recommended to check the aquarium’s website or social media for the most up-to-date information.
6. Dine with a View:
The Florida Aquarium features several dining options with breathtaking views of the aquarium’s exhibits. Some of the dining options include:
- Cafe Ray: This casual dining option features sandwiches, salads, and snacks, and is located near the aquarium’s coral reef exhibit.
- Harbor Dockside: This fine dining option offers a menu of seafood and steak dishes and is located near the aquarium’s wetlands exhibit.
- The Wetlands Cafe: This outdoor dining option serves light bites and drinks, and provides stunning views of the aquarium’s wetlands exhibit.
- Concession Stands: The Florida Aquarium also has concession stands located throughout the facility, offering snacks and drinks to enjoy while exploring the exhibits.
Visitors can dine with a view of the aquarium’s diverse array of sea creatures, providing a unique and memorable dining experience. Note that dining options and availability may vary, so it is recommended to check the aquarium’s website or ask a staff member for the most up-to-date information.
Overall, The Florida Aquarium offers a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages, making it a great destination for families, couples, and solo travelers.