According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “The ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and contains 97 percent of the planet’s water, yet more than 95 percent of the underwater world remains unexplored”.
Why not explore what you CAN of this important part of our planet!
In April I visited the Seattle Aquarium with my cousins and their two kids, ages 5 and 1 1/2.
We had a blast checking out the variety of sea animals – from octopus to sea stars to harbor seals to sea otters.
While this blog post will touch on “family travel” don’t think it is just for the kiddos!
At 23 I absolutely loved visiting Seattle’s aquarium!
Located on Pier 59 on the gorgeous Waterfront, the Seattle Aquarium sits in all it’s glory.
Guests can check out the aquatic wildlife 7 days a week from 9:30am to 6:00pm (last entry at 5:00pm).
4-hour metered parking is available outside along Alaskan Way. There are also two parking garages located across the street.
The aquarium’s mission statement, “Inspiring conservation of our marine environment”, is taken very seriously.
They live up to it by offering a wide variety of educational (but still interesting!) resources about the various species residing within their establishment.
Interesting fact: There is a parasite found in cat feces that can be deathly for sea otters if they come in contact with it. So the aquarium recommends throwing away all cat waste and litter as opposed to flushing it.
Exhibits at the aquarium include:
Ocean oddities (unusual creatures of the ocean)
Window on Washington waters (in the entry way of the aquarium)
Birds and shores Coastal animals of the Pacific Northwest
Life on the edge (tide pools — great for all ages)
Searching for Sixgills (sharks!)
Marine mammals (seals and otters)
Underwater dome (wild animals that can be seen through a giant 360 degree glass room)
Another memorable section of the aquarium was the area highlighting one of the region’s most prized animals — salmon!
The aquarium showcases each major stage of the salmon’s life (including a ladder for jumping grown salmon which is used seasonally).
The kids really enjoyed the underwater dome, which showcases actual wild sea animals from the Puget Sound.
A diver could be seen from the other side of the window as he waved to the kids that watched him handle an eel.
Seconds later a massive (what I believe to be) halibut swam by shocking (with delight) the little faces that practically had their noses pressed against the glass.
I personally feel that taking kids to an aquarium offers the opportunity to teach about a variety of important subjects – general science, the environment, marine biology, conservation, etc.
Kids have a natural interest and curiosity about the underwater world.
What better way to discover new things than observing and interacting face-to-face with the subjects themselves!
If you can’t make it to the aquarium right away you can check out these lives cams!
Harbor Seal Cam
You can also check out the Google+ hangouts hosted by the Seattle Aquarium.
Students from all over the world can even go on “virtual field trips” to the aquarium!
Those videos can also be seen on their YouTube channel.
While the cost of entry to the aquarium may seem a little high, just remember that you are contributing to the protection of the sea life and improved sustainability efforts made by the aquarium itself!
Entry prices as of June 1, 2014 are…
Adults (ages 13 & over) – $21.95
Youth (ages 4 – 12) – $14.95
Child (ages 3 & under) – FREE
Seniors (65+) – $2 off adult price
Active military and dependents (ID req’d) – $2.95 off
The setting to the aquarium is just beautiful and so classically PNW!
With gorgeous views of the Sound and a thorough look into the creatures that inhabit it, I find it to be a can’t miss in Seattle, Washington!