Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Adventure Aquarium

Today I'm continuing my week of Pennsylvania highlights from our trip back in May, when we also went to the Reviewer's Retreat at the Great Wolf Lodge, with the Adventure Aquarium.  It was the first of two day trips with Brad's brother Jeff and his wife Jody, our hosts during our time in Philadelphia.  Brad and I have been too a number of aquariums the Maui Ocean Center, in Albuquerque, the Shedd in Chicago, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium but never seem to tire of them. 

In my opinion nothing can compare to the last, but this one still ranks as a very nice moderately sized one with several hands-on opportunities that kids will love.  I think these were the best part of the aquarium.  We touched a shark, star fish and other invertebrates at the Creature Feature, tiny jelly fish and a few other things in the Interactive Inlet, and could've touched the sting rays but ER kept pulling her finger's out of the water when one approached.

There's three levels, each dedicated to different regions with the requisite large tanks with floor to ceiling views and hallways lined with smaller tanks for a more up close and personal view.  An unrushed visit will easily provide enough entertainment for a few hours.  The only thing that could've increased our enjoyment, would've been if we hadn't had to share it with several unruly field trip participants.

Besides the focus on ocean life there is also Feather Ridge and the adjacent Hippo display, that was the other highlight of the trip.  When we saw the hippos, it was nearly empty and the two female hippos were feeling friendly and came right up next to the glass.  It gave one the feeling of standing right next to them, which in a way, one was.  The girls definitely dwarfed ER, they gazed into each other's eyes for several seconds and was a very neat experience.
Besides all the amazing sea life, ER got her face painted as the Pearl Princess by the Rotunda.  Pretty amazing, isn't it?  I was impressed by how fast it was applied and the detail, not too surprised what design she picked.  If there's a blue option, ER will take it!  Thanks to Aunt Jody & Uncle Jeff for making it happen.
One of the last exhibits we walked through was the Shark Realm, with the 40 ft. shark tank being by far the most impressive part.  I this this picture of Brad is so neat.  It looks like the shark is suspended right above him, almost as if there was no glass between them.  ER did not particulary like this one, as "spooky" music is played and it's on the dark side.
Adventure Aquarium will come up if you do a search for "Philadelphia Aquarium" but in actuality it's in Camden, New Jersey just off the Ben Franklin Bridge.  So we were able to add another state to the list that ER's been in.  It's also along the river front, such a pretty setting, that's Center City of Philly behind us.  I don't think I've done much in NJ but go to this aquarium, hmm....I'll have to ask my mom if I've ever been there before because I honestly can't remember!
Thanks for playing tour guide Jeff and Jody!  While I still feel a little odd about being in Philadelphia again and NOT heading to any of the historical sites, that's the teacher in me, this was by far much more interesting to the four year old on the trip.  I'm so glad Brad did some preplanning and found it for us online.

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2 Friends Said:

MaryAnne said...

I LOVE the photo of ER with the hippo! And that is a very impressive face paint job!

This place sounds great! I'll have to keep it in mind for a road trip sometime.

Mommyof2girlz said...

Looks like you all have so much fun. I too LOVE the picture of her with the hippo's..lol So cute!

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