My family is no stranger to Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota, in fact because we live in South Florida and also have a museum reciprocal agreement, we actually have visited this location a few times.
Now that my toddler is almost 3 years old, outings to destinations like this are getting more and more enjoyable for our family as a whole.
Not too long ago, we took trip over just to spend the day and check out the live exhibits. My kids always enjoy walking through the aquarium and looking at the colorful fish, eels, and the really cool jellyfish tanks.
They also like to venture outside and get hands on with the open aquarium near the Shark Zone. There they got to touch Star Fish and Spiny Urchins.
In addition, Mote also has a Rays display that you can also get hands on at. FYI, they have a washing station available as well to clean up afterward.
During our visit, we also found a display for the kids to pose in, and they were ready for their photo opportunity.
After this, we headed over to visit the sharks in an observation area. Seeing those large creatures swim by us was so awesome. We were then able to take the stairs to actually observe the sharks from above the tanks.
Not only can visitors walk around and look at the displays, but programs like Summer Camps, Mommy & Me, and hands on experiences like kayaking, shark encounters, and Eco-Boat Tours are also available on site.
Next, we went inside to check out the eggs and gestation of rays. Since we were viewing through a window it was tough to get a picture, however the kids thought it was really neat seeing them in the different stages of development.
From there, we headed over the section of the facility that houses the Seas Turtles, Manatees, and Dolphins. As you can see by the photos, my kiddos got up close and personal with the Green Sea Turtles and Loggerheads.
On a previous visit we had been lucky to see the dolphins training but they were not out during this visit. However, there was a NEW temporary exhibit called OH BABY Life Cycles of the Seas in the same area.
Our family saw baby sharks, sea horses, pipe fish, and eels. They even had magnifying glasses set up to see microscopic sea babies. “Oh Baby!” will be open Feb. 14 through Sept. 27 during normal hours at Mote Aquarium: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days a week. Such a cool exhibit!
Have you ever visited Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium before? What was your favorite section?
I am definitely looking forward to going back over the summer and hopefully we can catch one of the special tours. Either way this is an awesome trip to help keep the kiddos entertained.
Carlee @ LAAF