Monday, October 3, 2011


Sea Lions & Turtles & Penguins: Oh My!

As R We There Yet Mom has grown, I have had the privilege of meeting & interacting with several fun travel blogging families.  It is awesome to find amazing traveling adventures for families this way - I am so inspired to drop everything and take off and travel (or daydream about it - hint, hint)!

One fellow Texas Traveling Mom (not for much longer!!), Sarah V., is author & editor of Wandering Off, a fantastic site for off-the-beaten-path adventures, like the visit to the Cave Without A Name or 

Not Wearing Sandals to the Rodeo.  She also has awesome advice for travel-loving families, like this post on Cheap Fun.

I asked her to post one of her fun adventures for us and she graciously jumped at the chance....

When we went to Boston, we didn’t expect to end up in the emergency room at midnight. But that’s what happened, and luckily we all returned to the hotel room that night tired but healthy. Originally, I had a full schedule planned for the following day, but I knew after a late and stressful night that we’d need to take it easy.

I decided that the New England Aquarium was the perfect solution.

We had visited the aquarium the previous spring, so I felt comfortable going there alone with my four-year-old daughter. I knew how to get there, what to expect, and that we would both have a great time.

Sure enough, I was right! We had a great afternoon learning about all kinds of sea creatures. And I’m not sure who had more fun, me or my daughter.

The first animals that visitors will encounter are the Atlantic Sea Lions.  Believe it or not, you don’t even need an aquarium ticket to see this particular exhibit, so if you’re short on time, consider stopping by just to see the sea lions play and swim.

My daughter could have watched the sea lions all day. She loved how they swam on their backs and seemed to look right at us. 

Once visitors enter the aquarium building, they immediately hear a loud squawking sound. This is the call of the penguins that inhabit a first-floor exhibit. Like the sea lions, the penguins are highly entertaining, and it took some effort to convince my daughter to move on to the rest of the aquarium.

The main attraction at the New England Aquarium is the huge four-story Giant Ocean Tank. A ramp winds around the tank so that visitors can see a progression from deep-water to shallow-water creatures. The most noticeable animal in the Giant Ocean Tank is the enormous green sea turtle. While I found him completely fascinating, my daughter actually screamed when he first swam into view. He is huge!

Surrounding the Giant Ocean Tank, other tanks house fish, crabs, and jellyfish.  My daughter particularly enjoyed the Edge of the Sea Touch Tank, where kids can get a close look at small sea creatures like star fish and scallops. My daughter loved seeing the scallops since they’re one of her favorite foods. (A little morbid, right?)

Visitors to the aquarium should consider grabbing a snack at the Harbor View Café, which has lots of windows with lovely views. Also, I liked that the café offered healthy snacks in addition to the usual food court fare.

The New England Aquarium offers discounts to college students, Massachusetts teachers, and seniors. Also, children under age 3 receive free admission.

I would absolutely recommend a trip to the New England Aquarium. It was the perfect way to rebound after a not-so-great start to our trip to Boston. There’s something about watching fish glide by through the water that has a calming effect. It was a wonderful, stress-free day.

Sounds like a perfect day Sarah! Thank you for sharing.  Please take a moment to visit Sarah over at Wandering Off, follow her on the FaceBook and the Twitter - she always has fun things to hear about!

If you would like to tell us about your fun family adventures ~ vacation to a new city, local museum trip, or Sunday afternoon drive ~ we'd love to hear about it!  Send me a quick email at - let's talk!


Lisa said...

I love aquariums and if I ever finally make it to Boston then this will definitely be high on my list of things to do! I thought my family was the only one that made doctor visits a regular part of our vacations. We have had doctors make house calls to our hotels in the Bahamas and in DisneyWorld, broken bones in Hawaii and an allergic reaction requiring a shot of antihistamine while on the high seas. Not much fun at the time but good stories afterward. Glad everything worked out ok for you!

Connie said...

My children adore Aquariums! We look for them every where we travel.