While we were in Tampa to visit Busch Gardens, we were able to explore other areas of Tampa Bay as well. One in particular was the Florida Aquarium. We had never been here before but were throughly impressed!
As we arrived, the first thing we saw was a touch tank! They ended up having 3 different touch tanks and we were able to touch everything from a sea cucumber (which feels REALLY different than it looks) to a stingray. Funny story about the sea cucumber…. I had touched the starfish, an anemone, and other animals in that tank. My husband convinced me to touch the sea cucumber which looks really bumpy, hard, and almost prickly. I barely touched it and it felt like JELLO! I pulled my hand back super quickly and may or may not have let out a quick scream making my entire family laugh. Far warning, things don’t always feel like they look! My kids loved the stingray touch tank. It was fun to try and figure out which stingrays were going to swim by and to get where we could touch them.
The Florida Aquarium was decorated for Christmas and had some lovely decorations. This one I almost bought, but forgot to go back and get it when we were leaving!
I loved that the Florida Aquarium wasn’t just fish. They had a fun exhibit featuring animals from Madagascar such as the lemurs! Everywhere was fun facts as well so we learned a lot.
Our favorite part of the Florida Aquarium was the shows. Be sure and ask at the counter what time the shows are when you visit. We were able to get really close and personal with some penguins. Did you know penguins can spray poop 6 feet behind them? That sure is nerve wracking when you’re in the front row! They let the kids sit right up on the edge of the mat, but were not allowed to touch. My kids thought that this was amazing! We also really enjoyed the dive show.
After we finished at the aquarium, we walked down to Precinct Pizza. We loved their food, however I’d warn my allergy friends that they aren’t quite allergy friendly, yet. They are just a short walk from the aquarium. After reading the story behind Precinct Pizza, we knew this was a business we wanted to support.
We were very impressed with the Florida Aquarium and would definitely return the next time we are in Tampa Bay. Huge thanks for our friends at Visit Tampa Bay and the Florida Aquarium for setting up our visit. You can learn about other great places to visit in Tampa Bay by checking out VisitTampaBay.com.