Our oldest nephew turned six this last week and we managed to snag him for a few hours of fun at the Seattle Aquarium to celebrate. Being Halloween the aquarium was decked out in fall decor with carved pumpkins in under water exhibits and some scuba divers in costumes as well. We were having so much fun in the moment, we didn't get that many pictures. I'll share what we did get and mix in aquarium shots from a few weeks ago when Mark and I were there on our own.
The touch tanks are a must and it wouldn't be a trip to the touch tanks without getting a hug from a sea urchin or two!
A little face painting was going on too and Connor just had to be a part - how about a penguin to adorn that cute cheek?!
Our visit to the tropical tanks came next and we were in for a surprise! A diver wearing tropical print shirt and shorts was hanging out feeding the fish. This was the first time any of us had seen someone doing a feeding in the tropical tank and watching an enormous puffer fish beg like a puppy was quite the treat! There was even a skeleton snorkeler and a treasure chest in the tropical tank, pretty fun stuff!
We had to go find the seahorses and take a good look at the fish that looks like a sword, at least according to a little boy who was going to be dressing up like a knight in few hours for tricker treating!
Next on the agenda (of said six year old) was to head out and see the seals and otters. We showed up in time to watch the fur seals get fed and the otters were kind enough to come out and say hello. We were so engrossed in these amazing creatures that I'll just have to share a shot of one of the otters from a few weeks ago, when it had a toy frisbee.
We also spent quite a bit of time in an interactive education area where were learned all sorts of fun facts about whales and dolphins. These new interactive touch screens the aquarium has been putting in are a great addition to the aquarium. We were most impressed by the sound that a Blue Whale makes! And we all had to take turns seeing how we measure up to the height of an Orca's dorsal fin.
There were several opportunities for kids to search for special pumpkins in the different exhibits and get a treat if the could find them. I was SUPER pleased with the aquarium that the treats were organic granola bars and organic fruit leather. Seeing them offer something a little healthier but still quite delicious for the kids was wonderful. Not to mention the fact that the treats were organic supports the ideas of conservation that the aquarium promotes. Kudos Seattle Aquarium - I'm proud of ya!
We ended out adventure by heading to Starbucks for cocoa with whipped cream. And just outside there was a giant plush otter to pose with. I'm really glad otters don't grow this big in the wild!
Throughout the visit to the aquarium Connor shared little facts he had been picking up from school and perhaps previous visits to the aquarium. As a naturalist, (and a proud Auntie) I was pleased to hear him telling me about sharks growing back there lost teeth and how sea stars move with their tube feet. I think we might just have another natural science geek in the making - Yippee! What an awesome day with an awesome six year old and some awesome underwater critters! As Crush the Sea Turtle in Finding Nemo would say, "Awesome Duuude!"