My first visit to the Seattle Aquarium was while on a trip here from Montana when the kids were young many years ago. We had some adult friends visiting recently, and we thought it would be fun (and nostalgic) to visit the waterfront and explore the aquarium again.
There are six distinct sections (exhibits) that offer something for everyone. We each had our “favorite” exhibit, but overall we really enjoyed spending the afternoon exploring. Although I felt a bit like a kid myself as we went from room to room, I particularly liked watching and listening to the many children as they discovered special things about each exhibit.
The “Window on Washington Waters” is a huge aquarium filled with more than 800 fish and invertebrates from the Pacific Northwest’s local waters. The main viewing window almost feels as though you are part of action. It’s particularly exciting when the divers are in the tank and talk back and forth with interpreters.
“Life on the Edge” had the biggest congregation of kids as they could lean over and reach into the water then gently touch some of the inhabitants. This area also housed the huge resident octopus that had me enthralled.
“Marine Mammals” (my favorite) features the entertaining sea otters, river otters, harbor seals and fur seals. Be sure to stick around for feeding time and for one of the daily talks to learn more about these great creatures and what the aquarium is doing to protect the species.
Additional exhibits include the Pacific Coral Reef, Birds & Shores, and the Underwater Dome.
The Seattle aquarium is the ninth largest aquarium in the U.S. by attendance and among the top five paid visitor attractions in the Puget Sound region. Since opening in 1977, it has hosted over 22 million visitors and provided marine conserva-tion education to over 1.6 million school children.
The Seattle Aquarium operates as a nonprofit 501c3, through a long-term operating agreement with the City of Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation.
The aquarium is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry is $29.95 for Adults (13 & over), $19.95 for Youth (4-12), and Children (3 & under) are free.
Our visit to the aquarium wouldn’t have been complete without a bowl of chowder at a restaurant kiosk on the waterfront. There are a number of spots to grab a quick lunch that doesn’t break the bank.
Visit http://www.seattleaquarium.org for more information.