Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sea Life Aquarium in Grapevine, Texas

Did you know that 75% of the nation's bird species either live in or visit the Galveston Bay region sometime during the year, including the recovering endangered brown pelican? That's just one of the things I learned while visiting Sea Life Aquarium in Grapevine, Texas.

We ventured out to this cool spot last Thursday, August 4 and, boy, was I ever thankful that I pre-purchased tickets online a few days prior! That's probably the most helpful information I can give you - BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE before you go! We were told by one of the Sea Life employees that people who had not pre-purchased their tickets had been waiting in line for an hour and a half - no joke - and this was a Thursday at 1:00 in the afternoon! When you pre-purchase your tickets, you not only pay 15% less than you would at the door, but you get to stand in a much shorter, fast-moving line.

From the Sea Life website: Prepare for astonishingly close views of everything from humble starfish and seahorses to graceful rays, to get any closer you would have to get wet!
  • Amazing 360° Underwater Ocean Tunnel
  • 30 Incredible Displays
  • More than 5,000 Sea Creatures
  • Take the Shark Walk if you're brave enough!

They have something called the Kid's Quiz Trail. At the beginning of the tour, one of the Sea Life workers hands you a card with, I think, nine questions on it and three possible answers you can scratch off. Throughout the building there are "Fin Facts" posted on the walls. There are also questions posted throughout the building as well. All you do is find the correct answer and scratch off the appropriate color on the card. At the end of the tour, whether you got all the answers right or not, you turn that card in at the gift shop and the kids get to either pick a sticker or a tattoo (and let me tell you that tattoo stays on a lot longer than any other fake tattoo I've seen).

The thing I was most impressed with was the ocean tunnel (pictured above). That was really neat. It felt neat because the floor is see-through.

I've heard that they'll be getting a sea turtle soon that was injured by a boat and can't use his back legs but uses his front legs to swim. Fun fact about sea turtles: Did you know that sea turtle mamas will travel thousands of miles across the oceans to lay their eggs on the same beach where they were born? That's amazing.

At the end of the tour there's something called the rockpool. That's where the kids can actually touch a starfish, sea urchin or crab.

So if you get a chance, head on over to Sea Life Aquarium at Grapevine Mills Mall but be sure and buy your tickets before you go! And take your time going through the exhibit - don't let someone bully you into moving along if you're not ready to. Remember to relax and enjoy this time with your kids!
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