7 Places to Visit Aquatic Animals

This is a guest article by Veronica Jimenez.
Aquatic animals occupy a special place in my kids’ imaginations. So we regularly visit our aquatic friends. To me, it seems like a very repetitive and sometimes even boring endeavor. So I have come up with alternative activities to do during our visits to add some value to the experience. Below you will find our seven favorite places to visit aquatic animals.

where to see aquatic animals dc1. The National Aquarium in Baltimore

We love the National Aquarium in Baltimore and especially the dolphins and turtles! Don’t forget to bring your lunch from home and have it at one of the free tables in the open area on the second floor (next to the puffins) with a great view of the Baltimore Harbor. Once, we had a conversation about how in this same harbor, Francis Scott Key saw the American flag flying over Fort McHenry and was inspired to write The Star-Spangled Banner. Also, remind your kids not to touch the Megalodon (prehistoric shark) teeth. It is possible there are still some ancient bacteria for which modern doctors might not have antibiotics!

2. The Penguin Exhibit at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

The Maryland Zoo is fantastic, and the penguin exhibit is our favorite. Try out an incredible penguin encounter. This is another great place to bring your lunch and do some social studies or to put it simply: people watch. There is a tide current hitting the roof of the indoor exhibit every 5 minutes. Kids are always surprised by it. Check out their current Great Penguin Bake Off and vote!

3. The Glenn Echo Aquarium

The Glenn Echo Aquarium is the place where kids become biologists. The aquarium is small by all standards; however, kids can interact with almost all of the animals inside. We love the outdoor pirate ship play area too. But the real catch is that there is always free parking.

4. The Amazonia Exhibit at the National Zoo

Visit the Amazonia Exhibit in winter and leave your jacket at home. Nothing comes close to the magnificent gigantic fish (arapaimas and pacus), the piranhas, and the rays. Nevertheless, don’t forget to visit the lower-level amphibian exhibit. The African Clawed frogs are horrific underwater amphibians. These are the animal version of zombies. Closer to my heart, the Panamanian Golden Frog is being brought out of extinction at this very same place (history in the making).

where to see aquatic animals5.  The Sea Lions at the National Zoo

Try to visit the National Zoo during the summer to catch the Sea Lions in action. You will learn the difference between sea lions and seals (spoiler alert: seals do not make arf, arf, arf sounds). Be sure to bring easy-to-dry clothes since the splash tide pool is just around the corner. Pro visitor tip: bring a red or orange ball and see how the sea lions follow you and move it from side to side.

6. The Coral Reef Exhibit at the Natural History Museum

My kids like to find Nemo in the Coral Reef Exhibit and tell everyone is not called Nemo but clown fish (which makes me very proud every time). Nevertheless, what I really like at the Natural History Museum is a preserved Giant Squid in a long tank. Don’t forget to mention that it has shrunk a lot from its original size due to the formalin (alive, it would have been around 20 feet long). Don’t forget to look up while in this exhibit!

7. The Fish Tanks at Petco

Babies love fish, and Petco has them. This is perfect for rainy days. We do not have a pet at home, but it has never stopped us from visiting Petco. Those colorful fish helped me to teach my babies colors, sizes, and shapes.

Well, I’ll leave you here. I am on my way to buy a turtle pet and a tank with a balcony for people-watching. To be named Clawed!

Are your children obsessed with aquatic animals? Share your experience below!

About the guest author:

Veronica Jiménez Isaza, a trained lawyer and diplomat left that life behind to dedicate herself to gardening, traveling, exploring, and driving her kids from class to class.
where to see aquatic fish