Sunday, May 15, 2011

Review: Our Visit to the Aquarium!

A few weeks ago, my hubby and I took a day with the girls to visit the National Aquarium at Baltimore's Inner Harbor and had a great time!  One of the first things I noticed about the entire Inner Harbor area was how clean it was and the Aquarium was no exception.  As a mom, it's something I appreciate even more (especially clean bathrooms!).  Upon entering and throughout the Aquarium are friendly, helpful employees to ensure you get the most out of your experience, make sure you know where you're going, and answer any other questions you may have (like where to grab a snack!).  I also love how the Aquarium is set up, guiding you through all the exhibits in an organized way so you don't have to worry about missing something!

The girls loved seeing all kinds of new fish as well as some familiar ones (from Finding Nemo!).  Here are some highlights of the visit, according to the girls, ages 5 and 2 1/2:  Stingrays!  Jellyfish!  Dolphins!  seeing a scuba diver!  the Rainforest!  looking for the tiny poison frogs!  And my personal favorite:  Calypso the sea turtle :)

While a trip to the National Aquarium can be a bit pricey at $25 for adults ($12 and up) and $20 for kids (ages 3-11), there is a discount page you can check to see if there are any specials going on.  Previously, the Aquarium had discounted ticket specials before Spring Break, so perhaps the "off season" is the time to go.  There is also a coupon for $3 off parking to help your budget.
The Aquarium's webpage is also a great place to find tips to plan your visit.  For instance, because of the escalators and moving walkways inside the Aquarium, strollers cannot be used.  If you do bring a stroller, Aquarium staff will store it for you and provide a backpack or frontpack child-carrier.  They also have recommendations for certain times to visit that are less busy.

After hours of observing, discovering, and learning at the Aquarium, we decided it was time for some real food.  We headed a few blocks away to Little Italy and grabbed some amazing brick-oven margherita pizza and a cannoli from a tiny corner on S. High St - Isabella's Brick Oven Pizza & Panini.  And before heading back home, we stopped in Vaccaro's Italian Pastry Shop, because really, how can you pass up that?!  The girls and I shared some Spumoni, we got some Italian cookies to take home, and even grabbed a couple of humongous eclairs for Grandpa.  I have one word for all of it:  Yum!

Disclosure:  I did receive 4 free tickets couresty of the National Aquarium.  However, all opinions are my own.

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