Our family ventured into uncharted territory last weekend – our three sons declared Saturday a “yes” day, which meant, in essence, they were in charge. The first suggestion they threw out? Let’s go to the aquarium!
Since, of course, the answer was yes, we set off up the road for a spontaneous trip to the Mall of Concord to see Neptune and the rest of the gang at Sea-Life Aquarium. And guess what? By the end of our morning tour, it seemed like the boys were on to something and maybe “yes day” wasn’t going to be as scary for us parents as it seemed. We had a blast!
Our boys hadn’t been to Sea-Life in a while, not since coming out of COVID when we were grateful just to have somewhere fun to go. A lot has changed to improve the overall experience, and we were super impressed. It served as a reminder that just when you think your children might tire of doing something around Charlotte that they’ve done a few times before – wrong!
First of all, since our boys are a little older – we have a 7-year-old son and twins who are 5 – they loved being able to mark their “accomplishments.” They got to exercise their independence by collecting “stamps” at each of the stations as you tour the acquarium to get a prize at the end. The little embossed impressions of the different sea creatures were like a scavenger hunt that kept us moving at a good pace.
The “petting” station where kids can reach into a tank snd touch starfish and other creatures was a hit for my oldest son Wade, especially. All our boys made such interesting observations as we walked through, including son Wes who noticed that one fish looked just like a potato – and it did!
All of us gawked at the little eels with their bottom ends burrowed in the sand, so it looked like they were snakes just wiggling around and looking up at us. We also all enjoyed seeing seeing Nepture, the loveable lopsided sea turtle, who swims a little off-kilter because of the tail injuries it suffered before being rescued. It was also neat to see our boys learning all about sea turtle rescues through the interactive displays.
All in all, I felt like Sea-Life has upped its game with its electonic displays. All the Ipads located throughout the exhibit are brighter, more interactive and easier to read, so that you can identify and learn quick and fun facts about the sea creatures you are seeing.
Then all that interactive fun builds to a cresendo at the “Doodle Reef.” In the area at the end of the exhibit where children normally make crafts (we still have the cutest sea turtles our boys made there displayed at home) there is now an awesome interactive game as well as tables where kids can sit down for a few minutes, color and craft.
Now children can also “create” their own fish on Ipads, choosing a fish, making it the colors of their choice and naming it. Then they can watch their fish “come to life” on a big screen where their fish can race against other fish – big fun for brothers – feed on creatures in the sea, and more. Just that display alone was enough to get my boys wanting to come back for more.
So no matter how many times you’ve been to Sea-Life Aquarium, or if it’s your first time to go, enjoy an adventure where not only can you beat the heat but also have something that’s fun to say yes to for the whole family!
For more information, visit Sea-Life Aquarium’s website here.