Family Road Trip: the National Aquarium in Baltimore

Many thanks to the National Aquarium in Baltimore for providing tickets to facilitate our visit.

I’ve been to the National Aquarium in Baltimore many times, and it’s always a great trip. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor is beautiful and vibrant with lots to do, and the aquarium is always filled with new exhibits and tons of wildlife friends to meet. But the trip we took this week was different because it was the first time we go to see the magic of the aquarium with our kids!

The National Aquarium in Baltimore

As any mom or dad will tell you, seeing the world you already know through your children’s eyes is one of the biggest perks of parenthood. This trip was a prime example!

It takes us about 2 hours to get to Baltimore from the Selinsgrove, PA area, and it’s always an easy drive. We arrived to the aquarium around mid-morning, and even though there were school busses full of kids there, it wasn’t too crowded. The building can really accommodate a lot of people!

My kids were mesmerized from the moment we walked in. We immediately entered the Blacktip Reef exhibit, met some sharks and huge turtles, then went on to explore through the Atlantic Coral Reef, Amazon River Forest, and so many other places. You can even click online to get an advanced peek at all of the animals on exhibit throughout the aquarium.

There was so much to see that I compiled some of our photos into a slideshow to keep this post from being a mile long. Here’s a peek at our day:

Those photos at the end were from the Jellies Invasion Exhibit which was, by far, my favorite. I think I might even like them more than the seahorses I saw there a few years ago…and that’s saying a lot because those guys were COOL.

But really, couldn’t you just watch these little squishies all day long?

And the art that went along with them! I must have taken a zillion pictures, but they still didn’t capture how breathtaking this huge jellyfish sculpture was.

The National Aquarium in Baltimore Jellies Invasion Exhibit

See a Movie in 4D!

While we were there, we also went to see a Spongebob Squarepants 4D – the Great Jelly Rescue in the 4D immersion theater. What’s a 4D film? Well, it goes a step beyond 3D, and when it looks like water is coming at you, it actually does spritz you in the face! Bubbles fly through the air, snow falls from the ceiling and wiggly tentacles brush your ankles. Even though we’re not huge SpongeBob fans, it was really fun to watch the kids’ reactions to something so new and unexpected.

Conservation Efforts

Beyond the smiles, excited squeals and chances to teach my kids about a world they’ve never seen, the biggest reason I love to visit and support the National Aquarium in Baltimore is that they are a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the ocean and all of its inhabitants. There is so much to learn about how the aquarium supports and spearheads efforts to better our environment. From their widespread conservation initiatives to small things, like using simple recyclable cups with no lid or straw in their cafes, the National Aquarium is setting a good example on every level.

Baltimore National Aquarium Green Efforts

If you ever visit, be sure to bring a water bottle so you can fill it several times along the way at water stations like this!

Baltimore National Aquarium Conservation Efforts

Keeping it local for the summer is easy to do when you have such great places to visit. But our trip to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor went way beyond the National Aquarium! We spent a good 3 hours there, but that was only the beginning of our day. Stay tuned for part 2 of our trip to Baltimore, coming soon. If you have kids, you’ll want to put this on your to-do list…

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