Remember those days in school? When the words ‘Field Trip’ sparked such excitement? Field Trips might have been one of my best classes! Today we have a field trip planned. I am taking the kids to the local aquarium downtown this morning (the official South Carolina Aquarium). I was excited!
Field Trips just weren’t about getting out of class to me. It was a time for discovery. I love finding things, noticing small animals, seeing why things are the way they are. It is one reason I enjoy going to the beach so much. The discovery of new things, shells, crabs, strange living creatures, mollusks living in shells and so on. You never know what you might find?
Today I was happy for my kids. The aquarium is not a huge place but it does have a lot of interactive things for the kids to draw them in. A new exhibit they offered was the saltwater marsh and feeding the rays, as we put a small shrimp in the end of the stick and watch the rays hover up to it and gulp it up.
The aquarium has the always enjoyable otter tank with the little cutties swimming around. Lots of snakes and reptiles. Plenty of turtles that populate our area, both inland and in the sea. Exhibits on the tides and evolution of shells. Even an albino Alligator. Very curious! Let the day of discovery begin!
We entered the aquarium and my girls ran right by the Bald Eagle exhibit, right into the river otter display. Once there they found one or two large puddles to play in! Onward into the swamp and marsh displays, where they darted right by the solitary albino gator, finding much more enjoyment pressing the buttons that replicate all the sounds of the swamp (crickets, owls, etc.).
Next was the outdoors tidal display where my girls could feed the rays. This was so cool! Wait! Where are they? They ran back to the kids play tug boat. Dylan was steering it and blowing the horn. My two year old found a turtle she could climb on and slide off. Those rays will just have to go hungry I thought!
Finally, my kids ran through the outdoor tidal display, scattering the wrens and seagulls. Even the fish hid for their life from this kiddie romp!
In the next room was our favorite, the two-story deep water fish display. This tank had the barracudas, sharks, puffers, groupers, colorful reef fish and more. Being an avid diver I couldn’t wait for the girls to see this in hope they’ll want to learn to dive with us as early as possible.
I held my two year old up to the glass as the shark swam by but all the excitement behind her caught her attention. It seems toddlers would rather ‘discover’ the joy of climbing on a fake whale, and sliding off the tail, than the discovery of seeing a real mini sperm whale through the glass. The fish, bigger than she was in most instances, were just no match for the smooth plastic slide off a whales bum. I wondered if they knew these fish were even real?
I herded my kids once again and tried to make my way to the restroom. ~ you know how the sound of running water can affect you ~ Instead, they have the idea of running all the way back to the play tug boat and sea turtle. Help!
We finally make it through the doors, outside into the overcast day where their energy and enthusiasm had no end. Because outside…they could chase more seagulls!
Not even a photo op with Mr. Frog could hold their attention.
Not when there was the supersonic ray gun pointed up to the stars where they could shoot down enemy planes landing at our local airport. Discovery!
Their discovery ended when they found out the ‘ray gun’ needed 5 quarters to make it work.
Is it nap time yet?
Field trips rock! Go Andy!!
Ah, a stroller. I actually thought of taking one of them along, as a means for managing the herd, but knew she wouldn’t ‘stand’ for it and just fuss to have the freedom of her sister. The Monterey Aquarium sounds great. I hafta put it on the list.
Coincidentally, we are going to a near by Kids Museum Sunday, where our girls can meet and play with their fav. cousin. We had to fit it in between the great football weekends. Our town has one but is small and the value really isn’t there. This other one in Columbia, SC is big and loads of fun for all ages. It has a 2 story kid. Behind him shows the representation of the human body mixed in with a 2 story jungle-gym w/ slides and ladders and swinging bridges; http://www.edventure.org/eddie.aspx Since my time has been limited to create some readable blogs lately I am sure you may see the pics and action of this weekend next week. Come and join us with your crew if you want!
I used to take the kids to the local fish store, again as much for me as them, as we could see the exotic fish in the big tanks. My kids like the zoo but still a bit short to see lots of things. The last time we went I held my oldest up to see the Cheetah. I said, how do Cheetah’s go? And she roared out loud. The Cheetah stopped in his tracks , spotted my 3 year old from among the crowd and slowly inched closer and closer to her in that low, hunting cat walk. He was not amused by this 3 yr old.
We are checking out a kids museum this weekend so hopefully it loads of fun, for them. I know it was for me the last time. Thanks for stopping by. Good luck with your crew!
its so true! Except the budget cuts, this time, was in the cutting of my job (earlier) and the field trip came via the grace of a friend at church with a 3 year old and an Annual Pass to the aquarium. Thanks for taking the time to stop in! YOUR work is still inspirational to me, as I sit here drinking another Mt. Dew. don’t forget a good field trip of your own sometime to rest and replenish.
Sounds like a great day! When Youngest was still stroller age, we visited the Long Beach Aquarium. That was a lovely day, although they are not as “kid-friendly” as your aquarium. Monterey Bay up near San Francisco is a great aquarium for kids as well — they have a sand and water pool where the kids can learn about the tides (and get thoroughly wet, which I suspect is a lot of the appeal).
Do you have a local kids’ science museum? Those are well worth the trip when they get a little older — usually the 5-10 age range.
This is so accurate. You plan. You imagine the sparkle in their eyes and amazement as they see new things…. and they head for the toys or run around testing the acoustics.
My children really do love fish right now though, so aquariums are the one thing that holds their attention. Sadly, the closest we get here is the pet store.
The zoo’s we’ve done, my son has been more of a fan of the carousel, the sky glider, and the train instead of seeing the animals. My daughter will actually check them out though.
It is nice to see that even with budget cuts there are still some good field trips in our schools.
The one-on-one rule was our original idea, but it fell thru. But if you have to use a restroom, the extra adult comes in handy to watch the kids.
That’s your rule. Well, then I need to get a few more adults to go with me.
It was a good day Derek. If the sun would have been out it would have been perfect. Can you imagine wearing those clothes in the middle of January? Crazy weather this year! If the NE Aquarium is anything like ours they change it up a little every year wit h new exhibits to so it should be worth the trip. My new rule of thumb….one adult per every child! So you can have the time to enjoy the displays instead of herding the kids.
Right! I still love a field trip. I’m trying to think of another to go on soon. The aquarium, while smallish is fun and its always interesting (to me at least) to see the different things you don’t see every day. ~although trying to take pictures through the glass doesn’t work out so well. Have a good one!
I did enjoy the aquarium. I just feel like I missed half of it from herding the kids ( I did have some help)
It was feeding the rays, even if I had to do it all by myself. . It like they couldn’t really see it. You had to put the shrimp beneath them. If they came up close to the surface of the water you might get a wave of water flapped at you from their fins. It was fun and interesting. Next, I think you should come with us…so you can be the one that gets wet. 😉
Looks like a great day. We have been to the New England Aquarium in Boston a few times. It is always worth the time and money to go. You have inspired me to go this year. We skipped last year for whatever reason.
I still love the aquarium!!! who says you have to be a kid to love a field trip right?!?!
Sounds like you had a great day at the beach (just messin’ with ya). 🙂
Hah! Too funny – it’s kind of like the kid on christmas preferring to play with the cardboard box the gift came in than with the actual toy (reminded me a bif of the MasterCard commercial 😉 )
On a side note: I really would have gotten a kick out of feeding the sting ray!