My husband and I promised our oldest son, Brayden, he would have a fun Thanksgiving break. Since we didn't travel to see any family, I made sure we did activities to keep busy for the five days he was off from school. So we played tourists. And it was quite entertaining I must say. To recap, Monday, we went to Surge, a new trampoline park in Fort Walton. My body still hurts. Tuesday, we went to see the Umbrella Sky Project in Pensacola. Which is pretty much the coolest thing ever. Wednesday, we took the kids to the beach at sunset. Later that night when the little ones went to bed, My husband Travis took Brayden to see the newest super hero movie, Justice League. Thursday was Thanksgiving, we stayed home, ate too much food, watched football and played games all day. Friday, we dug out all of our Christmas decorations (I cannot put up my Christmas decorations until Thanksgiving is over) played Christmas music, watched Elf, and put up ornaments all night. We were in sweats and I loved it. Saturday, Travis and I had a date night (hey we need to have some fun too right?!) We saw the sequel, 'Bad Moms Christmas' and it was hilarious. Husbands, if you want extra brownie points - you need to take your wife to see it. And finally today, Sunday, I took my two older boys along with Brayden's friend to check out Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park.
I had mixed thoughts about taking my kids to pay to get into an aquarium with mammal shows. I live along the beautiful Emerald Coast where when I get in the ocean, I have seen turtles, dolphins, sharks, sting rays, birds, and schools of fish daily. But to see these wild animals and mammals captive being glass, really triggers a place in me where I do not want to support it. Brayden has been asking to go there for a year and a half now being Florida locals, and today I caved. Our babysitter also just happens to be a dolphin trainer, so we got an inside to what it's really like.
Gulfarium is one of the oldest, still thriving marine animal parks in the world, opening its doors in 1955. In 2015, reaching it's 60th anniversary, it celebrates many milestones:
- the first marine park to perform underwater shows on scuba gear
- the first marine park to record a dolphin jumping to a height of 21 feet
- the first to successfully raise a stranded baby bottlenose dolphin
- the first to develop a synthetic milk formula for bottlenose dolphins that is still used today.
Gulfarium is a marine animal park as well as a rehabilitation and conservation center. Since, they have been active in rehabilitation and rescue for many years, they developed C.A.R.E. Center in 2015 as a non-profit, to help, rescue, recover, treat, care for and release. If they are not able to release, that animal or mammal calls Gulfarium it's new home.
This definitely gave me a whole new outlook on this park. To know, animals and mammals are here because they are deemed non releasable, makes it easier to understand why they are here, rather than being entertainment. As cool it was to see the a dolphin flip through the air, I enjoyed talking to Brayden about the conservation and the importance of rescuing a creature in need. We had a great day exploring everything the adventure park had to offer. From exotic birds, sea otters, turtles, alligators, fish, sharks, dolphins, tortoises, sting rays and penguins. Our babysitter had Brayden become her assistant today. So Brayden got to get very up close and personal with a dolphin. It was adorable. My toddler, Braxten on the other hand was screaming because he couldn't go. Hey, you can't win them all right?! It was definitely a fun day and glad I myself, leaned more about the care and rescue at the park. Yes I will be back with all of my children! I loved it! I'm hooked! No pun intended. 🙂
They are open daily until 4:30pm.
Umbrella Sky Project http://www.pps.org
Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park http://www.gulfarium.com
Have you been to Gulfarium or anything like this? What are your thoughts on it?
Happy Sunday friends.