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Miami Seaquarium, Miami Dade County
Miami, Florida

Miami Seaquarium - Killer Whales show

What do you do with a 5 year boy who you only spend a day with once a year? You take him to the Miami Seaquarium, in Miami Dade County, of coarse. The Seaquarium is a great way to spend a day with someone special like Dane, my Godson. Our time was filled with visits to the Bottlenose Dolphins during the Flipper and Top Deck Show, educational Manatee exhibit, Shark Channel, Main Reef Aquarium, Sea Lions clown show, and the Orca Killer Whales show.

After paying we started our journey through the different presentations. The first show was the Top Deck Dolphin Show featuring the natural athletic ability of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin. This was a little overwhelming for Dane; the music was loud and the action in the water was extremely high paced. It was hard for Dane to comprehend the overabundance of noise and action. As part of the audience you are close to the action in this show, which I found really exciting, but for a

Miami Seaquarium, Miami Dade County - Sea lion show

small boy it was not much fun. I think if we had a chance to warm up to the facility and the action it would have been better for Dane. If you take a small child be sure to arrive earlier than we did, about 10 am.

After each main show there is a 1/2 hour break before the next show begins. During the break we had a chance to go to the ongoing exhibits, the Manatee, Shark Channel, and Reef Aquarium exhibits.

At the Manatee exhibit we had a chance to come face-to-face with Florida’s state marine mammal. We were able to view manatees through poolside and underwater viewing areas. The manatees featured are part of the rescue and rehabilitation program at Miami Seaquarium. The Manatee

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Miami Seaquarium, Miami Dade County - Killer Whale
Miami Seaquarium - Jumping Dolphins
Miami Seaquarium, Miami Dade County - Tarpon
Miami Seaquarium, Miami Dade County - Manatee
Miami Seaquarium - Dolphins
Miami Seaquarium - Jumping  Killer Whales

Presentation provides an opportunity to learn about this fascinating and highly endangered animal and, more importantly, explains ways that we can help save these gentle creatures of the sea. Please visit the Internet if you are interested in helping these beautiful creatures.

When Miami Seaquarium first opened in 1955 one of the main attractions was the Shark Channel exhibit. The day we visited the shark presentation animal care specialists fed 200-pound nurse sharks while explaining the different species of shark that exist around the world.

My favorite exhibit was the Main Reef Aquarium, with its 750,000-gallon main tank teeming with reef fishes of every size, color and description. During the reef presentation a diver slowly works his way around the tank allowing visitors to watch as he hand feeds the colorful tropical fish, large groupers, cobia, loggerhead turtles and moray eels. This presentation is accompanied by an environmental narration. In addition to the Main Reef Aquarium, there are 26 “jewel” tanks that surround the Top Deck Dolphin Stadium, which display a wide variety of marine fishes, corals, anemones and other marine-life. If you are not a snorkeler this will give you a glimpse of what you are missing. I look forward to the day that Dane is old enough to snorkel with me. I hope he enjoys it.

Before lunch we had time to head to another show, the Flipper Dolphin Show, which takes place at the Flipper Lagoon, film location for much of the popular 1960’s television show of the same name. The Flipper dolphins demonstrate the grace and intelligence of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Dane was much more comfortable at this show. There more space between the stand and the water, and the music wasn’t as loud. Unfortunately Dane was still experiencing some anxiety from the first show and, subsequently, did not like this show either. We had to leave the show early and stroll around the park before lunch.

Next, we headed to the cafeteria for lunch. You might want to pack a lunch and bring it, because the menu is very limited with only hot dogs, hamburgers, and fries. They do have apple juice, though, which made Dane very happy.

After lunch we headed to the Sea Lion Show. Dane seemed to like this show the best, probably because of the friendly presentation of the sea lion. The announcer showed the different talents and behaviors of the sea lion while incorporating it into a skit. There was no music during this presentation. It was very funny and it made everyone laugh, especially the children. This stadium is small and seating was very limited. Many individuals had to sit on the stairs, including us. Once again, my advice is to get there early for a good seat.

The final show of the day for us was the killer whales program featuring Lolita and her Pacific white-sided dolphin companions. The line started early because this show was only given once a day. The arena was big, so even though we did not get their early, we were able to get a seat. The first 8 rows from the bottom of the seating is the splash zone, where spectators will get wet when Lolita jumps up out of and plummets back into the water. Some children really love to get wet and others don’t like it at all. I didn’t chance it with Dane. You should consider what your child would prefer. Luckily, we had good viewing seats and were excited to see this show. The music is high paced, starting off with Michael Jackson’s dance song while the dolphins and Lolita, the killer whales, start jumping in and out of the water, getting the crowd really excited. It was amazing how big and powerful Lolita was, especially in her diving acrobatics. I was able to take some great photos with her and the trainers. Hopefully the photos will tell the story better than I do!

By early afternoon Dane was totally exhausted and wanted to leave. Even I was tired. In the end, we both agreed we had a great day at the Miami Seaquarium, the killer whales, dolphins, and would recommend it to anyone who is coming to South Florida and Miami. Dane’s parents tell me he is still talking about

Miami Seaquarium, Miami Dade County

his day at the Miami Seaquarium with his Godfather. Hopefully you can have special day with a special child in your life sometime soon. Enjoy.

The Miami Seaquarium is quite easy to get to within the state of Florida. The facility is located at the end of Interstate 95, on Virginia Key, one of the islands heading toward Key Biscayne. The hours of operation are 9:30am to 6pm, 7 days a week. The cost is $23.95 for adults and $18.95 for a child age 3 to 9 years old. The telephone number is 305-361-5705. A nice hint – visit the Miami Seaquarium website to get a $2 off coupon, which will help if you have a large family or group.


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