National Aquarium in Baltimore

A couple of weeks ago, while I was in town for a conference, I had the opportunity to visit the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. Normally, tickets can be fairly expensive, ($35); but, if you go on a Friday night – after 5pm – the tickets drop down to $12, and are well worth that price. Plus, I just read that the Aquarium is offering Dollar Days this Friday and Saturday.

“In 2013, Dollar Days will be Saturday and Sunday, December 7th and 8th. Dollar Days are a National Aquarium tradition! For two days every December, admission to the Aquarium is just ONE DOLLAR!”

So, If you are in Baltimore that weekend, you MUST check out the Aquarium!NationalAquariumBubblesOnce inside, you’ll start your experience by having your photo taken and then being ushered into this bubble room – which was actually a pretty cool installation. From there, you proceed upward, visiting the exhibits in an ascending spiral pattern; until you reach the rainforest at the top. Yes, you read that correctly, there’s a rainforest immersion exhibit at the top of the aquarium – how cool is that?!

NAFrog

Overall, I was really impressed with the amount of exhibits offered – there were tons of fish (of course), but there were also penguins, amphibians, and that upper level rainforest was filled with tropical birds and Golden Lion Tamarins. Unfortunately, it was already fairly late by the time I made it to the rainforest, and many of the animals were out of sight.

NALionFishAlso, it’s harder than it looks to get a clear photo of a swimming fish using an iphone camera – but I did get a few keepers.

NASeaHorseIf you do choose to take advantage of the discounted ticket times – beware of the crowds. It was insanely busy when I went on a Friday night; but, the crowd was made of primarily family groups, so even though they moved slow, they were polite.

NACoralAt the bottom of the aquarium, after you’ve descended from the rainforest, you’ll end up in “Blacktip Reef.” This is one of the nicer exhibits, and features a floor to ceiling pop-out viewing area that makes you feel like you are almost in the tank with the sharks and other bright, tropical fish. It’s really stunning – plus, the Aquarium streams live video from this exhibit – check it out below.

National Aquarium Streaming Video

NAFish NAJellyfishArtPerhaps my favorite exhibit was the Jellyfish tanks. The aquarium easily has half a dozen or more tanks full of various jellyfish, and the viewing areas are larger than other exhibits; which means you don’t feel as crowded or as rushed.

NAAngelJellies

Truly, my favorite photos from my trip to the National Aquarium came from this exhibit. Just look at the colors!NABlueJellies

NAOrangeJelliesThese Pacific Sea Nettles are stunning. And were very active.  I’m really shocked at how well the photos turned out – I sort of want to frame some of these photos.NAOrangeJelly2 NAOrangeJelly3So, long story short, go visit the National Aquarium (especially if you’re in town this weekend) and take your camera with you!

Also, have you visited any aquariums, museums, exhibits, or exhibitions lately? Do you have any recommendations for must-see attractions in your area? I’d love to hear about them!

** I was not compensated in any way for this post, I just wanted to share my experience and the discounted price I found while searching online. The National Aquarium did not ask me to write this post, nor do they endorse any of my writings. All thoughts, opinions, and photos are my own.

 

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