We kicked off our homeschooling year with a trip to Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT. The kids and I were all really excited about this trip -- I hadn't been in years, and I'm pretty sure the boys have never been (if J went, it was either in my belly or ON my belly, he certainly wasn't walking at the time). Zoo Boy has been asking to see an Octopus since I can remember, and J was just dying to see what sorts of tricks Sea Lions might know. The Sea Lion show answered that question for him, although both boys named a "kid cave" exhibit as their favorite part of the day.
The boys and a couple of pals who are also homeschooled check out one of the Beluga Whales up close and personal. The underwater viewing of so many of the animals is definitely a highlight of the aquarium!
Another underwater view, this time of a shark. This exhibit held their attention for quite some time -- can't say as I blame them, the sharks were just, well, spooky. Intimidating. Creepy. And entirely fascinating!
Zoo Boy got his hands wet in the touch-pool. He got to pick up a starfish, a crab, and an assortment of other small tide pool critters. The aquarium also has a touch-tank with Cow-nosed Stingrays, which J had good success in getting to come to his hand.
A feature this summer has been an exhibit called "Birds of the Outback" -- basically a walk-through aviary with about 500 parakeets, cockatiels, and rosealas flying around. Admission to the exhibit includes a stick with millet seeds on it. Needless to say, these birds are pretty well fed! And have figured out that sitting on the stick is the best way to hog all the seeds. The boys were thrilled to find "twins" to all four of our Budgies in there. I saw a lot of other really interesting varieties that made me wish we had room for more parakeets....
We stopped in at the gift shop on our way out, and the boys made a bee-line for the books. They made their selections, and I inadvertantly discovered that sticker books can keep them content and busy in the back seat for at least 2 hours at a time. A trick that I will be sure to file away for our trip to Ohio this coming November!
5-7 year mission preview, realized
6 years ago