A couple of weeks ago we took the boys to the Baltimore Aquarium (aka the National Aquarium, but because I remember when the National Aquarium used to be in Washington D.C., I can’t call it by its new title). I’ve been dreaming of this day ever since Mr. Boots brought home new fish for his fish tank when G was about four months old. G loved watching those little fish and I knew he’d love the aquarium.
We finally found some time to go, and bonus! It was a weekday so it would be a little less crowded.
My recollection of the Baltimore Aquarium was a little fuzzy from the last time I was there. I was in 9th grade, on a field trip for Biology. I remembered walking over a large open area of water with a bunch of sting rays swimming around it. I remembered the dolphin show. I remembered the naval submarine in the harbor and getting to walk around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor with my friends, sans chaparones. I remembered feeling pretty bad ass.
(What’s also fun to note is that Mr. Boots was on that same field trip. We didn’t know each other then, but it’s crazy to think we probably saw each other and had no idea who the other person was or that we’d end up together.)
Mr. Boots decided we’d go after G had his soccer class. We left at about 11am, after I packed the diaper bag and made sure the stroller was packed in the back of the truck. It wan’t until we were on the road that Mr. Boots decided to tell me that strollers were not allowed in the aquarium. This did not make me happy as I would have packed much, much differently and brought the Ergo instead of the stroller had I been apprised of this before we left. I spent the remainder of our car ride mentally taking note of what to keep in the diaper bag and what could stay in the truck.
No stroller and no Ergo meant L had to be carried. Since he relies on whoever is carrying him to support him (G feels 10lbs lighter than L does when you carry him), Mr. Boots was a better fit for that job. I had to carry the diaper bag (and my camera because I didn’t want iPhone pictures of the whole trip). G wasn’t thrilled he had to walk everywhere as he is usually riding on Mr Boots’ shoulders when we go out.
G was in absolute awe of the open area of water. They have more than just sting rays swimming around down there now. They have a few sharks, colorful saltwater fish, and a coral reef. You can get an up close view of the reef on the lower level of the aquarium. SO much more facinating than the sting rays swimming around an empty open area tank.
There were moving pathways that took you up to each level. They were pretty narrow, hence the no stroller rule. As you ride them, you can look down at the animals swimming in the water below. Every time we reached a new level, G would say he wanted to go “higher! Higher!” He didn’t seem to be very into looking at all the different fish, he just wanted to get up to the next level.
L loved watching the fish swim around. A lot of the bigger tanks had a little ledge for kids to stand on so they could see better.
Poor L really wanted to get down and run around, but it really wasn’t safe for him to do so with it being dark and crowded in a lot of areas. We did have to stop when we found some quieter, well lit areas so L could stretch his legs.
We saw the dolphins but G didn’t want to stay for a show, so we didn’t spend much time watching them. This was probably just as well since L wanted to run off every time we tried putting him down in the large viewing area of the dolphin tank.
My favorite part was the Jellyfish exhibit. I don’t think it’s a permanent exhibit, but I also don’t know how long it’s in Baltimore for. It was awesome to see how many different types of jelly fish there are in the world. I wanted to stay longer, but this is one of the last exhibits in the aquarium and both boys were nearing the end of their rope (and it was nearly dinner time).
Since the boys weren’t completely worn out, we spent a short time at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to look at the boats. The Inner Harbor had an old ship in port that I wanted to look at.
I also insisted on Mr. Boots taking a picture of me and the boys. I needed to get my #MomSayCheese in the trip somehow!
They weren’t really into it.
We left about 4:30pm and both boys slept for about thirty minutes while Mr. Boots tried figuring out how to get out of Baltimore when we found out our exit to the interstate was completely closed off. We got to see a lot of the inner city and I was amazed at the amount of homes that were abandoned/falling apart/unfit to live in. I thought D.C. had some bad parts. A few homes are being renovated, so I hope that continues.
So. Other than L wanting to get down and run off and G wanting to be carried, our trip to the Baltimore Aquarium went well! I’m hoping we can go back again in the next year or two. Next time I’d like to dedicate an entire day for the trip because there was a lot to see and do at the Inner Harbor as well.
Do you enjoy aquariums? What’s your favorite thing to see when you visit one?