Monday, February 07, 2011

The Baltimore Aquarium

Yesterday, we hit the National Aquarium in Baltimore. We did the Aquarium in 17-month-old-time, which means that we managed to get in and out in less than 2hrs. This gave us enough time for a quick lunch before our little one completely zonked out and we retreated back to DC.

I've always heard people rave about the Baltimore Aquarium, and for the most part, it seems much deserved. The collection of habitats and displays were impressive. There was definitely plenty for both kids and adults to love. True, our 17 month was at times more enamored by the touch screens than sharks swimming behind them, but, what can you do? He's a man with a fine appreciation for embedded computer systems, how can I blame him for that? He also loved the tubes filled with water that gurgled with bubbles at the start of the museum. I'll ignore the fact that I payed a small fortune for him to be entertained by an effect I can simulate a bath tub.

Two parts of the museum left me unimpressed. (1) The snack bars opened at 11am, but didn't actually have any food prepared. Like many families, we had a child ready to eat. I can't imagine this Sunday was any different from any past Sunday - so of course kids want to eat at 11am, and of course, it's inconvenient if you aren't ready.

(2) I wasn't blown away by the hands on area for little kids. They had what seemed to only be a token few things for children to play with and handle. For such a family oriented activity, I'd expect them to have more of this to offer.

Even with these observations, the Aquarium is still very much a must see. Especially for older kids, I could see this being a really thrilling place.

Some photos...

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