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Pamphlet and Ticket
July 4th, 2008
We went the Virginia Aquarium on July 4th, 2008. Cost was 11.95 for adults. Occasionally you can find 1.00-2.00 off coupons in local papers or other advertised special flyers, coupon books etc. Kids under 2 were free and young kids 3-11 were 7.95 I believe. Prices for food were average price and gift shop items were what you'd expect; expensive. Parking was free. We took our grandbaby and she is only a year old but fascinated by the swimming fish and loved sticking her hand in the water where the stingrays were. The Aquarium is not the biggest place ever; it's not an all day thing. I think we were in and out in less than two hours, with most of that being outside on the "nature walk". The first building as you enter you'll see porpoises or seals in a tank outside (that was almost too dark to see them). Inside, you will see a variety of fish, sharks, snakes, turtles and frogs. There are some plastic/plaster models to look at and some people on hand to show kids skeletons, plants or other things. Some interactive things to read or kids to do. In the main building there was a kids room with toys and some alligators, beavers and birds. There was an area where most people seemed to gravitate, and that was the stingray tank. You were allowed to touch them. That was the biggest crowd pleaser. Mostly, it's a quick look. There are two gift shops, one in each building. The second building had a few small turtles or fish/frogs but not much there. There was an overlook to see otters, but they were sleeping. There was the second gift shop. The nature walk is between the two buildings. Basically there are a few "offshoot roads" to walk down and they have "stations". For example, one had wigwams and a man dressed as a Native American Indian who'll talk about life in VA back in 1600's. Another station had a little place like an archeological dig for kids to sift sand and look for artifacts. Another area stopped at the water, where kids can find out about what inhabits the water. Mostly, it's just a little walk in the woods. There was a small place to get drinks and snacks (not a full meal) in the first building and right outside the second building was a place to get drinks and snacks (limited; like a pretzel or chips). There were restrooms in each building and water fountains outside the restrooms (I always thought that was a bad place for them). Outside the second building is another little nature walk (small) but it's got a bird sanctuary where you can see a turkey, ducks and some larger/smaller birds.
You can purchase an Imax ticket (and if you do both the Aquarium and the Imax, you get a discount); they show different movies at different times. We did not do this and I do not know the details, so click their site for info, times and movies.
I wasn't too impressed, but it was ok for kids. Had I of not had the grandbaby we'd probably have read the plaques etc but this time we didn't. I saw a few expansion signs. I'd love to see the seals better, maybe a dolphin and more of the otters and other mammals (like the beavers). We'd love to see more things like starfish and more frogs.
Below are photos of the main things minus the stingrays and otters.
Left to right: 1) Shark 2) Pond/Birds 3) Overlook 4) Cool Pretty Fish 5) Blue Billed Duck
Left to right: 1) Beavers 2) Alligators 3) Wigwam 4) Whale model 5) Big Fish
Left to right: 1) The VA Aquarium Building 2) Turtle models 3) Shark Mouth sculpture with hubby and grandbaby inside 4) Turkey and 5) Giant Tortoise
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