As a mom of three young kids, I’m always looking for new
ways to entertain them, especially during the long summer months. So, we
decided to take a trip down to Austin for the day to visit the Austin
Aquarium. Because we have Pogo
Passes for each member of the family, we were able to take advantage of everything
this attraction had to offer for free.
The aquarium is conveniently located right off US Highway 183, so finding our way there and back was a breeze. The location looks small from the outside, but once you step inside the aquarium’s front entrance, you realize it is much bigger than you thought.
For just a few extra dollars, you can purchase coins at the front desk that can be used for buying food to feed the menagerie of animals inside the aquarium, get your child’s face painted, or have a balloon animal created just for you. If you don’t use all your coins at the end of your visit, you can trade them in for cash towards purchases at the gift shop. And who can leave a children’s attraction without visiting the gift shop?
When you think of an aquarium, you think of large tanks of fish that you can see, but never touch. But at the Austin Aquarium, this is not the rule. Guests are encouraged to feed fish, lizards, chickens, baby ducklings, turtles, lemurs and many more. And there’s even a tank of friendly stingrays who are looking for patrons to pet them. This was one of the highlights of our trip. The stingrays were just so sweet and the way their mouths turn upward, they look as if they’re smiling.
The Austin Aquarium also employs mermaids and fairy tale characters to pose with children as they walk through the maze of tanks and habitats. My daughters (even the preteen one), loved posing with the characters, who also handed out stickers. The aquarium also included exotic birds, giant pythons, and even baby kangaroos.
Not only did we get the chance to interact with the aquarium’s animals, but we also had the chance to take advantage of the numerous photo opportunities around the aquarium. It was definitely a local attraction we’ll be visiting again.
What attractions have you visited this year? What would you recommend to other parents?
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.