EGWs6uuBZ3pp-zGuVVdmeLgkJG4 Across the Avenue: Plan a Memorable and Educational Outing at the SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium #fieldtrips #FloridaAttractions #IconPark

Plan a Memorable and Educational Outing at the SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium #fieldtrips #FloridaAttractions #IconPark

Whether you're planning a school field trip, youth group outing, or the coolest birthday party of the year, SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium will not disappoint! We had the pleasure of visiting the aquarium this week, complete with a behind-the-scenes tour, and can't say enough about what an awesome place it is. Located on Orlando's famous I-Drive, SEA LIFE Aquarium can be found inside the Icon Park complex which holds a handful of delicious eateries and the famous Madame Toussaud's Wax Museum as well.

Upon arriving, you'd never guess how large this immersive aquarium actually is or how wide the variety of sea life is that you're about to encounter. The layout is themed by oceans and regions, which we found to be helpful in taking in the educational facts paired with each exhibit. Whether it's presented on a large poster display, interactive monitor, or with a QR code, every new sea life window is accompanied by information that explains what type of sea creature you're looking at and fun facts about it. The design is colorful and fun, which really appeals to kids. The glass viewing areas make you feel like you can reach out and touch some of the animals as they swim by. We especially love the 360 degree viewing tunnel. Everyone standing near us let out an audible 'Woah' when the sharks and sting rays passed above our heads. Even our five-month-old had his mouth open in wonder.

Views from top to bottom!

We think you'll find that SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium is relaxing, educational and all around great fun to get out of the Florida heat and do something a little more unique to the area. You'll be just as impressed with the theming as we were moving through the exhibits. Jellyfish decor hanging from the ceiling, a wooden shipwreck design, and tunnels to walk through really set the vibe. Not to mention the unique creatures, many of which we had never seen before.

As parents and teachers know, environment can have a big effect on children's demeanor, so walking into dim lighting with soft music playing starts everyone off in a truly serene mood. This is perfect for managing large groups of students as well as kids with special sensory needs. We found it especially calming for our infant. We even took a peaceful break on a bench to feed him while we took in the amazing view of the zebra shark, Joy, and Ted the Loggerhead! He just turned twenty-two-years-old this week and is a sight to behold.

So Much to Learn
As a former education specialist, I was in awe of all of the learning experiences integrated into just about every inch of the aquarium in fun and interesting ways. (It's important to note that the activities are designed in a way that does not interfere with those who are just there to stroll through and enjoy the views.) To start, each child is provided with a Dive Log Book—a large trifold pamphlet—that requires stamping at each 'dive station'. Inside the log book you'll find fun facts that relate to each station, with nine stations in all. The interactive experiences really blew us away. One of our favorites was the shark area, which allowed us to select a shark on a large screen and watch it swim toward us as we learned new facts about it. The others were the QR codes we found throughout our walk, which we could scan on our phones to watch full-on videos about the sea creatures we were seeing in real-time. That's just the tip of the iceberg.

The Behind-the-Scenes Tour is a Must
For only ten dollars more, you can participate in a Behind-the-Scenes tour of the aquarium and we highly recommend it. We had a blast! Our tour guide Joe was a wealth of information and has a true passion for these special creatures. As we stepped through the doors to see where all the magic happens, we were surprised time and time again with what we learned. SEA LIFE Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, which is a very comprehensive accreditation. It feels good to know that they are abiding by such high standards of care. We learned about the amount of salt it takes to run this place,  the food fed to the animals, how they are cared for, and so much more. We even got to walk on a catwalk above the tanks to see the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean animals all at once. Our favorite part of the tour happened to be the grand finale—feeding the fish with fishing poles of dried seaweed! (Although, learning about sea creature enrichment activities was definitely a close second.) We don't want to give away all of the surprises, but they really pack it in for a 30 minute tour. 

It's not often you can plan an outing that will be loved by infants, kids and adults alike, but SEA LIFE Aquarium is just that. We almost felt as though we were under water with these amazing creatures!

Touch Station
SEA LIFE saves the best for last with a hands-on Touch Habitat experience at the end of the walk through. Sea urchins and starfish are the highlights here. Don't worry, they have a hand washing station for participants to wash their hands before and after they engage with the sea life.

Let's Talk About Field Trips!

SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium offers an amazingly affordable deal for schools to venture out on their next field trip. At $11 dollars per person for the aquarium entrance fee or $16 per person for a combined trip to the aquarium and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, it's an incredibly economical outing with excellent learning opportunities that tie in easily to grade level science and language arts standards.

Teachers, you can receive a pass valid for one full year of free admission to Madame Tussauds Orlando, SEA LIFE Orlando and LEGOLAND! Be sure to ask about it when you're booking your field trip.

As an added bonus, the aquarium offers free educational guides, complete with activities for students. Head over to the SEA LIFE Aquarium website to download these free resources.

Interested in arranging a field trip? SEA LIFE's booking coordinator makes it all so easy for you. Contact them at (407)270-8727 or  for more information. 
 As an expert with large group visits, they can help you with everything from group size and visit times to pricing and educational planning. 

Connect with SEA LIFE Aquarium

Disclosure: The tickets used for this visit were provided by SEA LIFE Aquarium. As always, our posts are our own opinions.