Happy Birthday Mystic Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium is celebrating it's 40th birthday this weekend with a whole 2 day birthday extravaganza.  We're members of the aquarium and we haven't been in a while so I thought this would be a fun day for the younger two boys and myself while my husband and older son are at work.

We headed out early since I figured being a weekend, and a special event weekend at that, it would be extra crowded.  We arrived and found that since we were one of the first 40 members to arrive today we received a free bag of ocean animal shaped pasta!  Yum!

We  headed into the Aquarium with our list of today's activities.  The boys wanted to head right to the bounce house obstacle course.  They played on that for quite a while and then we watched them feed the sea lions since they were right next door.

Love that face! 
Watching the sea lion feeding

We got free cupcakes and the boys decorated them with sprinkles and mini chocolate chips.  When we approached the table the lady asked the boys to guess how many cupcakes they had lined up.  Evan guess 40, which Alec scoffed at since there were tons of cupcakes.  Then Alec asked how long the table was.  When he learned it was 14 feet I could see him thinking and counting/ estimating.  He finally told the lady he wasn't sure but he knew there were waaay more than 100.  She told us they had 1,500!  That's a lot of cupcakes!

1,500 cupcakes is a lot of cupcakes

they sure are yummy looking! 
We watched the sea lion show (with some cute birthday themed music and pictures).  We got to pet the rays, touch a ball python, learn more about the black and white Tegu, and watch them feed the beluga whales and sharks.  We walked through the entire aquarium, seeing all the animals.  We watched the giant octopus moving around in it's tank, looked up close at the underside of the starfish, and watched all the different types of jelly fish swimming around.  It didn't feel that crowded at all!!

petting the rays
sea lion show today was birthday themed

Learning about the importance of our oceans

petting a ball python
Shark feeding time-- we learned a lot about sharks
watching the jelly fish
The boys enjoyed watching the octopus and seeing his tentacles-
did you know they use their tentacles to "smell?" 
checking out the star fish-- see his mouth? 
pretending to be lobsters
shells and crabs up close
learning about snapping turtles-- up close
The boys were able to get up close with the beluga whales and even paint pictures for them on the glass.  This was so amazing.

The whales were very interested in all the drawings and kept swimming up to the glass.  The boys eagerly drew and wrote names on the glass using washable paints.

Playing with the beluga whales
Say "AAH!"
Love that it looks like Alec is petting him! 
Drawing pictures and stories for the whales
The whales kept checking it out!

The aquarium had so many new and unusual projects going on all day long and we, of course, enjoyed seeing all of our favorite animals like the penguins!

relaxing at the penguin habitat
We sat and watched the penguins for 20 min! 
They were pretending the penguins were
dive bombing them! 

We watched an amazing bubbleologist create giant bubbles, bubbles within bubbles, bubbles out of helium, square (cubed) bubbles and so much more.  He taught us a lot about bubbles and showed us many tricks to try at home.  He showed us how to encapsulate a bubble in a bottle, how to blow a bubble around a plastic toy, how to stack bubbles to make snowmen, spaceships and sculptures.   It was really neat.

Testing out the large bubble wand before the show started
Best buds (today anyway)

The show took pace right in front of the sea lion's underwater viewing area and the sea lions kept coming up to the window.  The younger sea lions were very interested in the show and even tried to pop the bubbles with their noses.  It was so neat!

The sea lions loved the bubbles

making a bubble snowman- complete with fog filling it up to look white!
If you don't have plans for tomorrow and you live somewhat nearby I'd highly recommend taking a trip to Mystic Aquarium.  The birthday fun continues tomorrow and everything was included for free with admission! 


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