Courtesy of The Florida Aquarium
Courtesy of The Florida Aquarium
AAA Editor Notes
The Florida Aquarium, 701 Channelside Dr. on the downtown waterfront, is a 20,000-square-foot aquarium with themed areas featuring more than 30,000 aquatic creatures.

Hike through the aquarium’s Wetlands Trail and view alligators, otters and several species of free flying birds. See a Burmese python and learn why this highly invasive species poses such a threat to Florida’s native wildlife. The Wetlands Trail is designed to simulate Florida’s outdoor wetlands environment in an indoor setting.

Moon Bay allows visitors to get up close to moon jellies (jellyfish). Visit a species that's been around for more than 500 million years as they drift gracefully through the water, bodies illuminated by the changing colored lights built into their 2,000-gallon habitat.

View colorful live coral from the Indian Ocean along with several species of fish at the Journey to Madagascar. Also see chameleons, frogs, geckos and ring-tailed lemurs at this tree-house themed exhibit.

Waves of Wonder features a variety of aquatic species such as clownfish, moon jellies and a giant Pacific octopus. The 100,000-gallon Heart of the Sea exhibit offers guests a unique look into the aquarium’s conservation efforts to protect and restore our blue planet and features several diverse species including bonnethead sharks, a nurse Shark, a loggerhead sea turtle, a green sea turtle and southern stingrays.

The rainforest themed Splash Pad offers both wet and dry play areas for younger guests to explore. Climb, slide and navigate through this outdoor play area and get drenched by dump buckets, showers and waterworks at the splash zone.

The 4-D Theater experience combines a 15-minute, 3-D film with various sensory effects built into the seats and the theater itself. Added effects include bubbles, FX lighting, mist, snow, wind, various scents and vibrating seats.

Guided tours are available. Food is available.

Admission
General admisssion ticket prices vary and may be purchased online, or phone (813) 273-4201 to confirm cost. Dive with the Sharks $160 (ages 15+ must be SCUBA certified); Shark Swim $110 (ages 9+); Heart of the Sea Swim $85 (ages 6+); Backstage Penguin Encounter $30; Wild dolphin Cruise $17, $16 (ages 60+), $15 (ages 3-11); Behind the Scenes Tour $12; Close up Critter Encounter $12. Reservations are required for Dive with the Sharks, Shark Swim and Swim with the Fishes.
Parking
$6; $10 (RVs and trailers).
Hours
Daily 9:30-5. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.
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