We love Underwater Adventuresat the Mall of America. It’s pretty neat walking through a tunnel of glass with fish and sharks swimming over your head. I’ve taken my kids there a couple of times and they LOVE it. This week a new jellyfish exhibit was added to the experience. The folks at the MOA invited me and my kiddos for a private tour so I could share it with all of you. I jumped at the chance to check it out, taking a few hours off of work and pulling the kids out of daycare for the morning.
Alex and Avery have never seen jellyfish before, but, ahem, they really like the ones on Spongebob… and from the moment I told them we were going to go see the jellyfish they were SUPER excited!
Meet John, he’s the person who took us on a tour. He knew a lot about jellyfish! He gave us a “behind-the-scenes” tour of the jellyfish lab.
This is where they have holding tanks for different types of jellyfish, grow their food (brine shrimp), and care for little baby jellyfish.
They had just received a new shipment of jellyfish. They come packed in Styrofoam in boxes. Here John took a bag out of the box that hadn’t been opened yet and showed the kids a jellyfish swimming around.
We learned all about different types of jellyfish. The kids were excited! Did you know:
– Jellyfish are 95% water
– They have no heart, blood, brain or gills
– Of the 200 species of jellyfish, 70 are harmful to humans
– They never stop growing
These Lagoon Jellyfish were our favorites. They were only a couple of inches long, but they were very pretty with spots and colored tentacles. And a few of them were upside down, spinning around on the bottom of the tank. We thought that was really funny.
After the lab, we checked out the exhibit. And this is where my pictures got really, really bad.
Because I haven’t figured out all the settings on my fancy new camera yet. Gotta get on that! But here’s what you should know… it’s cool. Really cool! It was kind of like walking into a sci-fi movie. There are mirrors on the walls, it’s dark, and the tanks are tall cylinders with different colored lights shining in them that show off the jellyfish really well. You can kind of get what I’m talking about from my picture, right? 🙂
Since we were the only ones in the room at the time, I let the kids walk (okay, run) around the tanks… and… um, let’s just say the mirrors and darkness are a bit confusing to toddlers. At least there were no tears when Avery smacked right into a mirror.
After the jellyfish exhibit, we thanked and said goodbye to John and went back to the beginning of the Underwater Adventure.
I think that is called a saw shark. It was huge, and laying right on the top of the tunnel, giving us a great look at him. (yes, I was laying on my back on the floor to get this shot. And yes, it was totally worth it.)
Of course we couldn’t leave without petting the star fish…
… or playing on the indoor playground. Like all of our visits to Underwater Adventures, we had a great time. There’s also a (somewhat) new seahorse room, too. The jellyfish exhibit is pretty awesome and definitely adds to the experience. And you know that behind-the-scenes tour we had? They offer those for an additional fee when you buy your tickets, just ask. We loved it.
You can follow Underwater Adventures on Facebook
, or check out their web site
for hours and prices. Thanks to John and the rest of the team at Underwater Adventures for making us feel so welcome. We really enjoyed our time with you. And the jellyfish.
p.s. Alex insisted on eating jellyfish (aka strawberry jelly) sandwiches for dinner, because, according to Spongebob, jellyfish make jelly. How could I argue with that logic?
Disclosure: we received free admission to the exhibit as guests of the mall.