Best Zoo And Aquarium

Carole Stephens
• Monday, 21 December, 2020
• 7 min read

California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium offers a stunning array of aquatic life. The nonprofit, seated at the edge of the Pacific Ocean, features a three-story tall kelp forest, a one-million gallon Open Sea exhibit, otter habitats, and a lot of touch pools.

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The aquarium’s Ocean Voyager webcam, which shows off the inhabitants of the aquarium’s 6.3 million gallon tank, features four whale sharks, four manta rays and a green sea turtle (Psst there’s a new manta ray expected to be born this month). The world-renowned Aquarium of the Pacific, based in Long Beach, California, offers seven different live streams to enjoy.

The New York Aquarium has two live cams : one of which features their shark tank, a darkly-lit tank that has assorted fish as well as the ocean’s most dangerous predator, and their “spineless” cam, which features the invertebrates of the ocean like the humble and brilliant octopus, the Japanese Spider Crab, and Lagoon Jellies. In addition, the aquarium’s YouTube channel offers an abundance of footage of everything from the various aquarium Octopus as well as sea otter training, and some adorable videos of their rescued sea otter pup named Rialto.

(The pandas, Bad Run and Ciao Lieu, were recently repatriated to their homeland of China, but archival footage exists on the site.) They have a sea lion pool (where they do daily feedings at 11 a.m. EDT and 3 p.m. EDT), the aquatic bird house, where ducks and penguins frolic, and a ‘Madagascar’ camera that shows the animals native to the remote island.

But the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary doesn’t just feature everyone’s favorite marsupial: they also have live streams of bearded dragons, birds, dingoes, and the pantie, the fourth largest monitor lizard in the world. The giant pandas, who don’t hibernate, are able to be seen year-long at any time of day, but in the warmer months, viewers can expect them to be in their climate-controlled, room-like habitats, because they prefer cooler weather.

In a normal year, entrance to the zoo is completely free, and luckily, the live cams are the same. Kids can watch lions, elephants, a recently impregnated panda, and, oddly enough, a naked mole rat cam all day long.

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While the Smithsonian Zoo is closed for the time being, zookeepers are still working on-site, but the animals won’t always be visible on the webcam. Every single day, the Zoo will go on Facebook live at 3 p.m. EST to feature a different animal.

The first livestream featured everyone’s favorite hippo, Fiona, but you can tune in daily to check out a different animal. If you know of or have resources or tips that others could find useful, feel free to send them our way using the contact form on the Share with Us Page.

Looking for something fun and educational to do at your next destination, but tired of museums and national parks ? These animal-based attractions can offer some seriously awesome learning opportunities, as well as a chance to make some excellent memories.

Lucky for you, we’ve done all the legwork and compiled a list of the best of the best in terms of zoos and aquariums. In fact, we fully believe that each and every attraction on this list is worthy of being a trip destination in and of itself.

If you can manage to visit the ones listed here though, you’ll be doing pretty good, and you can definitely rest easy knowing you’ve seen the best of what the US has to offer when it comes to land animal exhibits. Many of the zoo’s animals are housed in indoor exhibits, making it easier to simulate the environment such an animal might live in, and making the zoo an enjoyable place to visit even when the weather isn’t just perfect.

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Most people are well aware that the San Diego Zoo is often touted as the best in the country, and we can’t say we disagree. The landscaping at this park is gorgeous, and the interesting and diverse collection of animals is absolutely fantastic.

We loved that we got to see a capybara (the world’s largest rodent) in person, and the world-famous hippo Fiona was fun to check out as well! This zoo offers a safari train and a carousel that are fun for the kids, but we found that the 4D theater was both more unique and more entertaining.

This is fantastic for budget travelers, but it might leave you wondering if the zoo cuts corners. Once again, we were especially enthused about the penguin exhibit, and we loved watching the polar bear swim and splash around.

Now that we’ve discussed the awesome zoos out there, let’s turn our attention to the many wonderful aquariums. The “Ocean Voyager” exhibit is incredible and features gorgeous sharks and manta rays that you can’t help but stop and stare at.

The beluga whales are fascinating to see, and the penguins and dolphins are equally fun to watch. The 4D movie is entertaining and unique, and the touch tanks are popular with younger visitors.

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The jellyfish exhibits are absolutely breathtaking, and we could simply stand there and watch them swim and glow for hours. We especially love that this aquarium is so focused on environmental conservation, a mission that was very tied into their exhibits and presentations.

Located in Chattanooga, TN, the Tennessee Aquarium is pretty fantastic. Additionally, the aquarium features a butterfly garden, a forest section, and a rainforest exhibit, all with land animals.

For this reason, we always check Groupon before paying full price for any outing. City Pass offers guests admission to a number of area attractions at a discounted price.

This program gives travelers free or discounted admission at dozens of zoos and aquariums. As a road schooling or homeschooling parent, you’re likely always looking for ways to make your field trips more educational.

One of the best ways to do this is by attending the shows, feedings, and other presentations offered by zoos and aquariums. Another way to make the most of your visit is by expanding on the things that catch your child’s attention.

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Or, maybe you want to create your own virtual tour and share with friends or family. If you have never visited the National Aquarium in Baltimore, here is your chance.

Questions for Reflection: Which virtual tour interested you the most? Activity Suggestion: Create a museum type exhibit with items in your own home.

What information would you share about your own animal if you were making a video? A Tribute to Sled Dogs, the second is Best in Show, and the third is permanent collection of the museum.

On this tour you’ll find dinosaur and mammoth skeletons, live spiders and beetles, and many, many animal fossils. Once you get the hang of how to navigate, you’ll have a grand time discovering all the secrets in this museum.

After you take the virtual tour, check out the online exhibits to learn more about all the things you just viewed and visit the at-home science activities to have more fun! To really understand science today, it helps to learn who built the foundations of different scientific principles and the tools that were created to further advance our understanding of science.

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Activity Suggestion: Try drawing a picture of your favorite marine animal! They have a large variety of land and marine animals from small invertebrates to cute gibbons to huge hippos.

Record your findings in a journal or on a piece of paper. We’d love to hear from you with your fun ideas and creations by posting on social media with #ScienceatHome.

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