If you are visiting Maryland in USA, don’t miss out on a visit to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Touted to be one of the best aquariums in the world till date, the Baltimore Aquarium officially opened in 1981 and is located close to other landmark attractions in Maryland like the Ravens Stadium, the Baltimore Convention Center and Camden Yards.
With over 660 different species of animals including birds, mammals, reptiles and of course sea creatures, the aquarium boasts of housing over 16000 animals within its walls with the number increasing every day. A hit with families and other travelers alike, the aquarium is almost always crowded the year around.
Reaching There: The aquarium is located in downtown Maryland, in the Inner Harbor area and is easily accessible via cars, flights, trains or even by foot. Situated right close to other tourist attractions, the aquarium sits in a prime location alongside the ESPNZone, the World Trade Center, and the Harbor Place.
Visiting Hours: Open the year around, the aquarium operates for about an hour and a half after the ticket booth closes. Self guided tours are permitted in addition to guided tours that can be arranged upon request. The closing times change at times and it is better to check the closing time upon arrival.
About the Aquarium and is inhabitants: The Baltimore Aquarium strives to maintain a perfect balance for the animals to live in and hence, care has been taken to recreate the natural habitats of these animals down to the last detail.
Designed with a mission to protect the ecosystem and educate people about the importance of the aquatic world, the aquarium organizes various interactive shows and educational programs that enable visitors to gain a thorough knowledge about these creatures.
Almost every animal can be found here and it is possible to easily spot among others, sea turtles, monkeys, puffins, stingrays, bull frogs, iguanas and phytoplankton. The aquarium also houses several star studded attractions that draw millions of visitors each year.
The first level of the aquarium showcases the gradual movement of water from its origin, from freshwater ponds to the mountains, from where it flows into the tidal marsh and then courses into the beaches and finally blends in with the sea. The aquarium also houses life sized models of various sea creatures like the humpback whales and turtles which kids love to explore and know about.
The aquarium’s largest exhibit is the zone called Australia: Wild Extremes that has been entirely devoted to the animal and plant life found in Northern Australia. With dense artificial forests and teeming wildlife, the experience is sure to keep you on your toes.
The zone comprises of a 35 foot artificial waterfall in the center and houses several animals like the flying foxes, amphibians like frogs and toads in different stages of their lifecycle, different species of birds, and reptiles like colorful lizards, crocodiles, tortoises and tuataras.
One of the newly opened features of the aquarium is The New Dolphin Show called Our Ocean Planet. It’s an interactive program that explores the world of dolphins with a live program featuring stunts performed by Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins in front of thousands of spectators.
Another newly added feature to the aquarium which is fast gaining popularity is the Jellies Invasion: Oceans out of Balance Show which showcases an astounding range of colorful jelly fishes and their changing habits.
The program focuses on educating people about the changes in the aquatic ecosystem due to the voracious feeding and breeding habits of jelly fishes around the world.
Another must visit attraction in the park includes the 4-D Immersion Theater that presents daily shows on nature and wildlife in a closed room with special effects and sounds.
The Baltimore Aquarium also provides onsite rooms and convention centers for meeting, banquets and other celebrations. There are numerous gift shops that sell souvenirs in addition to several restaurants and cafes within the premises for guests to relax and eat to their heart’s content after an entire 90 minutes of wandering through the various zones.
Bring your kids to the Baltimore Aquarium today and enjoy an educational vacation that would stay in their memories for days to come!