Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dauphin Island Estuarium

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab Estuarium is a neat place to visit if you are on the island.  I had seen a review saying it wasn't worth the money, so my expectations were low.  We were pleasantly surprised!  (With our AAA discount, we paid $28 for our family.  I also heard there were discount coupons at the Visitor's Center.)  Do not get me wrong, this is not Ripley's Aquarium- the tanks are smaller and overall it's not that large.  You can rush through this museum in 30 minutes, or you can take the time to look at things, talk to the knowledgeable volunteers and learn about the area.   For a museum this size, I felt there were a great deal of hands-on things for kids. 

I love the hands-on activities for the kids.  Michael did not want to leave this boat!

The day we were there, this great volunteer stood and talked with us about 30 minutes, all about the area and wildlife.  He had all kinds of preserved samples (kinda reminded me of biology class) for the kids to touch and hold.

You could measure yourself against some of the local wildlife.

There was an outside stingray tank with various feeding times you could witness.   The volunteer even said, "Just walk around, and we'll come and get you before he starts feeding." 

If you visit the Dauphin Island Sea Lab website, there are some great teacher resources available for the various grade levels.  I printed these off for the kids.  Tera and Daniel weren't that excited and really didn't finish there sheets.  Michael had a longer attention span for his than I thought and loved circling the things he saw on his sheet.  

Outside is the Living Marsh Boardwalk....This is a cool place you can walk around either before or after walking around the museum or both.  They had a row of rubbings that kids could use paper and crayons to come away with pictorial representations of wildlife and plants.  Daniel really liked this part.  He even tried some of his own sketches of things he saw.  

In our opinion, this is a great way to spend some time learning about Dauphin Island.  It was a great fieldtrip!


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