Tuesday, March 8, 2016

South Florida Museum, Bishop Planetarium and Parker Manatee Aquarium, Bradenton Florida

We spent the morning at the South Florida Museum. This museum included the Parker Manatee Aquarium and also housed the Bishop Planetarium. With our ASTC Travellers passport we received FREE ($66 savings) admission! Regular admission would have been $19 for adults and $14 each for my girls. Kids under 3 are free. The Planetarium is extra...$4 each. All prices current as of March 2016.

This museum is a small little museum but it was the perfect size for my girls and had a couple fun components.
Learning about prehistoric animals
The museum was full of interesting facts about early local area inhabitants culture.
I love how Sierra is having a zen moment
in front of this portrait of hard working women.
A fun and educational game about tools
Learning about first tools made of shells

I finally learned the actual difference between alligators and crocodiles. Something I've often wondered about but had never actually tried to solve the mystery. Crocodiles have longer snouts and toothy grins where as alligators have shorter/stubbier snouts and their teeth are in their mouths. I'm sure there are other differences but this is the main characteristic difference that we learned here.

Aayla compared her snout to the crocodiles. Talking about the differences of her snout and theirs.

There was a fun little educational hands on room that the girls played in while we waited for the planetarium. Sierra enjoyed acting out how she thought each culture would act in their daily lives.

By far their favourite thing was exploring the ancient older technology.

"Mom is this a phone?"  
"How does the wire come off?" 
"Is this the first computer?"
"How does the internet work?"

Oh yeah they had fun with these... and boy do I feel old now! You should have seen their faces as I tried to explain what a "party line" was! 

Aayla and daddy loved the Planetarium.

After the planetarium we had a quick tour of the court yard and sample house. This area was a bit lacking and held their attention for maybe a minute. They were hoping to walk through the whole house so were disappointed with the little mock show rooms in the entrance.

Then we headed up to the Parker Manatee Aquarium. Currently they had two manatee being rehabilitated.

As well as "Snooty" their resident Manatee who is 67 years old and has been at this aquarium since he was 11 months old. He has been in captivity so long that he can not be released. He gets well taken care of here as you can see by his size! He has even taught himself some tricks like pulling himself up on deck for snack.

Snooty gets fed by hand while the other two manatee are not hand fed. The hope is that when rehabilitated, they will not become dependant of people for their food and then in the future can be released back into the wild. These two are here due to suffering from cold stress which is much like frost bite for humans.

A manatee skeleton
Aayla found Nemo...but couldn't find Dory :)

Then it was time for lunch! This was an interesting spot for about 1 1/2 hours. It's small but was fun and informative. The little hands on room was by far their favourite spot. 
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