Driving home from the Mariano’s in Park Ridge a few weeks ago, my little marine biologist started screaming “SHARK!” like it was swimming through our car windows to take a chunk out of our legs. Confused and frazzled, I scanned the area to try and figure out what he was talking about. If I have learned anything over these past few years, it is that our little man does not make things up, so I knew that there was something around us to put ants…err, sharks…in his pants. And finally, there it was, The Living Sea Aquarium.
An aquarium store right in my own hometown that I never gave a passing glance to before kids. Sadly, the store was still closed at the time (it opens daily at 11:30 so it is a great post-lunch trip) and my boys wailed the whole twenty minute car ride home about their bad luck. It was awesome.
This past weekend we planned to do errands around Park Ridge so that we could go and check out the place. You could tell that The Living Sea Aquarium was going to be a fun place the second you walked through the door. There was a large open air tank that housed some huge fish that you could observe at your leisure, featuring a giant puffer fish (cue the squeals).
Luckily we made it just in time to see the free 2 p.m. feeding of the fish. And man, do they have those fish trained. Whenever a person gets near the tank to admire them, the fish come right up to you, expecting a treat. Pavlov at its finest! This has been engrained in them because anyone can pay $2 and feed a huge shrimp to a fish of choice. My boys especially loved watching the puffer fish devour his snack, and I enjoyed the fact that this rather large fish didn’t get the chance to snag any of our fingers.
The Living Sea Aquarium has a wide variety of salt and fresh water tanks filled with vibrant and healthy fish to observe, as well as turtles, coral, and our beloved hermit crabs. Although the aquarium was on the small side, we spent about an hour having fun and observing the beautiful sea creatures while talking with the staff about our growing fish tank at home. All in all, it was a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon. And what did we do that night? Watch “Finding Nemo” of course, with commentary from our little marine biologist the whole time.
Hopefully we can get our boys interested in something else soon…Jungle animals? Dinosaurs? Planes? Science experiments? Only a sea-sick mommy can hope…
Enjoy the beauty of the sea!
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