The Aquarium of the Bay

David and I decided to venture into the City for a whole day of fun today with Emily, something we rarely do because I'm so exhausted from all the fun she and I have during the week and because we like to just lay low on the weekends to avoid all the traffic and crowds. But, it seems I am the only one enjoying all the amazing things in this part of the country and I have recently begun to feel that David really needs to get to do them, too... dads need to have fun, too! :)

So, we chose to check out The Aquarium of the Bay today on Pier 39 in San Francisco and it was better than we could have expected!!!

We started the day with a ride on the East Bay Ferry from Alameda into the city, which very conveniently dropped us off at Pier 41, a very short walk around the corner to the Aquarium. This was the perfect way to travel because 1) Emily was ecstatic about being on a boat and 2) we didn't have to mess with parking!

We brought only Emily's diaper bag with a jacket, a bottle of water and a few snacks and decided between the two of us, she could just hold our hands so, we left the stroller at home.

The Aquarium is three floors and each floor is only about 800 sq. ft. - fairly small with a wide-open layout so, your child can walk around from exhibit to exhibit and you don't lose sight of her and end up panicking. :) All the exhibits are kid-level and the very first floor is where you can walk or ride the slowly moving sidewalk underneath the bay! The fish and sharks swim around and above you - it's just amazing and the entire exhibit goes around and around in one big circle. We spend over an hour just on this floor!

The main floor, where you enter the Aquarium is a big room full of several fish tanks. They are beautiful and there is LOTS of room to walk around so that you can really see everything. It was nice not to feel so crowded!

The very top floor is where they have the tidepools where you can touch the sharks, rays and starfish and you can watch them feed them! The elevators are HUGE that take you to each level and there is a Guide inside to tell you where you are going and what you are about to see.

Whether you are 6 months old or 60 years old, you will LOVE this indoor, air conditioned, assault on the senses! This Aquarium is perfectly located on Pier 39 where there is a carousel, tons of shops, restaurants, bike rentals, cable car rides, ice cream stands and places to just sit, have a lunch you brought from home and enjoy the view across the Bay. It is a must-see if you visit San Francisco because you just can't beat it for only $16! Children 3 and under are FREE!


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