Thursday, December 2, 2010

Florida Keys Dolphin Research Center

Today we put up our fishing poles and became regular tourists. The kids absolute favorite place to visit was the Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key. It is located between Marathon and Islamorada. We liked it so much we are actually thinking about going back there again before we leave. The kids just can't stop talking about the dolphins. Up close and personal and educational.

We arrived at 11 am and spent about an hour touring the facility and the various lagoons that are home to the many dolphins and pair of sea lions. This place is really neat because not only is it one of the most popular tourist attractions to the keys, but it is also a real research center. You can watch firsthand the trainers teaching and training and observing and learning about the dolphins.

We listened to a couple little mini seminars about dolphins and then watched a couple dolphin aerial shows and then the kids even got into the water and played with some of the dolphins. Very entertaining and educational at the same time! Of course it does cost some money, but is way cheaper and much more intimate than seaworld type places. Plus all of the proceeds go towards dolphin food and research. Here are some pics at the dolphin research center. The first one is from their website, the rest are from our camera.

They trained this dolphin to swim like a shark. Really cool to see it swim with its tail on the surface splashing side to side:

This dolphin could stick its tail in the air for 5 minutes!
We tried to get a family photo quick, but the sun was shining in Noah's eyes...

All the dolphins are very happy and love to interact with people. In fact the dolphins have much better accomodations and food than most people in the world.

The dolphins water is actually ocean water just seperated into deep manmade lagoons by these fences. The dolphins are trained every week on how to relocate their herd in case they get lost in a storm.

Here is one of the many dolphin videos on their website:
Here is the future spot of our video we are making of our experience at the dolphin center:

Altogether we spent about 4 hours at the dolphin research center. We packed a lunch and ate at their picnic tables, but they also have a cafe with great food available as well. Perfect place to take the kids, they have been talking and pretending about dolphins ever since!

No comments:

Post a Comment