It was 10 years ago when the Alaska SeaLife Center opened its doors to much fanfare.
My wife and I were there with our two kids–and we bought one of Barbara Lavallee’s prints “Windows to the Sea”. It’s still hanging on the wall in our home–and I still love going to the SeaLife Center when I visit Seward.
In fact, it’s at the top of the list for places to go when our relatives come to visit early next month. That, along with a cruise on Renown Tours to see Kenai Fjords National Park.
Grown-ups love the SeaLife Center, but it’s the kids that really are amazed. They get to watch the seals and sea lions swim around in the big tanks. Then, they can go up to the aviary and watch the puffins, murres and all the other birds flying around.
“This is as close as most people will ever get to a puffin,” said Seward resident and SeaLife board member Tom Tougas.
Prowl around the top floor of the center and there’s a hands-on tank with naturalists, where kids can touch sea cucumbers, anemones and other critters that live in the tidal zone. It’s always a big hit.
Depending on the time of year, there may be salmon swimming through the tanks, since the SeaLife Center has its own salmon run!
Down below, you’ll see king crabs, halibut and other creatures of the deep that are swimming around in Resurrection Bay.
Of course, watching critters in the aquarium is just a small part of the mission of the Alaska SeaLife Center. The staff also does research and rehabilitation. From above, you can look down on the outside tanks, where researchers are working with the animals. Again, kids are very curious about this process–and they can learn a bunch just by asking questions of the naturalists.
Join the staff and the community of Seward for the 10th anniversary on Sat., May 3 (this Saturday!!). There’s free admission from 3:00-8:00pm. There are plenty of kids’ activities, snacks and a behind-the-scenes open house.
Don’t miss it!
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