Are there any places in your city that you have always wanted to visit, but simply haven’t yet? Well, for us it was the Austin Aquarium. It’s been in town for a couple of years now and we have always said we would go, but life just gets in the way sometimes and we haven’t. Well, we decided over Thanksgiving break to go, and I’m so glad we finally did! 🐙😊🐠
My husband took the Monday after the holiday weekend off, so we knew we had to do something fun that would normally have long lines, or be crowded on the weekends. We chose the Austin Aquarium since it’s been on our bucket list for a long time and we knew there couldn’t be a ton of people on a Monday afternoon! So we headed out to town and the drive took about a half hour. When we arrived, the parking lot was almost empty! Score!! We definitely need to go to more places on a Monday afternoon, lol.
Entry to the Austin Aquarium was less then $20 for my husband and I each and our son was free. When you first walk in to the aquarium, you enter the gift shop area and are greeted with the customer service person who charges you your entry fee and lets you know that you can purchase food to feed some of the animal life there. We decided to skip the feeding this time and just experience the place itself first.
When you first walk in to the exhibit, you notice that it is separated by areas which is really neat because it lets you focus on certain animals at a time instead of an over sensory of everything all at once. In the first room we saw iguanas, alligators, jellyfish, and a huge octopus. There is also a couple of different fun photo opportunities for your family with a pirate on a bench and some cutouts as well.
When we were done with this area, we started walking into the next area. It took us by surprise, this room was big! There was a huge center tank area that was filled with stingrays and other types of fish. There were also other types of sea life creatures in this room, but the real focus was on the huge tank with the stingrays. If you purchased food, this is the time where you can feed the animals. It was pretty neat. I was too scared to touch a stingray, (don’t ask me why, I never thought I would be!) but my husband was all about it. I will say when you put your hand in the water to pet them, they do think you have food, so some will nibble your finger.
Once the shock and awe of that sting ray tank is over, there are quite a few other sea life tanks and bugs in that room to look at. There were scorpions, cockroaches, frogs, eels and small snakes. There is a cool little cubby hole within one of the fish tanks that is a great photo opp. Kids loved this, but it’s very easy to miss. There was also a snack area, a maze and tube slide for kids in this area too.
After this area we headed off to the final area of the aquarium. This area had two big bird rooms where visitors could walk in and sit with all these birds flying everywhere! There were also ducks, turtles, and more snakes! I cannot stand snakes personally. There was an aquarium worker who was walking around with a huge one on his neck. I made sure to stay on the opposite end of that room when that was happening! Lol, so if you are like me, be aware that that might happen if you ever visit this place.
Overall, it was a great experience. It’s a hidden little gem in Austin. If you don’t have the time to travel to a Corpus Christi to go to the Texas State Aquarium and live within reasonable driving distance to the Austin Aquarium, I suggest you go to this place. It’s not as big as other aquariums I have been to before, but it makes for a great family day, kids absolutely love it and it’s an overall great experience! We will definitely be going again. ☺️👍🏻🐙🐠