We’ve known you since your infancy. We grew up together, gazing at the stars, digging for treasure in the sandbox, feeding the stingrays, cheating on the mini golf course. We even loved you during the ugly years. How could we not, after all you’ve taught us?
|The new, 3,000-square-foot Aquariums of the Atlantic are filled with fish native to Florida, as well as exotic species from elsewhere. The 600-gallon pop-up tank, demonstrated here by Mia Gordon, 3, houses fish from the Red Sea, the Hawaiian Islands and other marine ecosystems.|
And now look at you. You’ve gone through so many changes inside and out, we hardly recognize you. That lumbering exterior that was not so easy on the eyes suddenly is svelte, sleek and downright modern. You’ve got all new toys, too. We could spend all day watching the moray eel, the sharks, the barracudas and those spellbinding, whirling silver fish in your brand new aquarium. We’re suckers for animal sounds, so we can’t peel ourselves away from your Everglades gallery. And those lab coats in your cool new Conservation Station? Love ’em. Playing dress-up never grows old, you know.
You sure do clean up nicely. But in your heart, you’re still the same. You still love to entertain and challenge, playfully throwing out brainteasers that stump us and showing us how to make slimy goo. You still invite us to your birthday parties, thrill us with your concerts and make us laugh with your goofy blue alien friend.
And since we’re spilling our guts here, want to know a secret? After all these years, we still cheat in mini golf. Shh. Don’t let that get out.
Yours in good fun,
Palm Beach Illustrated
Charles, Harrison and Mia become scientists for a day at the Florida Conservation Station.
Charles Gordon, 6, peeks inside the jaws of a carnivorous marine reptile featured in the Savage Ancient Seas exhibit. (Next on the traveling-exhibit docket: The Titanic.)
Harrison Fisher, 9, gets up close and personal with the sea creatures in the touch tank that bears his name.
Charles and Mia check out a prehistoric sea turtle at Savage Ancient Seas.
Changes abound at the new South Florida Science Center and Aquarium. A few of the most notable:
- Everglades Exhibit—All about the unique habitat and wildlife of the Florida Everglades, including cool creature sounds.
- Hurricane Simulator—Hop inside the hurricane capsule and experience Category 1 (100-mph) winds!
- Florida Conservation Station—A Florida-centric learning center featuring hands-on experiments. Lab coats included for pint-sized “scientists.”
Aquariums of the Atlantic—Out with the old tanks, in with 3,000 square feet of aquatic wonderland. The new exhibit includes a predator tank with sharks, barracudas and a nasty-looking moray eel, plus displays of fish native to Florida and a touch tank kids can’t get enough of.
Photography by Lauren Lieberman