Yes, Toto, this really is Kansas – sea life and all.
There are abundant aquariums around, but the lion’s share tends to be on or near the ocean. Kansas City is one of those exceptions that serves to prove the rule, specifically newly-opened SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium home to sea- and fresh-water creatures from the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, to the Atlantic and the Caribbean.
Located at Crown Center this is the perfect place for little landlubbers to learn to love the oceans. On site are 30 displays and 5,000 sea creatures immersed in some 260,000 gallons of water. Centerpiece of SEA LIFE is a mammoth tropical ocean tank, one replete with a walk-through tunnel. This is the part of the place kids love most, especially when they come close to sharks, rays, and fish of assorted variety.
The really good aquariums learned long ago that people like to touch the creatures. At the Touchpool Experience kids can hold (not grab, please) a crab, and touch a starfish. What were just two-dimensional depictions of strange, exotic sea life become tactile, moving critters.
SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium intersperses fish-feedings and explanatory talks throughout the day. Learn about seahorses, jellyfish, clown fish, octopi, cow nosed rays and zebra sharks. Conservation is a constant theme at savvy aquariums such as SEA LIFE.
Seeing what this land-locked aquatic refuge has to offer, and doing it right, will take you two to three hours. SEA LIFE opens at 10 a.m. everyday of the year, save Christmas day. Closing times vary.
The addition of SEA LIFE helps burnish KC’s burgeoning reputation as one of the easiest-to-access, most affordable places in the country to visit. Southwest Airlines is the major carrier in town, nicely connecting Kansas City to the rest of its expanding route network.
(Featured image by the_tahoe_guy)