While I had high hopes of visiting the big mouse on our trip Florida, I knew that it was long shot. It was too far from where we were staying and the kids we still so young. While Connor may love it, Amelia would be oblivious.
We opted to check out some of the more local attractions. On our first trip to Sarasota, we had gone to the Mote Aquarium. I knew that Connor would love it and that it would be a nice small size for him. We chose to go Monday afternoon since we had noooooo plans for the week and it was just a few minutes away. In addition, Connor immediately asked where the animals were as soon as we got off the plane so a trip to the aquarium seemed just the ticket for our second day.
It was instant fishy overload for Connor. He was a pinball bouncing from tank to tank, completely disregarding our instructions to stay close by. Even though it is a very small aquarium, we didn’t do all of the activities that we had done on our first trip. I really like that they have local manatees and sea turtles that have been rescued from local waters.
Day three brought us to the Tampa Zoo. I spent a lot of time pouring over guidebooks and websites looking for local kid activities. Other than the obvious in Orlando, there wasn’t much kid oriented in Sarasota. Tampa seems to be the closest place. One website used the Sunshine Bridge as a marker: below the bridge, old people, above the bridge, young people.
The Tampa Zoo was definitely a highlight of our trip. It was much bigger than I would have thought and plenty big enough for Connor. In fact he started to ask to go go home when we were only about a third of the way through. Fortunately, we had brought the stroller and the Bjorn, so we kicked Amelia out of the stroller and carried her and let Connor hang out in the stroller while we moved from exhibit to exhibit. He could pop put as he wanted. One of the things I liked, the main food locale had several healthy treats like yogurt and cheese sticks. And beer for Daddy!