Looking for a fun Dallas activity? Head to the Dallas World Aquarium!
Though the name is the Dallas World Aquarium, this place is much more than just an aquarium. The collection of animals includes monkeys, birds, frogs, penguins, and even a jaguar.
You will receive a field guide when you arrive. There are three main floors at the aquarium. You enter on the 2nd floor and the field guide directs you up a flight of stairs (there is also an elevator) where you are immediately transported to the rainforest.
There are five different exhibit areas, which are the Muno Maya area, the Orinoco area, the Aquarium area, the South Africa area, and the Borneo area. The paths are windy but with your field guide you always know exactly where you are within the Aquarium.
At the top level you can view birds, monkeys, even playful river otters. One word of warning, there are many birds in the exhibit that are free flight, meaning they fly freely overhead. It is recommended to bring wipes with you, in case of an accident. At the end of one path stands a large tree with a sign that reads ‘Do Not Touch the Sloth’, and there hanging in the tree are two sloths. Due to their slow moving nature the sloths do not need a cage of any kind. They are free to just hang in the trees while visitors watch them.
The middle level of the aquarium is where you can see manatees, crocodiles, and turtles, as well and more traditional tanks of fish. While the crocodiles don’t appear to move, the manatees are fairly active. The turtles come in a large variety of sizes. The fish tank exhibits are grouped by geographic region. In one tank you can see giant Japanese spider crabs from Japan, while in another Leafy Seadragons from Australia, and in another Strawberry anemones from British Columbia.
This level is also where you will find the black-footed penguins. This exhibit is located in an enclosed area outside of the building. These penguins are from South Africa and are used to a climate similar to Dallas.
The Dallas World Aquarium is an Experience
From here you can head down below and see frogs, toads, lizards, bats, and some owls. The final section you come to is the upper level of the Mundo Maya. Here is where you see flamingos, many different kinds of birds, and the jaguar. The jaguar isn’t always on display but there are video cameras where you can see him roaming around his enclosure.
The aquarium is very much an all day experience. In addition to the animal feedings there are also educational talks scheduled throughout the day where you can learn more about the animals at the aquarium. Plus there are touch screens next to many of the displays with information about the animals. And the guides at the museum can answer any additional questions that you might have.
The animal feedings should be a highlight of your visit. The Aquariums website lists the feedings times for the various animals. Get there early in the day and keep an eye on your watch to make sure you get to the different feedings on time.
Viewing of the shark feeding is especially impressive when viewed from the glass tunnel underneath their tank. This is a popular feeding so get there early for this one.
Between the feedings you’ll have time to wander and visit all of the other animals at the aquarium.
Looking for more fun Dallas activities? Check out this list of 100+ Things to do in Dallas Fort Worth