What kid doesn’t love horses — especially tiny, magical sea horses? Once reopened to the public, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, offers Seahorse Tours uncovering the lives and habits of these unique creatures, showcasing more than 12 species and their close kin, including seadragons.
Birch Aquarium happens to be the location of one of the world’s most important seahorse breeding conservation programs, actively breeding seahorses for more than 25 years. It’s part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plans. During the program’s life, Birch Aquarium has supplied more than 5,000 seahorses to 100 locations around the globe.
In fact, scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography discovered a previously undocumented type of seadragon, dubbed the Ruby Seadragon in honor of its ruby red hue. It’s native to Australia’s southern coast, and while the Ruby Seadragon can’t be seen in captivity, visitors to the aquarium can view its close relatives — known as weedy and leafy seadragons — and search for them among their kelp forest environment where they’re beautifully camouflaged by nature.
Each morning at 10:30 a.m., The Growing Up Seahorse Behind the Scenes tour is offered, finishing up in the breeding room where families can get a close-up look at seadragons, baby seahorses and have an opportunity to feed older seahorses by hand. To participate in the hour-long tour, children must be at least 8 years old and everyone must be wearing closed-toe shoes.
While you’re there, be sure to explore the aquarium’s other outstanding exhibits, including the Preuss Tide Pool Plaza, where sea cucumbers, sea stars, hermit crabs, lobsters, sea anemones and other creatures live in the shallow waters. In the two-story Giant Kelp Tank, residents include Leopard Sharks, Giant Black Sea Bass and Moray Eels. Visitors can watch divers enter the waters at feeding time during Kelp Tank Dive Shows, and learn about the Giant Kelp plant, which can grow an astounding three feet in a single day.
At the Shark Shores exhibit, Leopard sharks, other shark species and graceful rays are on view. For an even deeper look into ocean research, children can dress up like ocean scientists, and learn through a virtual exhibit about the process of ocean exploration aboard the newest addition to the Scripps research fleet, the R/V Sally Ride. The interactive exhibition includes video and stories from the ship’s crew, artifacts and specimens recovered during deep-sea exploration, displays of seafloor mapping, plus a virtual tour of the ship.
While temporarily closed to the public, future guests can learn more here and even support the aquarium in the meantime.
THE START OF A JOURNEY. Apprehension mingles with excitement. What lies ahead? Standing on Scotland’s west coast, we know the bare bones of what we’re facing: 134 miles of hiking, a coast-to-coast traverse of the country. But what will we see along the way? Who will we meet? How wet will we get?
While urban wine country might sound like an oxymoron, it’s actually a reality at the stunning City Vineyard in New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood. The water-side venue is the perfect host for your next event — whatever that may be, from 20 to 200 guests and from cocktail party to plated dinner.
MULTIGENERATIONAL TRAVEL IS NOTHING NEW; travelers have taken their kids on vacation for, well, generations. But as our lives and our kids’ lives — and even those of retired parents — become busier, the urge to gather everyone together for shared vacation experiences emerges as a top travel trend.
This summer, family travel at The Peninsula receives an upgrade with the debut of Camp Peninsula, a children’s experience that recreates the spirit of camping right in the heart of Beverly Hills. The journey begins with a special welcome from Peter Bear, the hotel’s lovable mascot, at check-in. After taking a picture with the life-sized teddy bear, kids will be whisked away by a Peninsula Camp Counselor to a luxurious guestroom where a charming teepee awaits. An afternoon of camp-themed games and activities, including a hotel-wide scavenger hunt, rounds off the family-friendly experience, fun for children of all ages. Whether it’s a luxe staycation or an extended holiday, Camp Peninsula is an ideal way to ensure the little ones are happy campers.
Few cities in the world offer as much for couples who share a love of art as Madrid. Travelers can choose from romantic hotels a few steps from three of Europe’s finest art museums. Without leaving that same “Avenue of the Arts” they can stroll through a beautiful botanic garden and visit an innovative contemporary art center.