Photo Credit: sandiegomuseumcouncil.org
February marked a busy month for me but I managed to reserve a day for a little leisure by visiting the Birch Aquarium. Luckily San Diego Museum Month was still running, so I could buy tickets at half the price. For those of you who don’t know what Museum Month is, here’s a brief description: Museum Month is a yearly promotion that occurs every February. Macy’s partners with 40 local San Diego museums and attractions, offering admission for half the price. Brochures, which are valid for up to 4 people, are distributed by the local Macy’s stores for this promotion. And each museum may be visited once using the brochure’s discount.
A couple years have passed since my last visit to the Birch Aquarium, so I thought this was the perfect time to pay a visit. I was particularly curious about the new Boundless Energy exhibit they opened to the public because I heard about it from a classmate in my marketing program. Stepping onto the patio, I was amazed at all the interactive components of the exhibit– There was a playground-like apparatus that moved water through a series of tubes and tools, creating percussive sounds. The more people that interacted with the piece, the more lively the sound that was generated. Another piece that caught my attention was the waterway-dam simulator. A series of plastic planks could be placed in a bathtub structure of flowing water. Depending on where each plank was placed, a new water channel or dam would develop. The goal of this piece was to construct a powerful flow of water to turn a submerged propeller designed to generate power. Other pieces of the Boundless Energy exhibit relied on the power of nature such as the windmills used for generating electricity. Each one was uniquely crafted and designed by local artists and engineers. The devices combined art and functionality to harness the power of the wind.
All the Boundless Energy pieces provided a very fun and interactive educational experience. My only suggestion for Birch Aquarium is that they have a representative stationed there to help teach about renewable energy and then proceed to go through the activities with the kids.
Photo Credit: aquarium.ucsd.edu
Another highlight of my trip was the Tide Pool area, where visitors were allowed to pet the sea creatures in little habitats that simulated tide pools. The habitats had everything including little sand crabs, sea slugs, starfish, fish, and several large lobsters. This area of the museum was a hit with the kids as well.
Tip: If you plan to visit, the Tide Pools close earlier than the rest of the aquarium.
I highly recommend taking a trip to the Birch Aquarium; it’s a different experience than visiting the zoo. You get to see creatures of the deep from a whole new perspective and gain a sense of newfound knowledge.
‘Til next time,