Mia is doing really well in school, and some parents may disagree, but I believe hands on experiences are a great way to reward a child that meets their goals. Plus, I needed a day to reconnect with the girls and a Florida ocean adventure was calling our name. We had plans to head south from Orlando to visit friends in Jupiter, FL Friday afternoon. I felt like there had to be a fun stop off on the way.
A quick Google search “Marine Centers on Treasure Coast” provided me with a link to the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center in Hutchinson Island, FL… About 2 hours south of Orlando. Perfect!
The website said stingray feeding was at 1 pm, followed by a turtle talk at 2 pm and so we were on our way.
The volunteer staff on hand were great with the kids and extremely informative. We went on a Friday afternoon so we were three of about 12 folks there around 1 pm for stingray feeding. The volunteers even urged me to get more involved holding a sea urchin or two instead of just taking pics.
Lucky for us the Oceanographic Coastal Center is right on the beach at Hutchinson Island! The beach was deserted (but had lifeguards). We opened our picnic lunch and played tag with the waves.
So, the details – this is a 57-acre marine life nature center located on Hutchinson Island in Stuart, FL situated between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean. As a leading state and nationally recognized environmental organization, Florida Oceanographic offers Educational Programs to people of all ages and conducts Research and Restoration programs that lead to healthy coastal ecosystems.
The cost to enter is minimal and I encourage anyone traveling or living close by to visit this amazing place and make a donation to preserve our Florida oceans.
Just about 40 minutes south is the Loggerhead Marine Life Center in Juno Beach. You can read about it here.