Fishing for a Bargain
Both Saturday and Sunday this weekend are Dollar Days at the Baltimore Aquarium, so you can get in for just $1 per person, instead of the normal $22 admission. That's a serious savings on the best aquarium in the area, complete with its modern and stylish Australia exhibit and a 3-month-old, as of yet unnamed, bottlenose dolphin.
(National Aquarium in Baltimore)
There won't be any dolphin shows this weekend, but the pools will be open, so you can talk with the trainers and see those smart swimming mammals hanging out. From the seating area, the nursery pool is on the back left, and depending how he feels, the little guy may decide to swim toward the front pool with his mom, Jade, or the two other female dolphins who share in taking care of him. At the very least, he should be easier to spy than a butterstick. The calf, who was 3 feet long when he was born on Sept. 9, is now about 70 pounds, the staff estimates.
If you haven't been to the aquarium since the days of school trips, part of it -- the blue-tinted darkened rooms with tanks of sharks and southern stingrays -- looks just like you remember, but the creatures are still mesmerizing. And a walk through the steamy, glass-topped rainforest can transport you far away from this frosty weather.
The admission doesn't count the 4D Immersion Theatre show, which is still an extra $4. (It's currently screening a 15-minute version of "The Polar Express," in which you'll feel the fourth dimension as piped-in cold air to accompany snow, for example.)
It's a crazy good deal, so you can bet the lines are long. I remember a previous Dollar Day that was bitterly cold, and all the tickets were gone by lunchtime, so arriving early is a must.
All tickets are timed-entry, so depending where you are in the line, your ticket may be for several hours later that day. If you end up needing to fill some time before you go in, take a walk around the harbor and get a jump on your holiday shopping at the quirkiest store around, the American Visionary Art Museum's gift shop.
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