Six months ago when we stayed in Pensacola, Florida, we had planned a trip to the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park in Fort Walton Beach. However, when we arrived, we learned that a baby dolphin had just been born that day, so the place was closed as everyone was taking care of the newborn.
Now, six months have passed and we decided to visit the Gulfarium again, while staying in Destin for your “destination birthday party” for your 5th birthday.
It was a short drive in the 2015 Lexus GX from our resort. The first thing you did was buy some souvenirs with some of your birthday money.
You loved being able to see all the marine animals, right there on the Gulf Coast. But by far, the highlight of our visit was when you got to pet and feed the dolphins; for something called Discover Dolphins.
I was particularly impressed by the way the staff handled the situation: After having already paid the extra $22 for you to be able to go out to the tank to pet and feed the dolphins with a few other children, you became afraid to go out there so close to the water.
Mommy and I were unable to give you enough of a pep talk to convince you otherwise.
However, the dolphin trainer took notice that you had stayed behind instead of going out to the dock with the other kids. After she had already let the other kids pet and feed the dolphins, she came back especially for you.
She recognized that at the minimum age requirement for the event, which is 5 years old, you needed some extra attention to gain the confidence to out to the water.
Had it not been for her being gently proactive on her end, you would have missed out on such a magical opportunity.
Being able to pet and feed the dolphin is definitely one of your favorite memories from our trip to Destin for your birthday; and that’s saying a lot, because our family did a lot of cool things during our stay!
It was such a “once in a lifetime experience”. It’s not something kids get to do on a regular basis.
I totally recommend the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park to all families vacationing in anywhere in the stretch between Destin and Pensacola.
It was a very exciting family experience. Granted, I would recommend budgeting the extra money for the Dolphin Encounter. It’s completely worth it.
I’m so glad we finally were able to go there!