RGV Moms, let’s get our littles (and our bigs) outside and explore all that the Rio Grande Valley has to offer! We’re excited to continue a new series entitled, “Let’s Explore,” where our RGV Moms Blog Contributors will take you along on their RGV adventures. Today’s adventure: Sea Turtle, Inc.
Sea Turtle, Inc.
Location: 6617 Padre Blvd. South Padre Island
Phone: (956) 761-4511
Hours: Aug. 16-May 31: Tuesday-Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., admissions until 3:15 p.m.
June 1-Aug. 15: Tuesday-Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., admissions until 4:15 p.m.
Cost: Aug. 16 – May 31: $6-Adults, $5-Senior/Military, $4-Children, Free Under 4
June 1 – Aug. 15: $10-Adults, $6-Senior/Military, $4 Children, Free Under 4
Time Needed: 2 hours
Facebook Page: @SeaTurtleConservation
This past Sunday, I took my kids on an exploration adventure to Sea Turtle, Inc., on South Padre Island. My daughter turns five this week, so we used it as an early birthday outing opportunity for her! She was ecstatic. My two-year-old has been asking every day if we can go back to the “Sea Ninja Turtles.”
If you haven’t taken your kids to Sea Turtle, Inc., since they built the new building, you really should! My family has a membership here, and we’ve been taking the kids since we moved to the Valley. Though, I think this may have been the first trip that my son actually participated in the interactive exploration.
When you arrive, you’ll want to enter at the new building. The new parking in the back is SO much easier to navigate than the old parking lot.
The entrance has a beautiful fish tank that instantly captivated my kids. There’s a lot of educational content posted throughout the foyer for parents to read to their kids. There’s even some giant turtles for kids to compare their arm lengths with.
When you walk out the side door, past the gift shop and membership table, there are enormous outdoor tanks for all the turtles, as well as a fun, interactive bubble tank.
The kids then got to see the world famous, Allison!
Allison is a sweet turtle who is the very first turtle in the world to wear a successful prosthetic. My daughter was super interested in all the prototype versions of the prosthesis.
Once the kids get a chance to view all the tanks and listen to the presentation in the amphitheater, there’s a great little rest and photo opportunity in a nearby gazebo.
When your kids are done looking for alligators and fish, and you’re nice and cooled off from the breeze, you can make your way down a really nice pier.
Next, you’ll enter the rehabilitation side of Sea Turtle, Inc. This is where the magic and good deeds happen. The staff is so wonderful and careful with their patients. We’ve watched them give some eye drops a couple times; On Sunday, we saw them take Mila’s roommate to the back for medication.
The kids were able to read about some of the sick inhabitants. Each turtle tank in the hospital has a binder. Most of the binders give you the turtle’s name and expected release date. Not all turtles will be able to go back to the ocean, but I’ve received enough text messages about sea turtle releases, that I know they do try and rehabilitate and release as often as they can.
The last and most important stop my kids made on their exploration journey was to the turtle trash table. It was an excellent opportunity to have a discussion with my daughter about picking up her trash. Everything this volunteer was wearing was chomped on by a sea turtle. We talked about always leaving our areas cleaner than the way we found them. This visual is so sad, but quite effective for my little kids.
Overall, we had an amazing Sunday at Sea Turtle Inc., and my kids adored their exploration and activities. We topped off our beautiful afternoon with some birthday cheesecake at Pirate’s Landing in Port Isabel.
What to bring:
- Stroller fan
- Water bottles
If your kids are old enough, these scavenger hunts would be great to printout beforehand:
So, RGV Moms, get out there and explore! There are so many more great spots in the RGV. Check out our Directory for more information and ideas!
Let’s Explore Series
Check out the other posts in our Let’s Explore Series: