MaST Center Aquarium in Tacoma, WA
The MaST Center Aquarium is a state-of-the-art facility that provides visitors with the opportunity to experience the beauty and diversity of marine life from around the world. The Aquarium offers exhibits, programs, and experiences for all ages. As the only Aquarium in the Northwest showcasing freshwater and saltwater species, this one-of-a-kind destination has something to offer everyone.
About the MaST Center Aquarium
The MaST Center Aquarium is located at 28203 Redondo Beach Dr. S, Des Moines, WA 98198, United States. The facility covers over 30 thousand square feet inside six galleries that feature more than 200 species of aquatic life, including sharks, turtles, piranhas, horseshoe crabs, and seahorses, to name only a few.
The building boasts more than one million gallons of water, which include winding streams and rivers winding throughout and giant oceans! Over 15 species of fish within the massive tanks, ranging from sharks to manta rays, multiple jellyfish exhibits, an octopus display with three different octopuses living together, dozens of seahorses all swimming through coral reefs at incredible speed. They even have some animals you may not expect, like red pandas or skunks!
Also included are interactive experiences like an outdoor tidal pool exhibit where visitors can touch sea stars, hermit crabs, and large ocean reef tanks. They walk underwater, viewing hundreds of fish swimming overhead. Special shows like the stingray touch pool, an outdoor tidepool experience, and a hands-on crab or lobster trap. Visitors can also see what’s going on beneath Puget Sound by taking action from underwater via vast windows or through virtual reality glasses, which make it seem you’re in the water with them.
You can learn about their conservation efforts by watching them feed the animals on particular days during feeding time. There’s also a theater where they show an excellent movie about animals. If you want to go above and beyond for your next date or want to take some friends out who will enjoy it too, this is the spot!
Facts about the MaST Center Aquarium
There are interactive exhibits like the one where you can watch hundreds of fish swimming overhead while walking underwater, looking at them through glass tunnels, as well as outdoor tide pool experiences so you can get hands-on with sea creatures from around the world. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a theater where they show an excellent movie, and you can even feed the animals on particular days during feeding time.
In a giant ocean tank, visitors can walk through a virtual reality experience where they feel as if they are swimming with fish and sharks. There is even a theater where visitors can see an excellent movie about the animals of Puget Sound.
Activities in MaST Center Aquarium
MaST Center Aquarium on Vashon Island is a state-of-the-art, environmentally responsible facility that provides aquatic experiences for students and community members. The MaST Center features an interactive play area with hands-on activities such as touch tanks, where visitors can get up close and personal with sea stars and other marine animals.
The MaST Center is home to the school’s marine lab, allowing students and community members access to wet labs. The center has an on-staff professional aquarist who manages the facility for both education and entertainment purposes. Two large aquarium exhibits include sharks, stingrays, octopuses, sea turtles, and more!
The Aquarium has a beautiful outdoor space with picnic tables and benches, making it the perfect place to bring lunch on lovely days. The building is also home to classrooms that can accommodate up to 40 students at once for hands-on learning experiences and an indoor classroom used for events such as birthday parties!
It’s worth checking out if you’re looking for educational opportunities or want something new to do outdoors. There are even summer camps offered throughout the year where kids get access to these excellent facilities!
What to See at MaST Center Aquarium?
The MaST Center Aquarium in Tacoma, WA, is a state-of-the-art aquarium facility managed by the Marine Science and Technology Foundation (MaST). The center has many interactive exhibits such as touch tanks, an open ocean tank with sharks and other fish. Visitors can also watch seahorses giving birth! It’s part of MaST’s mission to inspire young people about marine science through hands-on experiences at this fantastic aquatic facility.
The main attraction at this center is several exhibits featuring animals from around the world, such as sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, jellyfish, and many more under their care. There are hands-on activities, touch tanks, and even opportunities where visitors can work with the animals for those looking to explore.
Some fun exhibit highlights:
- If you love animals, especially sea life, visiting the MaST Center Aquarium will be a memorable experience for children and adults alike. There are over 30 species on display, including dolphins that were rescued from the coasts of Japan!
- Some of the other sea life on display include an octopus that moves around its tank and a horseshoe crab.
- If you love science, the MaST Center Aquarium is a great place to explore. Several interactive exhibits make science fun and accessible to children.
- One of the best ways to learn about sea life, and marine science in general, is by getting up close to animals. The MaST Center Aquarium has several exhibits that allow visitors to get hands-on with plenty of fish and other creatures like seahorses!
What To Do in MaST Center Aquarium?
MaST Center Aquarium is a great place to learn about life below the surface. Visitors can see incredible creatures, including jellyfish and sea turtles, up close. The shark tunnel invites visitors to walk underneath an acrylic tube where sharks glide overhead. Several touch pools with crabs, urchins, anemones, and other species allow patrons to become familiar with what they have just seen over their shoulders in the exhibits around them.
There are also opportunities for hands-on learning experiences at MaST Center Aquarium. Kids will love exploring outdoor tidepools or trying out some of the interactive displays inside!
For example, you can stand between two tanks filled with water on either side of you and even feel live animals such as crabs or sea urchins. The MaST Center Aquarium is a great place for unique and fun learning opportunities, especially if you like to take field trips with kids!
What Not To Do in MaST Center Aquarium?
Do not talk loudly near sensitive equipment such as an animal’s habitat controls, water pumps, etc., especially if there is a sign requesting that people remain quiet during feeding or presentation times. All aquarium displays have sensitive electrical components which require us to be vigilant about safety issues, including noise levels and “hot spots.” These include areas around metal railings where static electricity may build up from human contact with conductive materials. We must protect these devices against even minor potential hazards since they can pose serious safety hazards.
Do not touch any animals, including invertebrates such as sea anemones and corals, without a guide’s permission to do so or if it is posted on signage that all visitors may interact with them. This would include touching their tentacles or pseudopods, which are more commonly known as “claws.” Zookeepers have been trained in animal husbandry for many years under rigorous guidelines to ensure safety during human interactions with our marine life. Aquarium keepers work closely together to care for each animal species’ needs. Only they should be permitted to handle these creatures because we know what harm can come from improper interaction. Remember, you may not swim with the fishes, but they can still sting or bite!
Please do not attempt to climb onto any of our animal exhibits. All animals in the Aquarium are under the care and supervision of trained marine mammal keepers, zookeepers, aquarists, and vet staff who monitor them daily for their well-being. Visitors should remain behind all fences when an exhibit is occupied by a live animal since there could potentially be required emergency protocols that would include human evacuations from particular areas surrounding these enclosures if necessary, which we don’t want anyone getting hurt during. Species such as sharks cannot afford distractions while swimming around their habitats lest something terrible happen; please respect this.
Do not attempt to feed any of the animals. Feeding times are scheduled for certain species, and all other times should be considered “hands-off.” In addition, the staff works hard to provide a daily diet that is carefully balanced with specific nutritional values, which could be compromised if people were constantly feeding them from outside sources or altering their diets in any way without proper guidance by trained zookeepers first. If you see food being given out on signage during your visit, it means someone else has permission to do so, but please don’t interfere because these creatures need a routine diet plan which shouldn’t change on a whim, even yours!
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