It starts with Itty Bitty eating dinner, then said dinner being flung on the ground as a sign of being all done. After that, it's bath, brush teeth, pajamas, dim lights, read books, sing songs, and finally (more like, hopefully) sleep.
Aside from the bath, Itty Bitty's favorite part of this ritual is reading Baby Beluga together. Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea...I sing these lyrics over and over during nap time and bed time, and even when I'm just singing to Itty Bitty on our front porch. He loves to look at the colorful fish, and especially the big white beluga whale.
This was the inspiration for taking our one year old to Mystic Aquarium. Tall Dad and I decided to take a family trip down to Mystic, Connecticut to check out the beluga whales in real life!
We left early on a Sunday morning, perfectly timing Itty Bitty's nap schedule with the drive down 95. It was a breeze, no traffic, and before we knew it, we were at the Mystic exit. Itty Bitty was still in dreamland, so we drove throughout the seaport a little bit to pass the time.
Once nap time was over, we gathered our bag, I threw on my Beco Gemini baby carrier - with Itty Bitty on my back - and waltzed into the Mystic Aquarium.
First stop, the Beluga Whales. The Arctic Coast exhibit is one of the largest beluga whale exhibits in the USA!
The whales were so friendly, and loved to visit the guests.
I kept singing the Baby Beluga lyrics to Itty Bitty as they swam by, hoping he'd realize his favorite character is based upon these large white beautiful whales.
I loved watching his face light up, and seeing him point at the whales as they swam around.
After the Beluga Whales, we visited the rest of the animals at the aquarium. The African Penguins were absolutely adorable, and lucky for us, we arrived while they were being fed treats.
The glass windows throughout the aquarium allow children of all sizes to see the animals.
We were able to get a really cool look at them through the bubble windows.Itty Bitty loved seeing the penguins dive and swim by his window into their world.
Mystic has some hands on exhibits - like the Ray Touch Pool.
Our hands skimmed the water as the soft squishy rays glided and around the tank. Itty Bitty wasn't too keen on touching the rays himself, but he loved watching Tall Dad and I plunge our hands into the tank.
By far one of the coolest parts of Mystic is their jellyfish collection. These creatures are so beautiful, and it was such a treat to see them in real life, as opposed to a science television show.
My favorite exhibit were the fluorescent fish. It helped that Itty Bitty's shirt was a bit fluorescent as well (I'd totally recommend you put your kid in a shiny or bright shirt - it might help them catch the attention of the animals!)
I just loved watching his face light up each time the black lights came on. He was in awe of the colorful fish swimming around!
Itty Bitty's favorite two exhibits, by a landslide, were Stingray Bay and the Shark Lagoon.
He could have watched the rays and sharks for hours!Tall Dad is a huge history buff, and I'm a sucker for any movie with Leonardo DiCaprio - so we made sure to stop in at the Titanic exhibit.
This amazing space was created by Sea Research Foundation and URI alumni/professor Dr. Robert Ballard, as well as Tim Delaney - who worked as a Walt Disney Imagineer.
Our day at Mystic Aquarium was absolutely delightful. It was such a joy to see Itty Bitty's face light up again and again. Tall Dad and I learned quite a lot about the aquatic animals, as well as the Titanic.
I'm excited to continue to bring Itty Bitty to Mystic Aquarium in the future. Tall Dad and I just kept saying how convenient it was - and how all ages truly seemed to enjoy themselves.
Have you ever brought your family to Mystic? What is your favorite part?
*I received a complimentary day pass to Mystic Aquarium in exchange for a blog post. All opinions are my own, and I truly this this aquarium is top notch!*