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Florida

Spend an Exciting Day with Dolphins in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys offers an exciting array of attractions for visitors and locals alike. One of the most exciting places to visit in the area is the Florida Keys Dolphin Research Center

The center boasts a collection of marine mammals native to the Gulf of Mexico. The center offers guests live training and research shows as well as the chance to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures. Visitors are not just limited to watching these sessions as the center offers additional programs that allow guests the privilege of personal interaction with the dolphins.

Florida Keys Dolphin Research Center

What differentiates the Florida Keys Dolphin Research Center from other zoos and aquariums is that the marine life is not enclosed in tanks. Rather, these animals are able to swim, play, and learn in a natural lagoon that is fenced off from the rest of the ocean. The center boasts a collection of both dolphins and sea lions that have been born into captivity, rescued, or otherwise cannot return back into the wild. The center provides these animals with a lot of space to play and individual dietary and medical care to ensure the best quality of life possible. Besides giving these unique creatures a comfortable home, the center conducts research on the familial relationships in dolphin pods and behavioral training.

The unique part of this center is that they allow the general public to witness the wide variety of training and research sessions. These shows are interactive and run every half hour, ranging from general research to medical behavior as well as juvenile training and play time. These shows are included in the price of general admission and guests can see as many or as few as they wish. Besides the interactive shows, the center also offers a splash park to cool off, a Veteran’s Garden to relax and reflect in, an air conditioned educational theater, a concession stand, and a caring staff of trainers ready to answer any of your questions.

The grounds offer free parking and are handicap accessible and pet friendly. General admission to the grounds is twenty-eight dollars for adults with discounts for both children and military veterans. (Admission pricing subject to change.) For more information about ticket pricing and what’s included click here.

Family Dolphin Splash

Numerous interactive programs are offered at the Florida Keys Dolphin Research Center and range in activity, duration, and price. There is a program for everyone, from the scientifically minded to the creative. One of the most popular options is the Family Dolphin Splash, which allows families to play with dolphins on submerged platform or the Dolphin Encounter which allows guests to swim directly with the animals. For the very adventurous guests, there are the Trainer for a Day and VIP experience packages. The Trainer for a Day package allows one or more guests to shadow the trainers for a full day and get a behind the scenes view of taking care of these creatures.

VIP Experience

The VIP experience gives guests the opportunity of getting up close to both the dolphin pod and sea lion family. Shorter programs include the Researcher Experience, Meet the Dolphin, Dolphin Explorer, Paint with a Dolphin, and Play with the Dolphin. Life jackets are provided by the staff and wet suits may be rented for an additional cost. For more information about additional programs currently offered, click here. The Florida Keys Dolphin Research Center is a must see for both families and any animal lover!


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