Last week, my family and I were invited to have an AMAZING experience. We got to sleep with penguins at Sea World- San Diego!!
Ok ok– kinda. Thanks to the great people at Fox and Sea World we got to sleep INSIDE of Sea World in the “Penguin Encounter” Exhibit, which was great! But before we get to that… let’s begin:
When we arrived, the kids were miraculously in good spirits. The ride was a bit longer than expected, cause for some reason San Diego tried to show up Los Angeles in terms of traffic and of course, the kiddos HAD to go potty right smack of bumper to bumper traffic on the freeway. Once we got to Sea World, I ran to check us in but luckily (or you know, kinda sucky) a bunch of others were stuck in the same traffic so we didn’t miss anything! My daughter and nephew were happy campers that our adventure was about to begin!
First, a Camp Counselor gathered the kids and got them excited and ready for everything to begin. The counselors were fantastic. Both the kids listened to them and they each learned cute new songs…in fact, I can still quiet them down just by yelling “Hey Campers!” First stop in the park- FOOD! We had to walk alllllll the way to the other side of the park, and it was actually pretty cool to see Sea World after dark. The whole place was dolled up for the Holidays and it felt like I was walking through a Holiday Celebration not a park devoted to marine life.
We ate at the Shipwrecked Reef Cafe, where we had a buffet style dinner arranged of pasta, salad and chicken fingers. Thankfully, the Sea World folks thought ahead and also had coffee set out for us moms and dads! After we were all fueled up, we headed to meet the penguins! Yay!
As you can see, the kids were so happy to be meeting these awesome creatures. We were educated on Penguins, how they live and basically how their habitat at Sea World was formed. One of the kids asked why it was so light in their home, and the counselors answered that right now, in the North Pole where penguins lived, the sun was actually up all the time, and the mimicked that with the lighting and temperature there in the habitat. I thought that was very cool.
Then… something even cooler happened. We got to meet a REAL penguin…. meet Penny!
Penny was a young penguin, only a year or so old and it was her very first time being introduced to people. Because penguins need to be kept at a certain temperature all the time, the handlers had to keep spritzing her in water and had an ice pack below her. What I was stunned at, was how well behaved these very excited kids where. They listened to the counselors and asked a ton of questions about penguins. Learning was a constant theme throughout the sleepover, keeping even the littlest of campers brains constantly learning and observing.
The counselors then spread us into two groups where we commenced an activity to turn one of the campers into a penguin! I gotta say they executed this perfectly. As they built the penguin costume onto the selected child, they had learning points and q&a’s with the rest of the kids. Wouldn’t you know it, the kids listened to everything intently so when a q&a session came up, they had the answers!
After all the festivities and learning, it was time to get all cozied up and watch Mr. Popper’s Penguins during a camp out at the Penguin Experience. I gotta say, it was COLD. Apparently they are so dedicated to keeping the penguins at their temperature, even the people area was COLD. But we bundled up and sleeping bags were warm…so it wasn’t horrible. The movie was very enjoyable, definitely a family film and even though the kids fell asleep quickly (the movie started at 10pm), they had already seen it and told me it was among their favorites. The man and I watched it, and definitely thought it was a cute family film perfect for this holiday season.
The morning- was rough. Well for us adults anyway. We got the “GOOD MORNING CAMPERS” at 7:00am, and it just was not computing in my head that i had to wake up. But as soon as the kids remembered they were among penguins- well they shot up and my daughter started bouncing up and down with excitement yelling “look, they woke up too!”…ah kids. And so up we went.
We all got washed up and headed to breakfast and COFFEE (mmmm) and then went to meet, Shamu:
The kids were in total awe, as were we. They are HUUUUGE! It was awesome getting to see them so close. But that’s not all we did…
We also fed some sea lions…
and we hung out with some turtles…
And then we got to enjoy the day at Sea World…
A great time was had by all! If you get the chance to check out Sea World, make sure to stop by Snow World and see all the shows, they are not to miss…and don’t forget to check out Mr. Popper’s Penguins already out on DVD/BluRay… your family will love it!
Disclosure: I was not provided compensation for this post. I was invited to attend a sleep over and admission to Sea World for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.