By Carrie McLaren

Rated one of the top five kid-friendly aquariums by Parents magazine, the Florida Aquarium in Tampa features more than 20,000 aquatic plants and animals both native to Florida and from around the world. The Penguins Backstage Pass Experience offers a 30-minute experience with birds and biologists. The staff and their educational programs have reached more than 1 million children, and preservation efforts aim to make sure bay area sea life will be around for future generations. But beyond all that, the Florida Aquarium was designed to deliver fun, with play areas for the kids and interesting, engaging presentations.