Playing With Penguins: The Ultimate Christmas Gift

For Christmas, my husband gave me an epic gift:  A penguin encounter at the Georgia Aquarium! On January 9th, we took the five-hour road trip to Atlanta and spent the morning exploring the aquarium!

My husband and I were amazed by all the massive galleries (our favorites being the Tropical Diver and Southern Company River Scout). According to the Georgia Aquarium website, the aquarium has more 10 million gallons of fresh and marine water.  THAT IS A LOT OF WATER.

At 2:30pm, we went behind the scenes at the Georgia-Pacific Cold Water Quest gallery and met an African penguin!

After signing waivers and receiving our badges, an animal trainer escorted us into a private room where we learned about penguin biology, how the aquarium cares for the animals, as well as research and conservation initiatives accomplished.

After the short presentation, the animal trainer said, "Are you ready to meet a penguin?"

YES! I'M SO READY!!

When the animal trainer opened the door, a penguin waddled into the room!  He looked around the room and flickered his head back and forth (which is how penguins flirt!!)

The animal trainer encouraged us to pet the penguin as she talked more about penguin lifestyle and behavior.  Penguins are incredible social birds, and they mate for life. One penguin had been with his mate for more than 5 years!

After encounters, penguins are rewarded for their good behavior.  While many animals are rewarded with food and toys, many penguins prefer to be rewarded by being placed next to their mate.  HOW CUTE IS THAT??

We continued to get to know the penguin, and the animal trainer took our photo next to our new friend.  After playing with the penguin for about 25 minutes, it was time to say goodbye to him, and we walked back downstairs to the lobby of the aquarium with the animal trainer.

The Georgia Aquarium is a neat place to go to - especially on a date! The Penguin Encounter was one of the BEST gifts I have ever received, and we loved learning about one of my favorite animals!

Let me know if you have any questions about the Georgia Aquarium or the Penguin Encounter!