Looking for a great activity to do with the kids? Head over to The Aquarium at Rockport Harbor for a morning or afternoon exploring the featured local wildlife. From a friendly eel to native fish, take a tour of 22 tanks and learn more about the sea creatures of the Rockport Harbor, Texas.
While large city aquariums might come with a hefty admission fee, the Aquarium at Rockport is free to all. The aquarium is open daily from 1-4pm (except on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and is a great getaway with the kids to take up a chunk of the morning or afternoon between visits to the beach, Texas Maritime Museum, or Bay Education Center of Rockport, Texas. If that isn’t a good reason to visit, maybe one of the cool exhibits, ocean-themed gifts, or events will draw your attention!
Exhibits at the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor
The exhibits at the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor are exciting and diverse. The aquarium houses 22 tanks, ranging from 200 to 1,200 gallons, and only two of those thanks host non-native fish. In other words, you will be getting an up close and personal view of the nature that you’re swimming with in the waters of Rockport Harbor!
Though there are 22 tanks, here are just a few of the featured ones.The Jetty Tank houses a longspine sea urchin, juvenile tripletail, blackedge moray eel, and striped burrfish. The Gulf Tank at 1,200 gallons is home to red snapper, golden brotula, comb grouper, and rockhind, while the Bay Bank also at 1,200 gallons features red drum, black drum, catfish, cobia, and a lane snapper. Marley’s tank houses Marley the 5-foot beloved honeycomb moray eel, who is one of the few sea creatures featured not native to the Gulf of Mexico. The 600-gallon Round Tank is a stunner, serving as a transition tank between smaller and larger tanks.Then, the Seagrass Tank grows grasses that are natural to local bays and nourishing to the surrounding wildlife. The seagrasses provide protection for smaller fish and shrimp, and the tank also houses seahorses!
Aquarium Gift Shop
After looking at some real life sea creatures, you can find the stuffed animal version in the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor gift shop. The shop sells a variety of souvenirs, from T-shirts to educational children’s books. There is even a gourmet cook book compiled by the aquarium’s volunteer coordinator! Let the kids pick out a surprise or find some gifts to bring back to family members and friends back home.
The Aquarium at Rockport Harbor hosts many events throughout summer break at its education center. These events include Crafts and a Video or Movie and Popcorn Night.The Wednesday Lecture Series was a favorite during winter for the “children at heart” with lectures starting at 7pm. Some of these lectures have included Turtle Talk, A Review of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Fishery Monitoring Practices, and The Historical Perspective of the Coastal Bend. While all events are free, donations are readily accepted.
Keep the Sea Creatures Close at Miss Kitty’s
After the kids (or adults!) have learned about the native fish, it’s time to catch or view some in the wild! Head back to your Miss Kitty’s rental home for some fishing and beach adventures.