Tuesday, November 01, 2011

"I is for Iguana"

As soon as I mentioned that the iguana appeared to be crawling, Jackson decided to join him for a little scuttle around the boardwalk.

On Sunday I finally got Jackson to the Santa Monica Pier! I've been meaning to take him there for a long time, since I went there so often with my own parents when I was growing up. We didn't even get down to the Ferris wheel section at Pacific Park but there was a lot to see and do.

We started at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, which is a small educational aquarium run by Heal the Bay. It's not exactly a show palace--everything seems a bit dark and dingy--but Jackson was fascinated by the tidepool touch tanks and cute horn sharks. We spent most of our time at the touch tanks, which are chaperoned by adorable high-school-age volunteers who graciously and enthusiastically explain the exhibits.

Then we went upstairs to ride the historic carousel. Jackson refused to sit on the horses so we sat in a carriage instead, but once the carousel got going (so fast!) he was fascinated by how they went "up!" (and "down!") so I suspect he'll be ready for a neigh-neigh ride next time. Then we danced with one of those silver-painted robot men, saw six exotic parrots and chased an iguana (see video above).

All manner of busker set up at the pier on the weekends, and their "free" birds and lizards (plus the aquarium and the carousel) make for a relatively cheap/easy/close way to entertain a toddler for a couple of hours without schlepping across town to a big zoo or a "real" aquarium. Good stuff.

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