We were able to make our little girls’ dreams come true when we took them to see ‘real life’ mermaids at Fort Fisher! I completely understood their excitement, because I too saw the mermaids when I was a child!
Growing up in Florida, my parents took us to Weeki Wachee Springs to see the mermaids almost 20 years ago. I was ecstatic that I was going to experience the same thing with my own children, despite living more than 500 miles away. I didn’t think that seeing the mermaids was a possibility with my kids, unless we made the 11 hour drive home, but I was wrong. The Weeki Wachee Mermaids travel!
Once a year, a band of Florida mermaids make their way to Fort Fisher to put on shows for visitors. For 2 weekends during the month of March, the mermaids at Fort Fisher make multiple daily appearances.
The Mermaid Show
During their shows, the mermaids at Fort Fisher swim alongside sharks, rays, and other schooling fish that can be found in the Cape Fear Shoals habitat at the aquarium. We watched as a mermaid entered the tank and swam around with all the animals. She swam right up to the glass and interacted with the kids. She made a heart with her hands, waved, and blew kisses to each child. It was so sweet and my kids thought it was beyond special.
The only downside to our visit to see the mermaids at Fort Fisher was the crowd. There were sooo many people there! We arrived at the aquarium nearly an hour before a mermaid show was set to begin and still barely got a spot to watch it.
Watching the mermaids would have been much more comfortable at their home at Weeki Wachee Springs where they have an auditorium with seating. In the aquarium at Fort Fisher, we had to stand in a crowd of people that, at times, weren’t very friendly or accommodating. Despite the crowds, it was still priceless to see my girls’ faces as they watched a ‘real’ mermaid swimming right in front of them!
The mermaids weren’t the only thing that we enjoyed seeing at the aquarium. Even before I knew that we could see mermaids at Fort Fisher, I had put the North Carolina Aquarium on our Fort Bragg Bucket List.
With a little bit of Google-ing, I had discovered that the aquarium at Fort Fisher was named one of the best aquariums in the U.S by the Travel Channel. I was curious to see what made this aquarium so special.
We learned about Luna, the albino alligator and Maverick, a rescued bald eagle. The girls played in the touch tank, where we were able to pet sea stars and horseshoe crabs. We saw jellyfish, seahorses, giant lobsters, and all kinds of colorful fish!
The kids played on the playground before walking through the aquarium’s outdoor garden. In the garden, we saw all kinds of dinosaurs! They roared, moved, hatched out of eggs, and one even spit water on us as we walked by. The girls loved it!
Visiting the aquarium and seeing the mermaids at Fort Fisher truly is an awesome experience. You should definitely go if you get the chance!