Manatee Observation and Education Center Fort Pierce
Where is it at?
Manatee Observation and Education Center
480 N. Indian River Drive
Tel: 772 466-1600
Where are we going today?
Manatees! Also called the Sea Cow, they are sweet, unusual, and ready to say hi! The Manatee Observation and Education Center sits on the west of the Atlantic Ocean in Florida and is a place where the manatee frequent, giving the family a chance to see them in the wild!
These little guys are endangered, so it's great when kids go and learn about the very creatures they are looking at - what their natural habitat is, why they are endangered and most importantly, what can be done to save them.
This observation area doesn't capture and enclose the manatees - they are simply an observation center of these animals in the wild, so you never know when they will pop round to say hi, but it's very frequent! You can stand along a covered observation walkway or climb up to their second story observation tower where you can watch these "gentle giants" playing or resting in Moore's Creek.
If you are lucky, you might also spot other creatures that call the ocean home, like the playful Bottlenose Dolphin, the Mullet, or even Brown Pelicans and Terns!
Kids will learn about all the different types of habitats, from the seagrasses and beaches, to scrub lands and tropical hammock! (Did you know the term "Tropical Hammock" was derive from a native American Indian term?)
They also offer near daily boat tours so you can get out and enjoy these beautiful animals right up close! These tours often leave at 1:30pm daily.
The ocean is an incredible place, and it would be a shame not to be a part of it!
How much does it cost?
- Free Under: 5 with an adult, as well as members
When can we go?
October to June: Tues - Sat 10am - 5pm / Sunday 12pm - 4pm. Summer hours: Thurs - Sat 10am - 5pm.
Closed Mondays October to June. Closed Sun - Wed summer hours. Also closed Easter, Thanksgiving, C
The center want to promote the education of these creatures, and offer school programs and field trips with interactive programs that can be taught at the center or as an Outreach to the schools. They also offer programs and special events, such as art classes and workshops, s well as camp programs. .
Any Top Tips?
Hold your birthday party there! They will give you a fun and educational experience - and we bet you will be the only person in your class who has had a manatee join them on their big day! .
Doing our bit
The center is non-profit organization who dedicate their time to studying, and learning about these creatures, and ensuring they pass on their knowledge to the next generation to help preserve this endangered species. .
Can I get one of those?
There is of course a gift shop where you can buy a range of items such as books, clothing, souvenirs, toys and games, and of course a heap of manatee related items! Why not take a book home to continue your education?.