Summer is quickly approaching, and we're always looking for something fun to do surrounded by nature. If you're looking to get up close with animals, this penguin adventure in Florida gets you up close with adorable African Penguins.

Chances are living in Florida you don't get to see penguins every day, but The Florida Aquarium in Tampa gets you up close and personal with these docile creatures in their Penguin: Backstage Pass experience. They are seriously the cutest.

This fun and educational experience happens in small groups of no more than 14 and runs for about 30 minutes. You'll get to pet penguins, watch them play and waddle their adorable little tushies, as well as see them interact and swim with their penguin pals. This might be the most adorable way to spend an afternoon.

You may even catch a glimpse into their feeding and exercise habits during feeding time. The entire experience is led by an expert penguin biologist, who makes sure the penguins are safe and well-cared for, as well as answers any questions you may have about them and their highly specialized care.

Now you may be thinking what I first thought, Penguins...in FLORIDA!? These South African Birds actually live in temperate environments and are used to warmer weather. You won't need a jacket while you visit them in their "Penguin Suite".

Tickets for the Penguins Backstage Pass must be purchased in person at the Aquarium's Guest Services kiosk or ticket booths the day you are visiting the Aquarium. The experience happens daily and is $30 per person, or $25 if you're an Aquarium Member.

If you're ready to play with the penguins, The Florida Aquarium is located at 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602. They're open 9:30 am - 5 pm daily. 

The Florida Aquarium informed Narcity that they are accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. The AZA regularly evaluates and re-evaluates Zoos and Aquariums that have received accreditation to ensure that they continue to meet the highest standards possible for animal care, animal health, habitat maintenance, and cleanliness. 

The Florida Aquarium is also a non-profit organization that seeks to entertain, educate, and inspire stewardship of the natural environment - with a vision to protect and restore our Blue Planet. They work to rescue, rehabilitate, and release all kinds of marine life important to Florida's natural ecosystems, such as sharks, sea turtles, and coral.

For more information about The Florida Aquarium's mission, vision, and history - check their website here.

To see what all goes into receiving an AZA Accreditation, check the AZA's website here.

We strongly advise that before you go visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security and animal rights. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment and the animals.

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