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3 Family-Friendly Wildlife Sanctuaries to Visit

Got a kid who loves animal adventures? Visit these spots to see American wildlife conservation in action on your next family vacation.

Learning Benefits

Alaska SeaLife Center (Seward, AK)

One of the few nonprofits in the world that is both a public aquarium and a top research facility, this organization brings the oceanic critters of the 49th state up close. You’ll meet sea lions, Alaskan king crabs, puffins, and more. You can also take a private tour to learn how stranded animals are rehabilitated, as well as meet, feed, and interact with an eight-legged wonder: the Giant Pacific Octopus!

International Wolf Center
(Ely, MN) 

Hands-on exhibits unleash the secrets of this mysterious animal. Discover what makes a wolf howl, how pups communicate, and ways your family can help protect their habitat. Daily programs offer the chance to meet an “ambassador” wolf and watch the pack eat dinner. The Little Wolf exhibit, an area for kids, and the life-size bronze statues at the museum entrance (great for photo ops!) are big hits.

Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary (Indian Shores, FL) 

From owls to parrots to pelicans, the country’s largest wild bird hospital admits about 30 species every day. More than 8,000 injured birds a year receive treatment; those that cannot be released find permanent homes here. The sanctuary is open to visitors every day of the year from 9 a.m. until sunset. A short path at the back takes you to the beach. Visits are free. 


More Kid-Friendly Animal Adventures
Ecotourism Trips for Families
Discover more great family vacation tips!

Photo Credit from Top: © Ron Niebrugge/Alamy; © International Wolf Center; © Thomas R. Fletcher/Alamy

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