Troubadourable folk buddies Simon and Garfunkel once sang that "it's all happening at the zoo," before retiring from music to live out their days serenely basking in the reptile habitat. Get happening with today's Groupon: for $42, you get one spot in the Sea Lion Splash program for kids at Oceans of Fun, located in the Milwaukee County Zoo (an $85 value). Classes meet on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m., and trainers may add Sunday afternoon and Saturday morning classes to meet demand.
The experienced marine mammal trainers at Oceans of Fun, one of the Midwest's largest sea-lion training facilities, teach kids to train, bond, and communicate with friendly seals and sea lions in hands-on, poolside sessions. Each 2.5-hour class commences with kids gathering around an outdoor pool for a briefing on seals and sea lions, including basics on how to train and communicate with seals. During the following interactive session, kids get up-close and personal with the flipper-wavers by asking them to perform behaviors using sea lion sign language, hands, voices, and synchronized-swimming routines. Parents have the option to hang out in dry stadium seating to snap photos and capture footage of junior trainers working with whiskery California sea lions and sleek harbor seals. Kids should arrive at the outdoor pool dressed for the weather and prepared to get splashed by a star seal. Classes harbor about 15 students, ensuring that trainers can offer plenty of individual attention in a fun, sociable environment for trainers-in-training.
Oceans of Fun
Bumper, Slick, Makaia, and Diego may sound like a team of superheroes, but at Oceans of Fun, they are the names of just 4 of the 11 sea lions and seals that inhabit the center's waters. Nestled in the Milwaukee County Zoo, the educational center focuses specifically on marine animals, educating visitors on their traits, their favorite places to play, and conservation strategies. Kids can feed the seals and sea lions buckets of fresh fish or build their animal-training repertoire during interactive programs; the animals also perform in shows four times daily throughout most of the year.