My favorite part was the planetarium. We only caught one of several shows, Passport to the Universe. It showed exactly where in the observable universe we are, and I had no idea how much there was to the observable universe. Honestly I could have spend the entire day in the planetarium.
They museum also has a second stage rehabilitation facility for manatees. that means it homes manatees that were previouly injured or orphaned and treated elsewhere. It’s a place where the manatees can stay until they are ready to be released back into the wild. I hadn’t realized that injured manatees where treated in a different place then they were kept to recover, but it makes sense considering how many there are to be taken care of. There are several presentations given throughout the day where you can learn about what they do at the facility and also about the individual manatees that are currently there.
When I visited they had 3 manatees that were all there due to being orphaned. ONeal, Obsidian, and Slate. They can’t release young manatees until they reach 600 pounds, and then only towards the end of winter. The woman giving the presentation I attended said they are released in the winter into warm waters because that will allow them to know where to come back to every winter. They sort of imprint on that spot and come back every winter to avoid suffering from cold stress. I’ve attended several presentations on manatees in different places and I always learn something new.