Add It to the Bucket List: Paint With Sea Lions in the Florida Keys

Sep 20, 2018

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Swimming with pigs is cool and all, but heading home with an original piece of artwork by a sea creature-turned-artist might be a bit cooler. Head to Theater of the Sea in the Florida Keys, and you can spend some time painting a picture with a sea lion.

Don’t worry about your own painting skill level — you’re relatively off of the hook when it comes to being creative. Visitors are tasked with the easy part: choosing the colors. The rest is up to the sea lion. With some help and a few signals from a trainer, the sea lion will create a completely unique piece of artwork for you to take home.

In all honesty, the pieces more resemble the artwork you may see coming out of a kindergarten art class, but they are one-of-a-kind. Find a frame for your sea lion’s art and you’ve got quite the conversation piece.

Even though you don’t get to do any painting yourself, you will get a chance to wave and interact with your artist. The experience costs $95 per person and the proceeds go toward Theater of the Sea’s animal enrichment program, according to the park’s website. This money is used to “increase physical activity, provide mental stimulation, encourage species appropriate behavior, and promote positive social interaction.”

The entire painting session will take 30 minutes (with a 10-minute orientation), but there are plenty of other activities at the park to fill your day. If you’re still looking to do some swimming with animals, you can take a dip with sea lions, sharks, rays, and dolphins. There’s also a lagoon beach open to guests who want to take a break and swim, sunbathe, or snorkel.

For more information on booking tickets, head to the Theater of the Sea website.

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