International Fishing Hall of Fame - Dania Beach, FL
by The Perkins
Kids with a Swordfish
We decided to visit the International Fishing Hall of Fame in Dania Beach, Florida one sunny Saturday morning. We had picked up a $1 off coupon from a tourist rack that advertised the museum and a documentary currently being shown: Shark Water.
So off we went! This museum is next door to a Bass Pro Fishing Store nestled right off I-95 in the heart of Ft Lauderdale Florida. Even though you can hear cars on the freeway zooming by, and there are plenty of visitors in the neighboring mega store, the museum had an off-the-beaten-path feel to it, perhaps because of the wetlands surrounding it.
As we were approaching the museum, between the building and the parking lot, there was a little pond out front with wild ducks. The kids noticed a nest full of duck eggs on the edge, and we crept up to it to take a closer look. We were all shocked to find such wildlife in the city!
When we went to pay for our admission, and presented our coupon, the attendant mentioned that we were supposed to have one coupon per visitor for the discount. I generally only take one flier, assuming that either they will honor the discount for each party member or they only offer the discount on one person anyway. This way I leave fliers for the next person. But they said they needed one per person. At any rate, even though I didn't argue it, they generously took $4 off our admission price.
We had gotten there early to catch the first viewing of the documentary before the Saturday crowds showed up, and we were immediately directed to an open door where the movie was being shown. Had the door been shut, we would have seen the “Parent Advisory Warning” notice!
The movie, a recent documentary called “Shark Water” was actually quite good....for adults. It was a length film, upwards of 1.5 hours, documenting one man's journey to try to stop the hunting and eradication of sharks for the purpose of using their fins in Shark Fin Soup.
There was much death and destruction as helpless sharks where brought onto fishing boats and their fins were sliced off of them, while alive, and then the poor creatures were dumped back into the ocean to bleed to death.
While I do like opening my children's eyes to these sorts of issues, had I known both how graphic the movie was as well as how long it was, I would have passed on it. After the movie was over, we heard another couple with kids under 5 talking about “making the next show” and I stopped them, explaining what it was like. They really need to make that notice more clear!
After the movie, we were off to explore the International Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum. The kids had a blast! There were interactive video games, and a fun hands on fishing game where the kids picked up real reels, and tried to hook a fish on a video screen. They could have played there all day.
There was lots and lots of fishing memorabilia, as well as the promise Hall of Fame. Outside was a houseboat that you could walk on board and even a wetland trail on a boardwalk to visit with wildlife.
It was a fun, different outing, and really unexpected.