It's a known fact that of all animals in captivity, aquatic ones are the least depressing.
To complete your holiday fish list, check out one of the nation's best aquariums, located only 45 minutes away in Baltimore. The Baltimore National Aquarium is home to more than 16,000 aquatic animals in their natural-ish habitats, and offers a variety of activities and special programs.
This January, a new exhibit, "Jellies Invasion: Oceans Out of Balance" focuses on the ocean's natural balance of aquatic ecosystems, and how the behavior of jellyfish could be a harbinger of danger to come. (This is 2012, after all.)
While you're there, be sure to also check out the ever-popular dolphin show. You'll learn about watersheds and how the water in your community affects the ocean and its inhabitants... but the learning is done via a fun and lively dolphin show, of course.
Aquarium admission is $24.95 for adults and $19.95 for kids. Add the dolphin show for $3 more.
And you don't just have to look at the creatures -- you can also eat the pesty ones. On Tuesday, Jan. 24, the aquarium will host a dinner with Chef Chad Wells. The menu will feature invasive species that threaten the Maryland ecosystem, also offering a lesson in sustainability.
(But no, this doesn't include octopus. The one pictured above is NOT for munching!)
Diners will enjoy snakehead and blue catfish caught from the Potomac, while sipping cocktails and special after-hours access to the aquarium. The dinner is $89 for nonmembers.