With summer vacation season almost here, a lot of parents are no doubt looking for something to do with the little ones. If you’re in the Daytona Beach area, let me recommend this cool educational place next door to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse called the Marine Science Center.

I know what you’re thinking. Educational? My kids will never go for it, especially if they’re on break from school.

But the Marine Science Center is one of those unique attractions that makes learning fun. The main exhibit area contains larger-than-life creatures native to Florida like a mamma manatee and her calf, and a mosquito on steroids.

Unusual fish species circle around in aquariums, while a touch tank in the middle of the room allows visitors to get up close and personal with sting rays.

Outside the main building is where real-life rehabilitation happens on a daily basis. At Turtle Terrace, guests can get a bird’s eye view of several large tanks where injured sea turtles are given a little TLC by the professional staff. When healthy enough, the endangered sea turtles are returned to their native habitat.

The Marine Science Center also features a bird rehabilitation sanctuary, a classroom lab, a nature trail and an observation tower.

There’s enough to do on-property to kill 2-3 hours. The best thing about the MSC is that it’s relatively inexpensive. Adult tickets cost $5 while kids ages 3-12 get in for $2.

The Marine Science Center is closed on Mondays and major holidays.