The New York Aquarium is the only aquarium in New York City and features over 8,000 species of sea life. From Walruses to Jellyfish, there is definitely a sea creature at the aquarium that is sure to satisfy the curiosity of each family member.
Feedings, Training and Demonstrations
Feedings at the shark tank are especially popular at the New York Aquarium. In addition to their daily feedings, visitors may witness meal times for the penguins, walruses, and sea lions. The feeding times vary and are posted at the zoo entrance.
Training, or Animal Enrichment, at the New York Aquarium is essential in order for the animals to maintain a sense of balance while kept in captivity. Special "toys" and "treats" have been developed in order to ensure the best possible success for each animal. Toys and treats are different depending on the animal and are used specifically to meet the needs of different creatures.
It is quite possible to happen upon an informal training demonstration, as well. Many times, visitors spy sea otters playing around with balls or barrels. It is a special treat to watch as the octopus flounders around in search of fish that have been hidden. This method is used to make sure the octopus continues to maintain his physical and mental capabilities.
Family Programs at the New York Aquarium
The family programs at the New York Aquarium are targeted toward children of all ages. For babies as young as 6-18 months, marine life is explored through the use of puzzles, books, toys, and sand. There is also a Planet Ocean course that is geared toward preschool aged children. This program utilizes song and dance to educate guests about the fascinating world of sharks, seals, and walruses, while speaking in terms that make it easy for children in this age group to understand and to learn.
One of the most exciting opportunities available ais "Sleep in the Deep." This activity allows children and parents to sleep with the fishes, so to speak. The overnight excursion begins once the aquarium is closed to the general public. The fun starts with a nighttime tour of the aquarium, which allows children to learn about the bedtime rituals of sea life. Classroom instruction educates participants on the habits of the underwater world. In the wee morning hours, visitors are able to feed the fish before indulging in their own continental breakfast, which is provided by the aquarium. This program is available to children 6-12, but an adult must accompany all participating children.
For the older child who may dream of one day working for the New York Aquarium, the facility offers "Marine Research 101". This program is available to kids age 12-15. The educational program emphasizes the difficulties researchers overcome in order to study sea life. It also offers enhanced education for those who are interested in the mechanics of the sea world.
New York Aquarium "Must Sees"
Based on an overwhelming response to specific arenas, the New York Aquarium has developed a list of "must sees." These are exhibits that have been the most popular throughout the years. Sea jellies remain one of the most popular underwater creatures to discover. Visitors to the New York Aquarium are hesitant to touch them, but always interested in seeing them and learning more. The aquarium refers to the jellies as "alien stingers" because of their mysterious looks.
A new permanent feature at the aquarium that also receives a great deal of attention is the sea horse. One last important stop is at the Aquatheater, where visitors can enjoy a show performed by the sea lions. Here, the sea lions are able to display their playfulness and their abilities to use their toys and tricks to entertain.