The Long Island Aquarium opened on Long Island in 2000 and is themed around the Lost City of Atlantis. With its fascinating mixture of science and nature, this is an educational yet entertaining attraction that is suitable for just about every age group.
The Long Island Aquarium boasts a range of both indoor and outdoor exhibits, as well as special interactive displays. The indoor exhibits are always fun to explore, with the American Alligators, which are native to the southeastern United States, being one of the highlights. Archerfish, which actually spit at their prey, are another creature that you will see, as are the Discus Fish, which is one of the newest exhibits in the aquarium. Another must-see display is the Coral Reef, which is actually one of the largest all-living closed-system coral reefs in the Western Hemisphere.
The outdoor exhibits at the Long Island Aquarium are where you will find a few of the aquarium’s larger creatures. The Penguin Pavilion is open year-round, and is home to African penguins, while the Sea Lion Coliseum is where you can go to watch majestic sea lions play together. The Otter Falls is home to two North American river otters, while the Koi Pond contains multiple species of koi, which are the national fish of Japan. For those who did not get enough of the alligators in the indoor exhibits, there are more to see outdoors at the Gator Invasion exhibit. This is open from June to September, as these are the months when the huge American alligators crawl up onto the banks of the Peconic River. From July to Labor Day, there are talks held at this exhibit to teach visitors more about these incredible reptiles.
While watching the creatures of the Long Island Aquarium is definitely an educational experience, there is often so much more to be learned from being able to have the opportunity to directly interact with these animals, which is where the aquarium’s interactive experiences come in. The Penguin Encounter has guests meeting the African penguins up-close while learning how the aquarium keepers care for them, while the Pirate Snorkel Adventure will see you finding treasures below the water while swimming with a wide range of tropical fish. For those who are seeking more of an adrenaline rush, the Shark Dive might be just the activity for you, as this puts you nose-to-nose with some of the largest predators to be found in the ocean. If you are visiting the aquarium on a hot day, then do pay a visit to the Interactive Salt Marsh, which you will be able to walk through while being taught about the many inhabitants that reside here, from the horseshoe crabs to the whelks.
The Long Island Aquarium has frequently been voted as one of the best in the country, thanks to the way in which it emphasizes the importance of marine life, as well as environmental preservation. For those who are interested in marine life and the environment, this is a New York attraction that you will definitely not want to miss.