New York's famed Aquarium, part of the Wildlife Conservation Society, spans 14 beachfront acres in Coney Island. It houses more than 10,000 fish and other marine creatures, including giant sea turtles, playful California sea otters and 400-pound tiger sharks. Visitors may explore conservation efforts in 16 habitats, from the Glover's Reef to the Amazon River and from ocean depths to dry desert climates. Popular attractions include the Aquatheater, where sea lions take center stage, as well as Explore the Shore, Alien Stingers and Sea Cliffs, indoor installations with video displays and hands-on exhibits.
The Aquarium's many exhibits appeal to children of all ages who want to explore the magic and mystery of the marine world. Even the youngest children enjoy seeing these marine animals so closely. Daily feeding demonstrations and Aquatheater shows are especially well-suited to this age group. In addition to visiting the many exhibits, families can enjoy special demonstrations. Parent/toddler and preschool programs, family programs on penguins and sharks, and seashore arts and crafts are perennial favorites. During the summer, the Marine Explorer (for children ages 6 to 9) and Junior Oceanographer (for youngsters ages 10 to 13) programs bring kids close to the animals and their keepers. Adult workshops on home aquarium care help parents bring aquatic life into their homes. Program fees vary, but always include admission. Aquarium birthday parties can be arranged; reservations should be made at least three months in advance. Please note that party reservations are accepted for September through May only.
Family Admission: Varies with program
Workshops, guided tours and special behind-the-scenes programs enliven students' understanding of marine life and environments. Programs are age-appropriate, from songs and art activities for children in Pre-Kindergarten and kindergarten to tours of the tanks and in-depth beach exploration for high school students. The Aquarium provides previsit materials for all classes and has an ongoing schedule of teachers' workshops. The Brown Bag resource kit, includes 10 curriculum units providing activity ideas, and elementary information.
School Admission: $140-$170 per group (admission included)
School Program Location: At facility only