Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Top 10 Reasons to Visit in September

Fall is right around the corner. Beach towels are back on the shelves, the nights are cooling off and kids are heading back to school. But the excitement of summer is still sizzling here at the New England Aquarium. In fact, September is a great time to visit! The crowds of summertime tourists have thinned while the New Aquarium Experience remains in high gear.

Here are just a couple reasons to head to the New England Aquarium this month:

1. Talk to the divers—underwater! Check out the special presentations at the top of the Giant Ocean Tank. During these talks, divers feed live video from inside the tank to a pair of HD screens, where visitors can get a feel for what it's like to float among the fish on the newly construction Caribbean coral reef. You might have a chance to ask a diver a question!

Here's a look at these engaging interactions.

2. New faces There are more than 2,000 different animals in the Giant Ocean Tank right now, but divers are still adding new fish to the exhibit. Meet some of the newest arrivals, and learn how the dive team keeps them safe and comfy before their debut.

Divers let new fish acclimate to the big Caribbean reef. Learn more.

3. The always-popular shark and ray touch tank As the weather gets cooler, don't forget that it's always tropical in The Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank! Roll up your sleeves and bathe your fingertips into the warm waters of a mangrove habitat, where smooth cownose rays glide under your hand and educators share fascinating facts about these animals.

Cownose rays are the stars of The Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank
4. Penguins, penguins, penguins! The Aquarium is home to three species of penguins—rockhopper, African and little blue penguins. You can find more than 80 adult and juvenile penguins hopping around their rocky exhibit or rocketing through the water in this large exhibit. Follow the Penguin Blog to keep tabs on some of the youngest and fluffiest members of the penguin colony behind the scenes.

More than 80 penguins live at the New England Aquarium!

5. Jewel tanks in the Yawkey Coral Reef Center At the top of the Giant Ocean Tank  you'll find some brand new exhibits that offer intimate views on some small, shy or unusual animals. Take a closer look at the hidden side of a Caribbean reef! The dwarf seahorses are impossibly tiny, the vibrant frogfish walks about its exhibit and the garden eels bob and sway with the currents its exhibit in the Yawkey Coral Reef Center.

The frogfish walks about its exhibit, just one of the fascinating and unusual animals in the Yawkey Coral Reef Center.
6. Seals and sea lions in the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center Watching some of the youngest fur seals and the frenetic sea lions splash about this open-air exhibit, you'll forget that it's cooling down outside. These energetic marine mammals are always up to something—whether they're playing, wrestling or learning new skills from their trainers.

7. Baby sharks Fast. Fascinating. Predators. These are often words that come to mind when talking about sharks. But adorable? Yup! Just one visit to the Shark Nursery in the Blue Planet Action Center and you'll be gushing over the cute shark pups born right here at the Aquarium.

8. Octopus playtime Octopus are clever cephalopods that thrive with mental stimulation. Our giant Pacific octopus is often challenged with food puzzles or given an opportunity to explore a new object for enrichment purposes. Seek out this eight-armed critter in the cold-water exhibits and see if she's stretching her brain cells!

9. Sea jellies are totally photogenic Maybe it's because they're so slow-moving. Maybe it's the dramatic lighting. Maybe it's because they look so unusual. Whatever the reason, jellies are always a popular subject for professional and amateur photographers alike. Point your camera at these brainless blobs and show us what you've got! Share pictures with us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ and Instagram.

10. Because Myrtle

560 pounds of green sea turtle: It's hard to miss the queen of the Giant Ocean Tank.

Visiting the Aquarium is easy! Pick up a timed ticket online. You can even print out your ticket at home. You'll be in the door and checking off these top 10 reasons to visit in no time. Of course, members visit anytime they want.

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