The Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead can definitely boast about its location and beautiful water view as well as being LI’s only aquarium! I debated even writing this post, since the more I invite people, the more crowded it gets. But OK, I’ll do it since it really is a gem of an aquarium. Not the biggest, nor the fanciest but it has the great feel of the lost city of Atlantis ( which is actually it’s former name: Atlantis Marine World. Why they changed it, I have no clue). Kids can do some mock digging in the Indiana Jones style cave out back and you’ll see a shipwreck in the shark tank as well. The lost city it is.
Face it, aquariums are fun so I’m more than willing to share with you if you haven’t been there yet. As a member, we’ve been there countless times, and in all seasons. Summer being my favorite since the outdoor area is beautiful , but in winter it’s a nice escape and even feels a little tropical in the midst of a deep-freeze.
Another nice thing about aquariums is that , really, they are for any age. Even kids as young as 2 get excited watching the fish (where’s Nemo and Dory?) and kids a bit older just love the sea lion show and watching the great whites in the shark tunnel. Older kids go for the rock wall, the simulator ride ( fee) and the game room. Yes, there’s even a cool game room so bring a few extra bucks. Plus indoor and outdoor dining and an ice cream shop outside. I’ve been known to kick off my flip flops and relax as the kids climb the rock wall for half an hour. There’s a great little wading area too, where families can roll up their pants and wade amongst the horseshoe crabs.
My kids love watching the seahorses and the underwater viewing of the sea lion who will swim the same lap endlessly( seriously, does this guy ever take a break?)
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I really enjoy the monkeys outside and we all get a kick out of watching the bats hang upside down. To the bat pole Robin! (sorry, couldn’t resist!)
Kids can feed the koi and feed the stingrays. This also is another favorite-my girl loves to pet those stingrays. On the way out, the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Conservation has a room where you can donate to help their rescued animals (there were over 25 last week they told me) and you can view a tank with one (a cute seal when I was there). There’s plenty of marine life education in the room and info about how man’s pollution is destroying water and hurting fish.That’s when you may want to take a minute to educate the kids that it’s not all fun and games, it’s about doing your part in the world.
I didn’t even mention it all as I’m sure you’ll want to explore the aquarium on your own and who am I to take away the surprises?
Whichever season you choose, I hope you have a fabulous day at the aquarium.
Looking for more day-cations on the east end of Island? Learn about 6 more places here.