Sealed With A Kiss!
The New England Aquarium
As summer begins to wind down, I suggest a trip that will delight the whole family and can be enjoyed all year round. I recently went to Boston, to meet another family member and visit the New England Aquarium for the first time in over fifteen years. Said family member had just finished reading The Soul of an Octopus and wanted to visit the animal that inspired the book.
Thanks to the advice of my son, I did not drive into Boston, choosing instead to get off at Sullivan Square, pay a mere eight dollars to park my car, and take the T into the city. If your kids have never been on a subway before this can be a very enriching and educational experience as they listen to many languages and learn to watch for their stop on the route.
One of the most delightful discoveries at the Aquarium came almost right away. Walking into the main floor, visitors are greeted with an open enclosure of penguins from different parts of the world. I hope that these creatures enjoy all the grinning visitors as much as we enjoy them.
Much joy was shared when we attended the seal show, set just outside and adjacent to the rear of the Aquarium. There we met Ron, a California Seal, recently born, and only making his third appearance in the show. All of us were hoping he would get into the water, in spite too much attention from the other seals. And he did! First dipping his head in and making sure he knew where his mother was.
There were several opportunities to touch sting rays, star fish and other sea creatures. As we wound our way up through the floors we kept our eyes open for the oldest resident of the Aquarium, Myrtle the turtle. There is nothing quite like watching a young child squeal in delight and practically levitate when they spot her in the tank.
The Aquarium has really improved their signs and descriptions, and their docents are really emphasizing the science of the sea, and what can affect behavior or cause extinction. I saw quite a few young people taking pictures not only of the creatures but the plaques explaining the region they hailed from.
After spending a lot of time looking at various tanks and creatures, we finally discovered the Octopus. This creature drew both interest and fear from some, much like the piranha’s in another tank. But the more we studied it, it was apparent that in spite of its appearance there was a lot of thinking in the way it moved and positioned itself.
The New England Aquarium is about the same cost as it is to get into many museums these days. Families should consider purchasing a membership, as it may be more economical and also provides discounts for their food and gift shop. Much of the money collected for admission goes for the very vital research and rehabilitation that the Aquarium does for creatures, many who are never seen by the public.
And if you have time, stroll around, you are a short distance from the North End, and the harbor has many nice spots to sit in, including Columbus park with performers and a playground.