February 1, 2014 - New England Aquarium with EBNHC
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish! With the lack of snow, Boston ICO decided to head inside to visit the the New England Aquarium. ICO volunteers Caitlin, Emily and myself, along with two Let's Get Movin' coaches lead a group of 24 kids to the Aquarium for the first day. I lead the opening circle where everyone introduced themselves and shared one animal they were looking forward to seeing. We even found out that it would be the first visit for a few kids, which was going to make the day extra special.
After going one stop on the Blue Line, our first destination was to see the harbor seals at the entrance to the aquarium. Once inside, we visited the Touch Tank, where we had the opportunity to touch sharks and rays. The kids were very excited but had to pay close attention to the aquarium educators to ensure that they would not scare the animals. It was amazing to see that the rays would come right up to you, but you had to be patient! Downstairs from the touch tank was an exhibit with jellyfish of all sizes. We then entered the main building to see the penguins and explore the Giant Tank. We were lucky to see a diver who was checking on the turtles. She even waived to the kids! There was a lot to see as we explored the three levels of exhibits including an electric eel, octopus, sea dragons, and fish of all sizes. The Tide Pool touch tank was another favorite as there were a variety of starfish and crabs to see - including a hermit crab.
Since it was a relatively mild day, we decided to have lunch outside by the water. Everyone enjoyed a healthy selection of sandwiches, carrots & hummus and pretzels - although we had to be careful as the seagulls also wanted to dine with us. We then went back inside to finish exploring the exhibits after an inevitable trip through the gift shop. We were able to catch an informative talk at the top of the Giant Tank where we learned more about the Giant Sea Turtles. One of them, Myrtle was about 90 years old! Next, it was onto see the California Sea Lions and Fur Seals in their outdoor exhibit. We had great timing and got to see them play with a variety of toys in a training session. Many of the kids also got the chance to ask questions. We made one last stop at the Shark & Ray Touch Tank where we got to see them being fed. We then sadly had to wrap up the day and head back to East Boston. Caitlin lead the closing circle where everyone was excited to share their favorite part of the day. Many also could not wait to return to the Aquarium again soon.
~ Liz S.
View trip photos here.