January 26, 2013 - Boston Aquarium with EBNHC
On Saturday, January 26, Sierra Club Boston Inner City Outings (ICO) paired up with East Boston Neighborhood Health Center’s (EBNHC) Let’s Get Movin’ program to host a group of Let’s Get Movin’ kids on a fun and interactive trip to the New England Aquarium. The group consisted of 3 ICO volunteers (Amy, Allison, and Amanda), 2 Let’s Get Movin’ coaches (Mickey and Katie), and 10 boys and girls.
As the group gathered at EBNHC’s East Boston location, sandwiches and snacks were prepared and the children were briefed on trip expectations. At about 10AM the group made their way to the aquarium via the MBTA’s Blue Line.
Upon arrival, the kids were more than happy to spend the first 5-10 minutes of the visit outside – in bone-chilling weather – gazing into the harbor seals’ outdoor tank. Next, the group ventured to another outdoor exhibit for a live presentation on fur seals.
Eager to warm up, everyone headed inside to drop off coats and explore the rest of the exhibits. There were plenty of interactive activities for the kids to participate in including the Shark and Ray Touch Tank which contains live sting rays and small sharks for everyone to reach into the water and touch. The kids absolutely loved this experience!
Other highlights for the kids included the jelly fish exhibit, another touch tank filled with shellfish (see attached photo), the Amazon Rainforest exhibit which features a live anaconda (big enough to eat up to 150 pounds at a time!), and a whale sounds system which allows the children to hear whale calls and then mimic the sounds while recording themselves.
After checking out the majority of the exhibits it was time for lunch. The kids and leaders went to the aquarium’s café and ate a healthy meal consisting of sandwiches, fruit and veggies, pretzels and hummus. The kids and leaders then continued on to explore the remainder of exhibits and of course, the trip ended with a visit to the gift store.
Overall, the trip went quite smoothly, was an awesome interactive experience, and a great way to take a group on an adventure despite the winter weather. The kids and leaders were excited the whole way through with the only down side being that the Giant Ocean Tank and the Penguin area were closed for construction. Nonetheless, it just means there is one more reason for this group and future groups to head over to the aquarium to explore the new exhibits once they reopen.