When we pulled into Niagara Falls, NY I kind of wanted to build anticipation up for seeing the falls. Instead of heading right to the falls we first made a stop at the Aquarium of Niagara. I had read several online reviews about this attraction and most said that we should skip it, but I thought my kids would have fun so we pressed on anyways. $33 later, we were visiting a tiny run down Aquarium and I was kind of kicking myself for not listening to the online reviews. Regardless, the kids enjoyed the 45 minutes we were there (it could have only taken 5 minutes, I made everyone walk really slow and really look in all the tanks).
Outside of the aquarium is a pool where the resident Sea Lion lives. We happened to arrive right at the time of the Sea Lion demonstration which was basically an employee feeding the Sea Lion while it laid on the cement next to her and another employee spout out facts about the animal. There were two Sea Lion “trainers” in training sitting next to the animal as well looking very awkward. This monologue of facts was not at all interesting for the kids so we didn’t stay for the whole “show”.
Inside things didn’t get any better. After being yelled at by the employee at the ticket counter wondering if we had tickets or not we purchased tickets and went inside. Every other person also entering the aquarium also got yelled in regards to tickets because there isn’t anything from blocking people from walking right in to the build and seeing all the fish tanks. They need a better system that verbal harassment of everyone entering the doors.
Once we were inside it was obvious it wasn’t going to take long. We have been to several “real” aquariums and by that I mean aquariums by the seaside that have more than 25 tanks of fish.
The building and exhibits were old and run down looking. A lot of the tanks weren’t clean. When we were in the shark room I was impressed with the decor. That room was fun and the kids love posing for pictures in the shark “cage” like they were swimming with the sharks.
One thing the aquarium did a great job with was information. There were placards with information everywhere. Fun facts about different fish in the exhibits and informational plaques helped the kids learn all about the fish in the tanks. There were also several types of new fish my kids hadn’t seen before that they really enjoyed watching.
My recommendation for your trip to Niagara Falls is this, look into the Discovery Pass. This pass includes admissions to 5 attractions for one discounted price. The aquarium is one of the places you will visit. Since you will be visiting 5 locations throughout the area for one discounted price, it’ll probably seem more worth it. We weren’t in town long enough for that pass to be worth it for us.
Have you visited the Aquarium of Niagara? I’d love to hear what you think about it.