The Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead is celebrating its 17th birthday this month and June just happens to be National Aquarium Month. Over the years, the aquarium has not only been a hot destination for Long Island vacationers, it has also been featured on Sesame Street as well as on several reality television shows including Tanked and Project Runway All Stars. The Netflix Marvel Universe hit Jessica Jones also filmed there recently with star Krysten Ritter. Aside from it’s noteworthy entertainment creds, the Aquarium is home to one the of Western Hemisphere’s largest all-living coral reef displays and houses one of North America’s largest living insects exhibit. And it has more than one million gallons of water! “It’s a pretty special place,” said anyone who has ever been there. So get out to Riverhead and say hello to the little fishes.
This Long Island gem has enough exhibits, adventures and experiences to keep your entire family going all day—with smiles on their faces the whole time. There’s the 3,000-gallon saltwater tank with close to 30 different plant and animal species, all collected locally by the aquarium’s biologists. There are also exhibits featuring piranha, electric eels, cuttlefish, puffer fish, jellyfish, stingrays, seahorses and more critters that go swimming through the seas. Outside, you’ll find alligators and other reptiles, a koi pond, sea lions and seals (you can even get a selfie with a sea lion!), more stingrays, African penguins, river otters and other exhibits. There’s something for everyone—who likes sea critters, that is.
But it’s not only aquatic wildlife at this aquarium. Thousands of butterflies from all over the world flutter around the butterflies exhibit, which is located directly next to the fully interactive birds exhibit, home to more than 40 small, exotic parrot species. Then, for the not-faint-of-heart, is the aforementioned bugs exhibit in the Insect Preservatory. Did you know that insects account for about 75% of all known animal species!?
The Aquarium also offers a handful of aquatic adventures. Take an interactive cruise aboard the Atlantis Explorer Tour Boat and enjoy plenty of hands-on exploration. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be close up to a penguin you might want to get in on the Penguin Encounter—a 45-minute interactive opportunity to learn how animal experts care for those hilarious waddling birds. Then there’s the shark dive. If you’re brave enough, you can nestle yourself inside a cage and get dumped in the middle of the Aquarium’s 120,000-gallon Lost City of Atlantis Shark Exhibit where you will be circled by sharks—well fed ones, we hope.
Add extra value to your visit by taking advantage of some special deals the aquarium offers. Military and law enforcement personnel and their families save 10% off full price admission. Come in after 4 p.m. and get 50% off admission. Is it your birthday? Present a valid ID seven days before or after your birthday and get free admission. Free. It doesn’t get better than that. There’s also a coupon online for add-on fun. Add $5 to your admission price and get a $5 arcade card, unlimited rides on the submarine simulator and on discovery tower. That’s pretty good, too.
You could become a member, which entitles you to free unlimited admission for a year, a 10% discount at the Long Island Aquarium Café and at the City Treasure Gift Shop and on select special events like family sleepovers, holiday brunches and more.
The Long Island Aquarium is located at 431 East Main Street in Riverhead. Call 631-208-9200 or visit longislandaquarium.com for more information.