Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Austin Aquarium

The Austin Aquarium: Sea to Believe recently opened its doors after a lot of controversy about its owners ability to properly manage and stock an aquarium attraction. Last weekend, a friend invited Boogs and I to go with her to the aquarium with her two nieces. 
The Aquarium is located at the end of a strip mall. My first impression upon walking in the door was not that great. It felt dirty and rundown even though they have only been open a couple of months. You have to walk through a merchandise area to get in to the exhibit area and you must exit the exhibit area by walking through a "gift shop". The exhibit area is so dark that you have trouble seeing the floor. The darkness made it difficult to keep track of Boogs.

I definitely felt there are more cons to this aquarium than pros. Some of the tanks seemed to be well designed but others made me very sad for the animals housed in them. There is a big lack of signage and not much of an attempt to educate the public about the animals and fish. One of the signs actually made me laugh. The sign said something like "Don't Touch. Fish Bite." This sign was not at all prominent on an easily accessible open tank. On the positive side, the staff was friendly and seemed to be well-informed about the animals on exhibit.

There were several open tanks for interacting and feeding sharks, bat rays, and anemones. Boogs enjoyed interacting and touching these animals. The tanks were pretty bare, I felt sorry for the lack of hiding spots for these animals.

I don't really know what to say about the Austin Aquarium. I won't be going again. But, Boogs liked seeing all of the fish and animals. I don't think he enjoyed it much more than when we go hang out and see the animals at the pet store. There is not much of an educational value of going to this aquarium. The entire place felt like it was not well planned and kind of shoddily put together. It does make me want to plan a trip to take Boogs to a real aquarium like Moody Gardens in Galveston.

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