Known as Niagara's "Other Water Wonder", this aquarium presents an ongoing display of fish and aquatic life ... More
Aquarium of Niagara
Known as Niagara's "Other Water Wonder", this aquarium presents an ongoing display of fish and aquatic life from the Great Lakes to the Coral Reef. There are almost 2,000 species ranging from sharks and California sea lions to Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Originally known as the "First Inland Oceanarium" when it opened 30 years ago, the aquarium has grown to over 50 exhibits. Visitors stop to watch the marine demonstrations at 90-minute intervals.
The sea lion show was fun-you get a up close view of the sea lions. The facility is on the smaller side and very much not stroller friendly esp its crowded. Best to go during the week if you have a stroller. It is good for a first time visit to the facility. The little ones liked it. Also if going to the penquin feeding get there early to get your spot in front of the small window to watch..
We didn't enjoy this place - we thought it was an abandoned building when we arrived. It was part of our "Park Pass," but we didn't really enjoy it. It's very small - about 20-30 small or medium size fish tanks on the first floor and one large seal tank in the center. From the second floor you can look down onto the seal tank. That's it. We were in/out in about 15 minutes. I agree with other reviewers that it does smell and looks like it hasn't been updated since the 80s. If you or your kids don't have access to large/nice aquariums, this might be fun. For me, I'd never recommend it to anyone. I wish we would've paid for 3 of the 5 "Park Pass" attractions separately (Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds, and the Visitor Center Movie) and passed on the "pass" which included the aquarium and gorge museum.
Yes, it is on the small side but if you actually like to watch the animals and not just run through it you will get your money's worth. My husband and I both enjoyed the Aquarium as did my daughter and her friend, both teenagers so that tells you it was entertaining for them.
We did notice the blind seal and watched her for a while. She blows bubbles to see where to top of the water is! How smart! The seals are just fine. We also saw people cleaning the tank while there.
We spent at least and hour and a half to two hours there, I didn't really check. If it seems a bit much to me, I just thought of all the cutbacks for places like this and if it costs me a little bit more to help out the animals then that is fine by me.
First off I would like to comment on the ignorance of some people. I originally signed on this page to leave positive feedback for my visit to the facility, but when I read such posts as to include the "poor conditions" the animals are house in I felt a need to respond.
What the staff at the aquarium have accomplished is amazing. The first exhibit you come to is the seals outside. All of the seals, I believe they have four, were rescued for various reasons. In response to the arrogance of the individual that referred to the seal's "diseased eye" if you had taken two seconds of your life to listen to anything the trainer said you would have learned that that seal was shot in the head by someone of similar arrogance. The seals in this outdoor exhibit are extremely well trained considering their age and the conditions of which they were rescued. My family and I were extremely impressed!
I must also comment on the penguin exhibit that seemed to have about 15 birds. I really enjoyed watching these amazing creatures and the interaction the staff had with them.
The fish exhibits are centered on a very large tank where there are sea lion shows are held every two hours or so. I must say, I have been to 20+ zoos/aquariums across the country and this facility by far had the best trained and most entertaining show. The first part of the show was educational, but was delivered on a very personal level by the trainer. The second half and end of the show let the sea lions show their amazing talents, which was absolutely incredible. At the end of our show, the trainer told the crowd that the sea lion who had just performed in the 20 minute show was completely blind from cataracts. It was absolutely amazing to think the sea lion in the show couldn't see a thing.
The staff overall was very helpful and pleasant. I would recommend a visit to this facility to anyone as it is an outstanding value for what you pay!
Kudos to the staff and animals!
Reading over some of the reviews I felt I had to give the opinions of someone who has visited the aquarium several times and just purchased a family membership. I have been there several times in the last couple of months with my child. Each time it is neat and clean and the displays/tanks are well taken care of. Yes it is a small building, our typical visit last about 2 hours my kid is glued to each display and visits each one several times during our trip.
I would also like to address another reviewer who commented about the seal, they do not have diseased eyes, several are blind and were rescued. I would suggest reading the displays or attending one of the feeding to actually inform yourself before making such a statement.
Bottom line is if you are going there with children or just to pass some time they / you will have a wonderful time, if you are going there to learn the latest in oceanography you will be disappointed. It all comes down to expectations.
* Great place for a family to go and spend some time
* Nice range of displays
* The different shows and feeding times you can attend
* Small and lacks the number of exhibits that a larger cities aquarium has.
* The visit is over too fast if you allow it to be and don't spend the time enjoying the displays.
* The building is old (but still neat and clean)
* The gift shops products are on the 'junky' side, but I have seen that they are getting in some better items.
Several things should have been a sign to me not to enter, but I forged on. I immediately noticed the decrepit building when I pulled into the parking lot. Then I noticed that one of the harbor seals in the outside display had a diseased eye. Finally, there was the overwhelming fish odor right inside the door.Unfortunately, as I love aquariums, I plunked down my $10 Canadian ($9.50 USD), and entered.
It appears this aquarium has not had a makeover since the '60's. The tanks, the wood paneling, the flooring, the signage...all appeared to be circa 1960. Now I have nothing against retro, but a little maintenance might have made them not look their age. Dirty and broken, they were an instant turn-off.
But the most offensive thing of all was the condition of the animals. I am an animal lover, and the seal outside was just the first animal with diseased eyes, or other health problems. This was unforgiveable.
I would encourage anyone considering attending this aquarium to not give this enterprise their business, as it only allows them to go on running things in such a shoddy manner.
It's a very small aquarium. The rotten fish smell hits you right when you enter the front doors. haha. It's part of the package deal with the falls, so you might as well see it. Don't expect much though.
I thought it was pricey at first but they did have a lot more on display than I expected. Watching the kids learn things about water creatures was very cool. The kids loved watching the sharks. They had a sea lion show. Worth the trip.
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