Discover 60 species of fish, amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles, over 100 hands-on experiences, major traveling ... More
ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center
Discover 60 species of fish, amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles, over 100 hands-on experiences, major traveling exhibits, and the Awesome Forces Theater. Live animal feedings and daily ECHO Encounters. The 2.2 acre site is also highlighted by the Lake Champlain Navy Memorial, Eclectic Gift Shop and seasonal caf
I was visiting with family during the summer on a rather slow day. I had a great time and picked out a lovely snake shirt in the gift shop. The sign right next to the shirt rack said, "T-Shirts $18". I thought that was a fair price, so picked out two. At the cash register the cashier charged me $2 extra for each shirt, then extra tax. I complained and the manager came out, who I walked over to the rack with the sign. She did not apologize, but attempted to cover her butt by telling me the shirt cost extra because it was *hand-painted by a Vermont artist*. The shirt was obviously screen-printed. That doesn't fix the fact that they need to label their shirts correctly. What should they have done? Well, for one, the customer is always right, and they should have apologized for their MISTAKE and just given me the shirts for the price they labeled them for. Was that $4.80 worth this bad review out on the internet? Don't fall for the *Vermont-made-artisan-organic junk. Echo wants your cash just like any other run of the mill museum-type company.
We were rained out of a ski day last February vacation week, but my girls 10 & 8 had a great time getting their hands wet indoors in both a tide pool and a river table. I actually got to read the science at each exhibit as they were both so engaged. Well worth the admissions!
My family and I are new transplants to Vermont, I looked up all the activities to try and the area, and due to the reviews I had read, was not really expecting much from Echo. During a visit from my children's 2 best friends, we visited Echo, and were more than pleased. The children ranged in ages from 7 to 11. They all had a Fantastic time. There are more than 3 floors of activities, and we spent more than 3 hours there.
Most of the reviews do not due this aquarium the justice it deserves. It was a fun and entertaining as well as educational experience, and my children are aleady asking to go back!
I enjoyed ECHO because of the animals and the Wind Exhibit! They had a hurricane simulator and an area to build and launch your own paper rockets and airplanes! I had more fun than most of the children around me and I would definitely go back with friends and family visiting Burlington. The Think Cafe also has very good lunches.
This place is fun & educational for kids as well as adults. The gift shop has a nice selection of children's books covering health and the environment. We visit Echo! along with Shelburne Farm during annual visits to VT. It's the perfect rainy day activity. Echo! is a beautiful space in a great location, walking distance to Burlington Church Street, the ferry and decent restaurants. We found new exhibits each visit.
My kids love to go here. My daughter is 8 and my son is 2. They have excellent, hands-on weekly activities. The Wacky Wednesdays Summer program for ages 8 and up is very well done with many teen volunteers helping to engage the kids. During the school year they have programs for ages 2-6 that are also well done. My kids very much enjoy the Waterway display activity, as well as the weather center. We also enjoyed a special behind the scenes tour of creatures that are taken care of in special rooms normally off limits.
We have passes this year and may very well renew them for next year.
I have been bringing my son to Echo for three years now. He is now 7 years old and Echo remains after several years one of his favorite places.
There is so much for kids to learn and explore there. The exhibits are all top-notch. Everything is presented well, everything is also very clean. Its a great atmosphere. The staff puts on very insightful and well prepared presentations. Often on weekends they also have special presentations that rotate throughout the months. As a parent I also find myself reading some of the abundant material there as well.
After our first visit I was sold on the place and have now purchased seasons passes there for the last few years.
The girls like going here but nothing changes. Yeah the exhibits change but not nearly often enough. We went this past Sept and now its March and they still have the same exhibit. We have decided we are not renewing our pass since we only go when the exhibits change. Its cheaper to go to the local school and librarys that have the Echo pass you can rent out for free and get $2 admission. Not worth getting the pass or paying the $9 adult $7 child to get in!
I like being in the building actually, the architecture is beautiful. But it's a great place for me to meet up with other friends with kids. My one year old enjoys many elements of the exhibits: the turtles and fish swimming past him at his level, the open floor plan, the towering tube of bubbles, the kids makebelieve play area... and then I enjoy finding something new for him to experience every time we go.
I've also personally learned a lot about the ecosystem of the Lake and even more about the history of the lake. I really like the living history phones where you can listen to a local tell an abnaki folk tale or a new local tell how they migrated from Sudan or Bosnia to live by this lake.
ECHO isn't some huge "endless hallway" museum. You can probably look at most all of the exhibits in less than an hour. If you do that, you'll have totally missed the point. If you just find one fish in a tank and walk away, you'll miss the opportunity to find another hiding nearby, and find out why. Every time we visit I learn something new, and regardless of how early we arrive, we're always dragging the kid out the door with promises to return as they're closing.
When you visit, make sure you're there in time for at least one animal feeding, as that's your best chance to learn all there is to know (in 20 minutes or less) about whatever animals they are working with. My daughter even got to help feed a snake and a frog. We've also colored buttons and dissected owl pellets, which we were allowed to keep so that my daughter could bring it to school.
If you've got a kid that never stops asking questions, ECHO is great. The building and exhibits are well maintained despite the number of kids pounding away at them. A lot of the activities are geared toward kids, but the displays are for all ages. I can let me wife and daughter go one way while I check out something else without feeling out of place without a child. We only make it up a few times a year, but when we do, my daughter would never forgive us if we didn't visit ECHO!
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