Audubon Aquarium, Insectarium Opening Date Announced
NEW ORLEANS — The Audubon Nature Institute has announced that June 8 will be the opening date for the new “reimagined and redesigned” Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Insectarium on the New Orleans Riverfront. The grand opening coincides with World Ocean Day.
The Aquarium temporarily closed in November to undergo months of extensive renovation, while Audubon Insectarium relocated from its former home at the U.S. Custom House to the Aquarium building.
“Through our reimagining, visitors will experience many of their favorite Aquarium exhibits in an entirely new way. Not only are there new animals in our care, but educational opportunities to showcase the important connections between humans, animals, and the environment,” said Rich Toth, senior vice president and director of Audubon’s downtown facilities.
Among the updates to the building is creation of a new, downriver entrance that features a multi-story bird-safe glass curtain wall, a monumental stairway and a 2,500-square-foot lobby that will highlight Audubon’s conservation work around the world. Separate entrances to the Aquarium and the Insectarium will be on the second floor.
Guests can experience special encounters with penguins, a touch pool with sharks and stingrays, daily animal presentations, and behind-the-scenes access to the 450,000-gallon Gulf of Mexico exhibit.
In the Amazon gallery, visitors can walk among lush greenery, 60 free-flying colorful birds representing 15 different species before venturing into the Amazon Encounter with more animal species.
Tickets for Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Insectarium are now on sale at audubonnatureinstitute.org.
“Combining technology with the natural beauty of the animals in our care offers innovative experiences for our guests,” said Higinio Covarrubias, director of husbandry at Audubon’s downtown facilities. “There is a 264-square foot giant-sized motion reactive display wall that uses the latest interactive technology to bring images of butterflies and lightning bugs to life that reacts as people walk near.”
“The opening of the new Audubon Aquarium and the new Audubon Insectarium are key elements in the re-envisioning of the Mississippi Riverfront at Canal Street,” said Ron Forman, Audubon Nature Institute’s president and CEO. “We are proud to be part of this monumental transformation of the Riverfront and look forward to welcoming guests to the Aquarium and Insectarium in June.”