3 reasons to visit the Fundy Discovery Aquarium

Fundy Discovery AquariumThis weekend is the Fundy Seafood Festival in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, and if you’re in town with kids, consider visiting the Fundy Discovery Aquarium while you’re there.

Looking for fun things to do with Amelia, we visited the aquarium a few weeks ago, and our (almost) 2-year-old daughter had a fabulous time.

This small but well-presented aquarium was just opened in 2011 and is attached to the Huntsman Science Centre, a not-for-profit education and research centre. The aquarium focuses on Bay of Fundy sea creatures, so you’ll see lobster, skates, a sturgeon, and other local sea life.

The three best reasons to visit the Fundy Discovery Aquarium while you’re in St. Andrews by-the-Sea

1. The blue lobster

One of the rare blue lobsters living at Fundy Discovery Aquarium

One of the rare blue lobsters living at Fundy Discovery Aquarium

The Fundy Discovery Aquarium is also home to several blue lobster. Usually lobster are brown until they’re cooked, and the cooking process turns them into the bright red colour we’re familiar with. A genetic variation produces – rarely – a blue-coloured lobster.

The odds of catching a blue lobster are about 1 in 2 million, and the aquarium has at least three.

 

2. Getting up close and personal with the sea life

Amelia’s favourite part of the aquarium – by far – was the touch pool.

The large touch pool at Fundy Discovery Aquarium in St. Stephen, NB

The large touch pool at Fundy Discovery Aquarium in St. Stephen, NB

There are actually two of them on the main level – a large one filled with starfish, sand dollars, crabs, sea peaches, and all sorts of other sea creatures that the kids (and you!) can touch, and a smaller one with skates and a blue lobster (this pool is deeper, so your kids aren’t in danger of getting caught in the lobster’s claws).

You can touch skates in the large touch pool, but watching them in the aquariums downstairs was also a hit.

You can touch skates in the large touch pool, but watching them in the aquariums downstairs was also a hit.

There are also little flip books that tell you what all the creatures are, so if you have older kids it can be an educational opportunity as well.

I loved the touch pools too – it’s fascinating to see what all the different creatures feel like and look like up close. Gary, on the other hand, was completely grossed out by the mere idea of handling a starfish, although he did his best for Amelia.

The touch pool at Fundy Discovery Aquarium

Amelia holding a starfish. Great fun!

Amelia did not want to leave!

3. Sea the seal show

Fundy Discovery Aquarium is home to two harbour seals, Loki and Snorkel. Feeding time is 11am and 3pm, and the seals do “tricks” for their meals.

One of the two seals at the Fundy Discovery Aquarium

One of the two seals at the Fundy Discovery Aquarium

The trainers explained during the show that they don’t ask the seals to do anything that they wouldn’t normally do in the wild. Basically, the show is like a seal treadmill – exercise.

Watching the seals do tricks was fun for all of us, and if you can plan your visit so that you’re at the aquarium for one of the feedings, you won’t regret it.

After the show, head downstairs and check out the underwater viewing area!

Check out the Fundy Discovery aquarium on Facebook, their website, or Twitter (although their Twitter account isn’t particularly active).

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