Louisiana: New Orleans, Meet One of Audubon’s Cute African Penguins.
At Aquarium of the Americas it is possible to share a once-in-a lifetime, interactive close-up encounter with an endangered African penguin.
Material gifts have a shelf life but memories last a lifetime and I think there is nothing better than sharing really cool experiences with a child. I have been doing the sharing with my kids for almost three decades and our memory bank is loaded with animal encounters, musical adventures, and cultural experiences. We have strolled with tortoises; swam with dolphins; curried llamas; gone ice fishing, and been whale watching. Doing something cool has lasting benefits. So, I am happy to pass along the news about penguin encounters at Audubon’s Aquarium of the Americas. I have not had the opportunity to share the penguin encounter yet but this one is on my list. Here’s the scoop.
The Backstage Penguin Pass entitles visitors to a first person, hands-on experience with a penguin in Audubon’s newly created private penguin encounter. With the guidance of a member of the Aquarium’s husbandry team participants learn about penguin natural history and how the Aquarium cares for the penguins. The encounter takes place behind-the-scenes and begins with a visit to the prep kitchen where food is prepared for many of the Aquarium’s animals. In the kitchen guests learn about the special diets of penguins – not mac-&-cheese for sure. The most memorable time is spent with the tiny penguins who are not just gentle but curious. There’s time for questions and photo taking. Visitors will also receive a penguin painting created during the experience along with a photo to capture the unforgettable moment.Make it happen.
Backstage Penguin Pass program is available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The encounters are limited to six guests, four years old or older. Participants 16 or younger must be accompanied by an adult chaperone (21 or older). One adult must accompany each child younger than 10 years of age. Backstage Penguin Pass tickets may be purchased at www.AudubonInstitute.org or at any Audubon Nature Institute attractions.Location on the planet.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is located at 1 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130.Free for members.
Advanced tickets are recommended to avoid lines at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. Tickets cost $21.00 for adults, $14.00 for children and $17.00 for seniors. Here’s the deal.
Admission is free for Audubon Nature Institute members. Find details at AudubonInstitute.org
or at any Audubon Nature Institute attractions. Arrange a springtime sleepover.
I cannot resist mentioning that New Orleans Audubon Zoo has a “Safari after Dark” which takes place at the zoo from about 5:30 pm-9:30 am the next morning. This family fun event begins after everyone else goes home. It is an ideal experience for families with children five years of age or older. Arrive with a tent, sleeping gear and a picnic dinner, and the Audubon Zoo Education staff will educate and entertain with crafts, animal presentations, ‘behind the scenes’ tours, and night hikes. An evening snack and continental breakfast is included. As with anything worth doing plan ahead because spaces are limited. Phone (504) 861-5103 for more.Content researched and written by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Editor FTF. Image provided courtesy of Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.