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Aquarium of Niagara fundraiser this weekend; new programs, hours for summer


Tue, Jun 7th 2016 01:00 pm
The Aquarium of Niagar
The Aquarium of Niagar

On Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18, the Aquarium of Niagara will feature two events to raise awareness for rescued marine mammals.

One year ago, Mia, a California sea lion, came to the Aquarium of Niagara after she was found malnourished, suffering from pneumonia and pregnant. Mia's pup, Isabel, is ready to show off her progress in a sure-to-excite solo performance unheard of for a 2-year-old sea lion. At 6 p.m. Friday, visit the Aquarium of Niagara to watch Isabel's show and, while you're here, enjoy some food and music. Tickets are $25, with all proceeds going toward protecting and caring for Isabel and her fellow marine mammals at the Aquarium of Niagara.

Saturday, June 18, is the "SEALion Stroll." Western New Yorkers can show their support in a different way by running, walking or skipping a 5K course through Niagara Falls State Park and, for just a $25 entrance fee, receive more than $65 of value, including:

  • Free runners shirt
  • Stretching exercise class
  • Nutritious breakfast from Wegmans
  • Pizza from Bob and Johns when you return from the course
  • Free admission to the Aquarium of Niagara for the day, which also includes carnival games and face-painting

There will be prizes for the fastest in each category, as well most money raised.

"The Aquarium of Niagara is well known by other aquariums throughout the United States for taking in animals that have been deemed non-releasable. Our trainers and animals form an unbreakable bond, and you can witness this bond whenever you see a performance - either with our seals or sea lions," Executive Director Gary Siddall said. "We are the only aquarium in the Northeast where our trainers perform in the water with our animals. If you haven't seen this yet, you're in for a wonderful surprise.

"Support from Western New Yorkers is critical to keeping up our high standards and allowing us to acquire even more animals for you to appreciate and enjoy."

Be sure to be at the Aquarium at 7:30 a.m. Saturday to allow time for registration, stretching exercises and breakfast. The walk/run begins at 8:30 a.m. To register for either event, call 716-285-3575 or go to www.aquariumofniagara.org and click on "SEALion Stroll" or "Isabel's Party."

For more information, contact Siddall at 716-286-9380 or [email protected]

New for the Summer

Beginning June 25 and continuing through Labor Day, the Aquarium of Niagara will offer new programs and longer hours of operation.

"These programs and extended hours are part of what we internally call 'the new aquarium,' " Siddall said. "We want the aquarium to be accessible to all individuals, so we designed more programs that appeal to a broad range of people. We're also extending our hours of operation for the summer and even later hours on weekends. Between the new and improved programs and the later closings, everyone will find the right activities and times that appeal to them."

New to the aquarium this summer is an original sea lion show called "Sea Lion Stories," with an original soundtrack and choreography; a daily touch tank session where guests can touch invertebrates and learn more about these fascinating animals; and an outreach program presented by Buffalo Animal Adventures that will bring in animal ambassadors to educate and illustrate the importance of wildlife preservation and conservation. Perennial favorites, including the seal presentations, penguin and seal encounters, and behind-the-scenes tours, have all been updated to ensure the Aquarium of Niagara is appealing to all guests.

The Aquarium of Niagara will continue to open its doors at 9 a.m., seven days a week. The building will remain open until 6:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and until 7:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. On July 22 and Aug. 26, the Aquarium of Niagara will introduce its new "Summer Nights" series, where the venue will remain open until 10 p.m. In addition to all the exhibits, there will be wine, food and music to entertain adults on these nights.

For more information, contact Siddall at [email protected] or call 716-286-9380.

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