Thought #1: After writing my first post, I decided to change my theme just a little. Instead of limiting the blog to just museums, I want to include aquariums and zoos. I feel that they belong on this blog, too, thus they do.
Continuing from the summer in Vermont: one of my fellow travelers was a docent (I was one once too) at the aquarium back home, and really wanted to see what Vermont had to offer, in terms of fish and marine animals, and thus we visited…
ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, located in Burlington, Vermont. (Sorry no picture of the building; this is one of those posts with lots of words and not much picture.)
The aquarium is located at the waterfront of the Burlington area, so parking was more than what I was willing to shell out, $20. Thus we parked on the streets, far from the aquarium. (It was an uphill walk leaving the aquarium, so maybe I should’ve paid for parking.) Adult admission for the aquarium was $13.50; and for the price, the aquarium was smaller than I had expected it to be. There were two floors to explore, but what I remember most is not the exhibits, but the children, hordes of children everywhere. Look to the left, look to the right, look up, look down, you were bound to see a child.
The ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center takes more of the science center approach, than the aquarium part. ECHO has plenty of interactive exhibits, however they are catered towards a younger audience (which explains the amount of children seen). Nevertheless, as an adult, you can still have fun, (for example, you can pretend to be a weather forecaster, or merge your face with that of a frog’s), as long as you can squeeze your way past the children. For the marine animal lovers, I have to say that you best visit elsewhere, ECHO had few animals on display; I distinctly remember an exhibit on frogs and a tank of fish. The other exhibits and displays were about Lake Champlain: the history, the geography, Champ (the sea serpent), etc.
My most honest opinion of ECHO lake aquarium and science center was that I was little disappointed as I expected it to be a full fledged aquarium. However, looking back on it now, I realize that I failed to notice that ECHO is intended to be both an aquarium and a science center, and in that respect, ECHO is both, with some marine life and plenty of interactive exhibits. Thus, the ECHO Lake aquarium and science center is a good place to bring the kids on a rainy afternoon, but not for the animal lovers looking for that cute penguin or seal or other sea creature found in another aquarium.