The renovated, revamped, and refurbished Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Insectarium on the renovated Orleans Riverfront are scheduled to open on June 8, 2023, according to the Audubon Nature Institute. World Ocean Day falls on the same day as the grand opening.
The Audubon Insectarium moved from its previous location in the U.S. Customs House to the Aquarium building when the Aquarium briefly closed in November to undergo months of substantial renovations. As the first facility in the world to contain both an aquarium and an insectarium under the same roof, having the two well-liked attractions in one place will provide visitors with a one-of-a-kind experience.
The beauty and astounding diversity of species and ecosystems from all over the world, from the local Louisiana Bayous to the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, South, and Central America, and the Amazon River basin, will be shown to visitors through experiences.
Visitors will encounter many of their favorite Aquarium exhibits in whole new ways thanks to our rethinking. Rich Toth, Senior Vice-President and Director of Audubon's downtown facilities said that in addition to the new animals in our care, there are educational opportunities to highlight the vital links between people, animals, and the environment. Opening the doors to our recently restored aquarium on Globe Ocean Day, a day set aside to honor the seas of the globe and what we can do to conserve them, is extremely thrilling.
The building has undergone modifications, including the construction of a new, downriver entry with a multi-story bird-safe glass curtain wall, a grand staircase, and a 2,500-square-foot lobby that will showcase Audubon's global conservation efforts. The Aquarium and Insectarium will have separate entrances on the second floor.
Visitors may enjoy daily animal presentations, up-close interactions with penguins and sharks, and stingrays in a 60-foot-long touch pool, as well as the much-awaited behind-the-scenes tour of the Aquarium's largest display, the 450,000-gallon Gulf of Mexico exhibit.
"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."
Visitors can walk among lush greenery and 60 free-flying colorful birds representing 15 different species in the Amazon gallery before venturing into the Amazon Encounter with even more animal species such as armadillo, tortoise, several bird species, and the Audubon Aquarium's newest member, a Linnaeus' two-toed sloth.
The Audubon Insectarium allows visitors to interact with the remarkable creatures that pollinate our crops, provide beauty and diversity to our environment, and comprise the world's biggest collection of animals.
The relocated Audubon Insectarium offers a fresh perspective on the most abundant animals on the planet, including a magical trip into the Insectarium's Butterfly Garden, where hundreds of butterflies representing 20 different species flit and float around guests as they stroll through the garden and enjoy breathtaking views of the Mighty Mississippi.
"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."
For more information and Ticket sales for Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Insectarium went on sale April 17, 2023, visit audubonnatureinstitute.org.