Picture yourself surrounded by aquatic animals, with coral reefs of different colors, and a shark swimming right above your head. The aroma of salt water fills the air, the sound of stingrays splashing in their habitats makes you jump, and the sight of turtles resting on a rock fills your heart.
The Shreveport Aquarium, located at 601 Clyde Fant Parkway, is one of the many attractions Shreveport-Bossier has to offer. This building was the former Barnwell Garden and Art Center. With a two year and $4.5 million dollar transformation, the aquarium now occupies this facility.
I actually went with my sister. We were pleased with the amount of sights that were available for all age groups. The exhibits were attractively displayed and the atmosphere was very ocean-like.
There are nine rooms in the aquarium with more than 3,000 animals including sharks, jellyfish, ducks, giant crabs, lion fish, and of course clown fish. The clownfish and lionfish are actually held in the Shipwreck Gallery, the second exhibit following the WOW Gallery. The WOW Gallery holds the reef fish, like blue tangs, angelfish, and basslets.
The aquarium opened Nov. 1, 2017, with the crowd favorite being the tunnel of sharks called the Ocean Tank. The Ocean Tank is the 30,000-gallon tank that serves as the largest gallery of the aquarium.
The Dome of the Bayou exhibit is the only freshwater exhibit in the aquarium. It holds animals like the alligator snapping turtles, largemouth sea bass, and ducks. There are exhibits that allow you to look inside the tanks through a protective shield called the pop-up dome, to get a better feel of the ocean-like atmosphere.
Themed as a tide pool from the Oregon Coast, the Shore Explore exhibits holds kelp crabs, sea urchins, and sea stars that are touchable. Other exhibits like the Contact Cove and the Submarine gallery are interactive exhibits of stingrays, shrimp and moon jellies.
There is a restaurant on sight called SALT (Sea Air Land and Time) as well as a gift shop for all of your aquatic needs. Admission prices for the aquarium are $12 for adults, seniors 55 and older are $9, kids 12 and under are $8 and ages two and under are free. For more information, visit their website www.shreveportaquarium.com. Like their Facebook page for more up-to-date information.