Audubon Aquarium and Insectarium to reopen in June
The Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Insectarium will reopen on June 8 after a $34 million renovation, Audubon officials said Monday.
Why it matters: The renovations are "key elements in the re-envisioning of the Mississippi Riverfront at Canal Street," said Ron Forman, Audubon Nature Institute's president and CEO.
The big picture: Other projects along the riverfront include:
- Woldenberg Park is getting a $7 million upgrade, with redesigned landscaping and electrical infrastructure.
- The former World Trade Center reopened in 2021 as the Four Seasons with a hot new restaurant from Chef Alon Shaya, Miss River.
- The Canal Street ferry terminal reopened earlier this year after a $43.5 million makeover.
- Further upriver, the New Orleans City Council has cleared the way for a riverfront development project that could include a United Soccer League Stadium, a park, residential units, office space, retail and hotel rooms, according to NOLA.com.
What's happening: The insectarium is moving into the same building as the aquarium. However, Audubon officials on Monday said the two attractions will require separate tickets.
- The aquarium closed in November 2022 for the building's largest renovation since it opened in 1990.
- The aquarium previously housed an IMAX theater, which has been removed to make room for the insectarium.
- The insectarium previously was in the U.S. Custom House and closed early in the coronavirus pandemic.
- 17,000 square feet of new exhibit space.
- A 2,500-square-foot lobby, along with a large staircase and glass wall.
- 60 free-flying tropical birds.
- Bug Appetit, cafe where guests can eat insects.
- Hundreds of free-flying butterflies in a new indoor garden.
- A Linnaeus' two-toed sloth.
- Motion-reactive wall that interacts with guests.
What's next: Tickets are on sale already, with prices ranging from $25 to $35 per attraction. Audubon tells Axios that negotiations are ongoing for discounted parking rates with downtown lots.
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