East End: Long Island Aquarium
The Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead features friendly sea lions, a butterfly exhibit and much more. And the winter season is the ideal time to visit.
"It's the best time to come because it's a little quiet," says Darlene Puntillo, of the Long Island Aquarium.
Puntillo says it's been 10 years since Butterfly Habitat opened at the Aquarium and guest can experience the habitat's warm weather and enjoy its variety of butterflies and flowers.
Next to the butterflies, a new exhibit is opening this winter with crabs as its main star attraction.
Visitors can view the Malawi blue crab from Southeastern Africa, which, when fully grown, will be about the size of a basketball, as Long Island Aquarium entomologist Jeff Petracca explains.
There's lot to see outside as well, including the sea lion shows. And even before visitors step inside the aquarium, they'll be greeted outside the front door by seals which include Buddy, a blind seal that was rescued last fall from a beach on Fire Island.
"He has these very long whiskers, so he can navigate through our habitat perfectly fine, even though he's blind," says the Aquarium's Collen Toussaint. "If the other seals see him coming, they'll get out of his way since they understand that he'll probably bump into them."
For more information, you can visit the Long Island Aquarium website.