Shot of a father taking his little daughter on an outing to the aquariumhttp://195.154.178.81/DATA/i_collage/pi/shoots/783341.jpg

The sea of buildings that tower over Manhattan make it easy to forget how close the great Atlantic Ocean is. The nearest coastal beaches are a mere ten miles away, and their waters are teeming with marine life. To get an up close and personal look at some of the most fascinating aquatic life found in any of the earth’s waters, all you have to do is visit Brooklyn’s New York Aquarium in Coney Island. A look at these institutional highlights can help you make up your mind about visiting.

Alien Stingers

The aquarium’s permanent jellyfish exhibit gives you the opportunity to admire the fascinating physiology and coloring of jellyfish without having to worry about being stung. The collection also features a vibrant collection of coral and sea anemones.

Glover’s Reef and Conservation Hall

A 167,000-gallon tank designed to replicate part of Belize’s Barrier Reef, Glover’s Reef is one of the most colorful exhibits at the New York Aquarium. Watch brilliant blue tang, fascinating hogfish, and other colorful marine animals feed, play, and interact in the massive tank. In the Conservation Hall, you’ll also get a feel for what marine life is like in Africa’s Great Lakes region and Brazil’s Flooded Forest.

Seals and Sea Lions

When the weather is nice, a favorite activity for many New York Aquarium visitors is admiring and snapping photos of harbor seals and California sea lions lazing in the sun. Weather permitting, these beautiful sea mammals perform in training demonstrations at the aquatheater.

Explore the Shore Touch Pool

No matter what the weather brings on the day you visit the New York Aquarium, your kids can interact with sea stars, horseshoe crabs, and other tiny and harmless sea animals in the aquarium’s Explore the Share area. It’s fun, educational, and moves outdoors during the summer months.

4-D Theater

Another New York Aquarium attraction popular among visitors of all ages is the 4-D theater. Educational, engrossing double features screen in 3-D, and are complemented by thrilling sensory effects. Rain, wind, and vibrations are a few of the added elements used to enhance the viewer experience.

If you’d like to see Coney Island while you’re in Brooklyn but are worried it might not be worth the trek in inclement weather, here’s a solution. Two kill birds with one stone by exploring the New York Aquarium.

The New York Aquarium is located on the Coney Island Boardwalk, and both attractions are a 20-minute drive or 50-minute subway journey from NU Hotel Brooklyn.