Disclaimer: I was not paid for this blog post, however I did receive discounted admission in exchange for this post. As always, all opinions are my own.
In the heart of Burlington situated on Lake Champlain lies the ECHO, the lake aquarium and science center. ECHO is a prime destination for visitors looking for an interactive way to learn more about the Lake Champlain Basin. Whether you have children, a family, are a teacher, love the outdoors and environment or are simply visiting the area this is a place where you will receive a view on what makes Lake Champlain so important. There’s something for everyone!
On a recent trip back to Vermont, I took my mom, sister-in-law and two nieces to ECHO for a day of exploration!
ECHO holds over 70 species of live fish, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates. They can be viewed and some you can even touch! The exhibits are really interesting and they’re all unique.
Frog World offers 15 different frogs from six continents. Some are pretty cute and others are so “ugly” they’re super cute as my sister-in-law liked to say. It was also great to show to my niece how well they blend into their surroundings to protect themselves and have her try to find them. There was also a frog photo booth where you can blend yourself into a frog. I think my mom and little Jo had a great time playing around with that!
The aquariums have to be my favorite part. Coming in all shapes and forms they encompass every aspect of the lake. Whether it be the a deep dive to see what species survive down under or a graceful visit at the surface, life is blooming.
There were some pretty large fish in some of these tanks and Jo ate them right up! (Not really, they’re still there.) She loved them!
One of the things that I loved most about ECHO was how they really took a hands on approach with children. Not only is the visual interaction obviously there, the physical interaction is well in place and assists on leaving a lasting impression. In addition to their traveling exhibits we found these two which were great (even for the big kids).
Touch a starfish!
After seeing these creatures in aquariums, wouldn’t you (or your children) like to touch one? They have that opportunity here – stepping stools included.
Learn about the basin! The basin, waterways and shores all have an integral part of what is being put into that lake. The 20 foot long tabletop provides a hands on approach including boats, buildings, animals and a waterfall on approach on how susceptible the waterways are in our ecosystem. Step stools and bibs also included to stay dry.
Education & Awareness
Obviously, there’s a huge focus on education and awareness. Throughout the center there’s gentle reminders on how big the ripple can be from one small choice.
History is prevalent throughout the exhibit whether it be on the landscape, history of the Burlington Waterfront or even going as far back as a look at the people who have lived here for over the last 11,000 years. A history lesson on Lake Champlain wouldn’t be complete without a view on Champ, the lake monster!
It’s a great reminder to help protect and take care of the things that we love, including the environment which is often times overlooked.
One of the best things about ECHO isn’t inside, but outside. During the course of the day, we were inside learning about Lake Champlain, the animals, the ecosystem and history. The best part is looking out the window or stepping outside to the patio and seeing it for yourself. Although we went on a very rainy day, the view wasn’t diminished. This is one of my favorite parts of Burlington and something that I loved dearly while attending school in the city. It really puts into perspective that we need to take care of the environment to preserve what we love.
Have you ever been to ECHO? What did or would you and your family love about this experience?
For More Information:
ECHO / One College Street, Burlington, VT 05401 / (877) 324-6386
Admission: Be sure to review the admission information pricing information as well as discounts and an admission coupon.