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Discovering Block Island: Block Island Maritime Institute

by kelly / August, 11 2021 01:30

Photo of Andy's Way Exploration with the Block Island Maritime Institute

Here’s an amazing treasure I only recently discovered or rather took the time to get know – the Block Island Maritime Institute (BIMI). I had the opportunity to rediscover this Block Island gem through my 4 year old and her 6 and 8 year old cousins. They could spend hours at the Institute doing one of their many family-oriented activities.

Block Island Maritime Institute

BIMI’s mission is “ to provide educational programs and maritime activities including marine science and maritime heritage for residents and visitors on Block Island.”

And boy do they do a great job at accomplishing their mission. Anything that can keep kids entertained and interested for hours is truly special! Take it from me – my 4 year old actually absorbed things she learned from BIMI and could repeat facts about the marine environment that I didn’t know. Now that’s impressive!

Outdoor Aquarium

One of the BIMI’s best features is its outdoor aquarium. They have awesome tanks filled with tons of local sea creatures such as sharks, squid, crabs, and more.

Best of all, with the help of their amazing and knowledgeable staff, visitors can touch and even feed some of the creatures in the tanks. I even got the chance to touch my first star fish.

Fun Marine Programs

BIMI also has daily education programs from aqua art to squid dissection (wow!) to story time for kids.

We got to partake in their Andy’s Way Exploration and Species Collection. It’s a fantastic event for the whole family. BIMI staff take you on an exploration looking for small creatures in Andy’s Way to add to their exploration tanks. On the day we went the kids got to feed the minnows they collected at Andy’s Way to the creatures in BIMI’s outdoor aquariums.

One of the main events from BIMI is their Harbor Tour of the Great Salt Pond. On these tours, you get to spend a relaxing hour on the Great Salt Pond aboard an historic 26-ft. Oldport Launch. Your BIMI guides will teach you about the local history, folklore, and the ecology of Block Island. I haven’t had the chance to try this yet, but it sounds amazing.

You can check out all their daily activities here.

Discovering Block Island

I’m so happy I got to spend time at the Block Island Maritime Institute this past week. I learned so much about Block Island’s environment and it helped me develop an even greater appreciation for the island. And now my 4 year old wants to go back every day.

For even more fun activities for the whole family check out our Discovering Block Island series.

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