By Christina Hager

BOSTON (CBS) – If you’re looking for somewhere new to visit as things reopen in Boston, there are several exhibits on display. The New England Aquarium opened its doors to the public Thursday.

“We noticed that the sharks and the rays were very animated, and they were excited to have people around them,” said Aquarium President Vikki Spruill. “I think that they’re happy to see visitors, too.”

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Penguins greeted visitors as the New England Aquarium reopened this week in Boston. (WBZ-TV)

That sentiment was echoed by the director of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston’s seaport district, which reopened to the public on the same day. “I am so happy to be here,” said Jill Medvedow. “Being closed for a little over four months had a really cataclysmic impact on our finances.”

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Having visitors, she said, is a big step toward recouping losses that will take years for the non-profit to make up financially. “Knowing the space that was available here, and this particular venue, it seemed very safe,” said visitor Leslie McCulloch. The museums have incorporated contactless ticketing, reserved in advance for timed visits.

The Institute of Contemporary Art was one of the Boston museums that reopened this week. (WBZ-TV)

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum also opened to the public this week. “We had someone come into our museum – she actually burst into tears,” said Director Peggy Fogelman. “Normally we don’t like museums to make people cry, but in this case, they were tears of joy.”

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The Museum of Science and the Boston Children’s Museum plan to reopen later this month.

Christina Hager