Weeki Wachee mermaids surface at the aquarium _lowres

Photo provided by Audubon Institute -- Weeki Wachee Springs Mermaids will be visiting the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas on Friday through Sunday and Oct. 22-25. The famed mermaids from Florida will visit the aquarium in the Gulf of Mexico Exhibit or the Great Maya Reef Tunnel at times throughout the day. Plus, make an appointment to become a 'mermaid' for a day, starting at $45.; Audubon Aquarium of the Americans, 1 Canal St., New Orleans. Viewing free with admission. auduboninstitute.org/aquarium.

Mermaids in New Orleans?

What a swimmingly good idea.

And that’s exactly what you can find at the Aquarium of the Americas through Sunday. The aquatic acrobats from the famous Weeki Wachee Springs in Florida will be plunging into the Gulf of Mexico habitat and Great Maya Reef exhibit Thursday through Sunday.

The mermaids have been delighting audiences at the Florida roadside attraction since 1947 but are making the trek across the Gulf to the banks of the Mississippi River. The springs get their name from the Seminole Indians for “little spring” or “winding river.”

Included in the cost of admission to the aquarium, 1 Canal St., the mermaids will make appearances throughout the day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with photo opportunities and an up-close meeting on the second floor.

“There’s an enormous interest in mermaids at the moment, and we are thrilled to offer our guests the opportunity to be captivated by the world-famous Weeki Wachee mermaids,” said Audubon Aquarium of the Americas Managing Director Rich Toth. “We hope their performances inspire children to marvel at the wonders of nature and motivate them to protect the oceans so that marine life facing extinction does not truly become mythical.”

The littlest mermaids also will have a chance to get in on the mermaid theme, with special packages that include styling from head to, uh, fins. Appointments at the Sea Grass Salon are recommended for the 30-minute transformation. Call (504) 861-5103.

Advance tickets are recommended, either online or from any Audubon Institute attraction. Admission is $23.95 for adults, $17.95 children 2-12, $18.95 ages 65 and over.