By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel
This summer, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk will be celebrating their 30th anniversary! On July 21, the exact day they opened, it will be a special day full of bonus fun. Plus admission prices that weekend will be the same as they were in 1988! The Aquarium is the perfect place to visit this summer when you are looking for fun, exciting and educational outings with children or friends and family. There will be the opening of the Stuffed Animal CARE-ium where young guests can give veterinary care to plush animals. It will also be the return of the Albino Alligator, full cruise schedules, such as sunset and fireworks cruises, summer camp programs and fabulous IMAX movies. The camp sessions are for children 5-15 and run from 1-3 week sessions.
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is the only aquarium focused on the Long Island Sound and presents sharks, seals, river otters, sea turtles, jellyfish and nearly 300 species from Long Island Sound and its watershed. Also, harbor seal training demonstrations are held three times daily. Three staffed touch tanks allow hands-on close encounters with intertidal animals, sharks and rays, and moon jellyfish. The Aquarium’s IMAX movie screen is Connecticut’s first and still largest. And come aboard the Aquarium’s unique hybrid-electric research vessel, the R/V Spirit of the Sound, for exciting hands-on animal encounters out on the Sound. When you are there, you must see the Sea Turtle Nursery, a new permanent exhibit that follows baby loggerhead sea turtles through their first year of life. Later they will be released into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina.
Our family’s favorite has to be the IMAX movies that make the viewers feel as if they are in the center of the action. Repeat visits will have guests returning to see Backyard Wilderness, which was filmed in Westchester County and will feature a menagerie of wildlife right outside our homes, including deer, coyotes, wood ducks, frogs, salamanders, raccoons, hummingbirds and more. Another IMAX features Pandas, filmed entirely in China. If a visit to the Aquarium is perfectly timed, there would still be time for one of the Marine Life Encounter Cruises that depart throughout the day. There are also cruises to historic lighthouses on the Long Island Sound. A visit to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk has something for every age and if you haven’t been there yet, be sure to make it this summer!
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is located at 10 North Water Street, Norwalk, CT