Happenings at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk0
By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel
When our three children were on school holiday recess, it seemed like it was twice the time when I had to think of activities to keep them busy. We tried to plan things that were fun, accessible by car and educational at the same time. One of those places is the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk in Norwalk, CT. Its focus is on the Long Island Sound, and it presents sharks, seals, river otters, sea turtles, jellyfish and nearly 300 species from Long Island Sound and its watershed. Harbor seal training demonstrations occur three times daily and three staffed touch-tanks allow hands-on close encounters with intertidal animals, sharks and rays, and moon jellyfish. They also have an IMAX movie theatre.
Children will love the Shark-Diving Santa with his scuba gear strapped to his back and entering the Aquarium’s 110,000-gallon tank, home to 7-foot sharks. Then they can visit the Sea Turtle Nursery to watch the care of rescued, newly hatched turtles that didn’t make it out of their nests. Staff members care for the baby turtles until they can be safely released back into the ocean. Journey with Jellies is another awe inspiring exhibit as guests view the popular tall centerpiece display of moon jellies and non-native species of brown sea nettles, Australian spotted jellies and Japanese sea nettles and more. Harbor cruises and toy making workshops round off the list of wonderful events that take place all year long for families with children or adults on their own.
No visit to the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk would be complete without seeing an IMAX movie. It’s Connecticut’s largest IMAX theatre, with a screen that’s six stories high and eight stories wide. Typical IMAX movies are about 40 minutes long and are generally suitable for even the youngest viewers. December’s lineup of films are: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Amazon Adventure, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean, Beavers, and the beloved classic The Polar Express starring Tom Hanks. Based on the Caldecott Award-winning book by Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express follows a young boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve, a magical locomotive arrives to take him and other doubting children on a magical Christmas Eve trip to the North Pole.
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is located at 10 North Water Street, Norwalk, CT.
For dates, times, and ticket prices for events, call (203) 852-0700 or visit: www.MaritimeAquarium.org