Our trip to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk was prompted by our son’s recent excitement in learning about sharks at school. Since he has been drawing sharks and telling us what he’s been learning, we thought it would be a great idea to surprise him with a trip to see real live sharks up close.
Driving to the Aquarium is fairly simple and parking is easily accessible. Once inside we were greeted by their friendly receptionist. It should be noted, throughout the entire facility, all of the staff were warm and approachable; enthusiastic about sharing easy-to-understand knowledge. It was especially wonderful to see that the staff treat the kids with kindness and speak directly to them, encouraging them to see everything there is. Thank you to the Norwalk Aquarium for providing providing us with vouchers and meeting us to give us an overview of all there is to see and do.
So we began our journey through the Aquarium…
Entering the main hallway you will find that bathrooms are easily located and a coatroom is available, which is a welcome feature. Once settled in you will find the map and your very first exhibit… the seals!
This is a great thing so children don’t have to walk far to begin seeing live animals, the fun starts right away. Guests can stay for scheduled seal feedings, during which the seals show-off their learned skills with the trainers. This is accompanied by a staff narrating/educating.
Were there sharks? YES! The shark tank alone will leave you in awe of the grace and power of the many animals of the ocean.
AND… Do you want to touch a shark? How about a (safe) Stingray? YES and YES!
Guess what? You can touch a Jellyfish!! All of these touch tanks are safe for kids and staff are there to guide and encourage. The excitement of the kids was wonderful. And as parents, you’ll be just as thrilled to touch these magnificent creatures. When you are finished, there are sinks, with soap, for everyone to wash their hands.
The Aquarium is easy to navigate and be enjoyed by all ages and abilities. All the exhibits are easily accessible. In between the various tanks can be found informative and entertaining plaques on the walls, identifying the incredible variety of fish and even offering some funny jokes for the kids. Each individual ‘tank’ was quite impressive but the Aquarium has much more to offer., including an IMAX theatre.
Also, it was great to see that an entire section of exhibits is geared towards younger children, with touchscreens and a fun educational (free) arcade game. Inside of the Aquarium you’ll also find an indoor play zone, and an outdoor play zone, nice features to change the pace a little before continuing exploration of the Aquarium. There is enough to see to stay for either a couple hours or an entire day, and the there is a cafe located just above the gift shop, for families to take a break without worrying about where to go for a snack or coffee.
Our overall impression is this; The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is well worth the admission fee. What do you get? Lots to see, excellent interactive exhibits, friendly & enthusiastic staff, and nice accomodations to enjoy the day. They also offer membership options that is a good value.
Although we a great time for our first ever visit to the Aquarium, we didn’t get to see everything within the time we were there, so we are all looking forward to going back soon to see everything.
Child (age 3-12): $15.95
Youth (age 13-17): $20.95
Senior (age 65+): $20.95
Aquarium Admission includes one standard IMAX® movie. Please be sure to visit www.maritimeaquarium.org for everything you need to know to plan your visit to the Aquarium.