The Maritime Aquarium is a great place for a day trip any time of the year because of its diverse array of beautiful (and sometimes disgusting) sea creatures. But the special events—like the upcoming Celebrate Whales—are where the aquarium truly shines.
The event takes place from January 7 to January 16, 2017, during the aquarium’s regular business hours. The focus is, you guessed it, completely centered around whales: Educational stations around the Aquarium will allow guests to touch real baleen (the bone-like hairs that whales use to filter krill out of the ocean water), experience how blubber keeps whales warm, and learn about the dangers that whales face during their annual migration.
Oh, and let’s not forget the 43-foot inflatable humpback whale that acts as centerpiece to the event. The mock-whale will help children understand the immense size of whales while simultaneously making for adorable selfies. Additionally, an opening in the whale allows guests to walk inside, where they can see its (fake) internal organs on display: Heart, lungs, and stomachs (yep, as in “more than one stomach”).
After you’ve taken in your fill of the inflatable whale and the ancillary booths, make your way over to the IMAX theatre for a movie about humpback whales that will blow you away (one IMAX viewing is included in each aquarium admission, so there’s no extra fee).
Other Things to Do at the Aquarium
The Maritime Aquarium is still one of my favorite places of all time—there’s just so much to do! Aside from taking in the beauties of the deep sea with your eyes, you can spend some time at the touch-tank where you can get up close and personal with a tank full of stingrays or (if whales aren’t your thing) watch any number of other nature-related films at the IMAX theatre.
It you really want to catch a show, make sure you plan your visit around the museum’s feeding schedule. The sharks are fed daily at 10:45am, and the seals are fed twice daily, at 11:45am and again at 1:45am.
Where: Maritime Aquarium, 10 North Water Street, Norwalk
When: The aquarium is open every day of the year except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, from 10am–5pm. The Wonders of Whales exhibit will take place from January 7 to January 16.
Cost: Admission is free for children under 3, $15.95 for children ages 3 to 12, $20.95 for children ages 13 to 17, $22.95 for adults 17 and older, and $20.95 for seniors (65+). The Wonders of the Whale exhibit is free with regular admission.