Family Outing: The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
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Visitors can now stroke the backs of live nurse sharks in the expanded Touch Pool. (Just don’t neglect the stingrays -- they’re not used to sharing the attention!)
Visitors can spy on the Long Island Sound's seals during Winter Creature Cruises (weekends, December–April), but as the weather warms, it's all about Marine Life Study Cruises, when you can cruise out aboard the research vessel Oceanic for close encounters with crabs, fish, lobsters, and more. Cruises are suitable for ages 8 and older and reservations are recommended ($20.50).
Marine Life Study Cruises are offered Saturdays in the spring and daily in July and August.
The aquarium also hosts a special Behind-the-Scenes Tour on the third Saturday morning of every month when visitors (ages 10 and older) can feed the sharks and rays and learn how the aquarium cares for more than 1,000 animals on a daily basis ($32.50; includes admission).
The aquarium’s IMAX theater boasts the largest movie screen in Connecticut (six stories high!) and often features nature films.
Address: 10 N. Water St., Norwalk, CT
Hours: 10am-5pm daily; 10am-6pm in July and August
Admission: $19.95 ($24.95 with IMAX ticket); $17.95 ($22.95 with IMAX) seniors 65 and older; $12.95 ($17.95 with IMAX) children ages 3-12; free for children younger than 3
For more information: 203-852-0700 or maritimeaquarium.org