We haven’t been to a ton of places in the United States yet but one thing we have been to a lot of is aquariums! Any new city we visit we make an effort to check out their aquarium if they had one. Luckily for us in the northeast there are a few great ones within driving distance.
So for our latest aquarium adventure we checked out The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, Connecticut. The drive was under 3 hours from our house in Upstate NY which was perfect for a day trip. We arrived right when they opened at 10am and were able to get a free (on Sundays only) street parking spot right out front. They also had a paid garage right next door to the aquarium. My husband isn’t always so cheap but one thing he hates paying for is parking – so we scored here!
Right after ticketing, the first thing we saw were the super cute seals. They were swimming around a tank that was partially outside and partially indoors. I could watch those guys forever they are so playful! The second exhibit we stopped at and spent a while at was the huge tank of sting ray and sand sharks. This was an interactive tank because you could reach in and touch them! The other hands-on tank was full of jelly fish. I didn’t even know you could touch a jelly fish, but turns out as long as you only touch the top of them its fine. I had no idea what to expect they’d feel like. This was an awesome experience and my two kids still are talking about touching the jelly fish months later! Also on the first floor there was an octopus tank (he was hiding), some fish and meerkats (in an aquarium? Yeah, I’m not sure why).
The second floor was full of tanks of all different creatures! They had a bunch of reptiles to see, including a few different varieties of frogs which were cool. My younger daughter liked to see the turtle displays, especially the giant sea turtles! On the top floor there were a ton of fish tanks with varieties of fish in them. However I think most of our favorites were the tank that had the big sharks in them. Also on this level there was a little play area for toddlers, we skipped over it but it did look like my 2 year old would have fun in it!
Once we saw everything on the top floor we came back downstairs to realize there was an outdoor area. Outside we saw a display of stinky flamingos, and there was also another display that wasn’t open yet for the season (April). We timed everything up perfectly and got to see them feed the seals that we saw back at the start of our day. It was interesting and informative but my girls’ attention spans were short. Last thing we checked out was a station where you could create your own fish on a computer. Once you created your fish it showed up on a giant screen in the front foyer. My 6 year old loved this!
The cost of the aquarium was about $23 for an adult, $16 for a child, and kids under 3 were free. We probably spent between 2 and 3 hours exploring The Maritime Aquarium. While it wasn’t one of our favorites, it still had some cool stuff we’ve never seen before! I think my favorite part about aquariums is for little kids it’s so accessible to get right up next to that tank. Fish don’t exactly hide or are hard to find like animals at the zoo. So it makes it super entertaining for them to see them swimming around!