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Postcards from The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT, USA – Family Fun PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
Maritime Aquarium Norwalk, CT, USA
Looking for a fun (and educational as well) outing? We had to look no farther than The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Connecticut, which provided us with hours of enjoyment and is perfect for all age groups. Sharks, and rays, and harbor seals, oh my! There were so many interesting exhibits to experience that kept us enthralled. Located 43 miles from Manhattan, and is easily accessible by boat, car, or Metro-North train, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is the perfect year-round destination for entertainment.

 

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Flutter Zone Butterfly Encounter - photo by Luxury Experience

We visited the Aquarium on Saturday, June 2, 2022, and began our exploration in their new Flutter Zone Butterfly Encounter (open until September 5, 2022), which provided us with an exciting and informative look at butterflies and moths and where we learned to identify the difference between the two. We entered the enclosed Flutter Zone and watched in amazement as gorgeous butterflies flew around us with dazzling-colored wings and landed on some of the visitors as well as the flowers in the garden. It was a magical and breathtakingly beautiful experience.

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Flutter Zone Butterfly Encounter - photo by Luxury Experience

A few of the butterfly species we saw included the Giant Swallowtail distinguished by its yellow and intricately patterned black wings, Blue Morpho butterflies with their blue and brown wings, and Dot Bordered, distinguished by their black, red, and white designed wings, to name but a few.

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Flutter Zone Butterfly Encounter - photo by Luxury Experience

A Few Ways of How to Tell the Difference Between Butterflies and Moths

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Flutter Zone Butterfly Encounter - photo by Luxury Experience

Butterflies
Moths
 
Thin and smooth bodies
 
Thick and fuzzy bodies
Colorful
Often dull in color
Active during the day
Active at night
Wings held vertically when resting
Wings held flat when resting

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is an undersea treasure chest for adventure with its diverse exhibitions. Here are a few our favorite highlights from our visit.

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Harbor Seal - photo by Luxury Experience

Harbor Seals

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Harbor Seal - photo by Luxury Experience
Showtime

A visit to the Aquarium is always fun and educational, and we learn something new with each visit about the fascinating creatures of the sea. We last visited the Aquarium in September 2020, and were delighted at seeing the playful Harbor Seals, Ariel, Rasul, Leila, Polly, and Tillie, in their new and enlarged two-level habitat. We were fortunate to be there during feeding time, as the trainers demonstrated the seals' natural responses to the delight of the visitors.

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Shark - photo by Luxury Experience
Hello There

Sharks

With the recent shark sightings throughout Long Island beaches, we spent time at the shark exhibit watching the sharks and learning about the many species and their natural habitats. Interesting to note is that Long Island Sound is home to the Brown shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus), Sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus), Smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis), and Spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias). Hawaii is home to the Scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyma lewini), Tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier), Whitetip reef shark (Triaenodon obesus), and Blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus).

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Shark Types Long Island - photo by Luxury Experience

The West Coast of South America is home to the Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagenis), Great hammerhead (Spyma mokarron), and White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias). The Caribbean is home to the Caribbean reef shark (Cacharhinus perezi), Tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier), Lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris), and the Nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum). The Gulf of Mexico is home to the Bonnethead shark (Sphyma tiburo), Bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas), Brown shark (Cacharhinus plumbeus), and the Atlantic sharpnose shark (Rhizoprionodon terranovae). South Africa is home to the Snaggletooth shark (Hemipristis elongate), White shark (Carcharodon carcharias), and the Pyjama shark (Poroderma africanum). 

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Shark - photo by Luxury Experience
Shark Touchy Feely

Rays

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Ray - photo by Luxury Experience

For us, a trip to the Aquarium would not be the same without petting the gentle rays in the Touch Pool. Something new, visitors can now purchase a cup of food for $3 to feed the Rays during their feeding times. This was an amazing experience to watch as the Rays interacted with the visitors to get their food and the sheer joy on the faces of the visitors. 

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Debra C. Argen touching a ray - photo by Luxury Experience
Debra - Ray Touchy Feely

Jellyfish 

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Giant Sea Nettle Jellyfish - photo by Luxury Experience
Giant Pacific Sea Nettle

The Jellyfish exhibit was another fabulous stop during our visit, as Jellyfish are another fascinating creature as they have no brain and no eyes, are 98% water, and are more than 600 million years old. From tiny thimble sized clear jellies to the giant Pacific Sea Nettle, they are mesmerizing to watch as they undulate in the water with their long tentacles gently undulating and swaying in the current. In captivity, Jellyfish are kept in a brightly light circular tank with light water flow to allow them to float freely as they do in the ocean. 

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Debra C. Argen at Jellyfish tank - photo by Luxury Experience

Making Sensible Seafood Choices

Throughout the Aquarium there are interesting signs that educate visitors. One of the many things we learned was about making good choices when selecting seafood. Farmed mussels are a "best choice" because they are farmed in an environmentally responsible way. U.S. farmed freshwater prawns are the "Best Choice. U.S. farmed or wild-caught: Pacific white shrimp, west coast white shrimp, prink shrimp, and spot prawn are either "Best Choice" or a "Good Alternative."

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Clams Sign - photo by Luxury Experience

Most oysters are farmed and well managed. American oysters, blue points and common oysters farmed and wild caught, all good. Clams are farmed in an environmentally responsible way and most clams eaten are farmed. Crabs: Trapped Dungeness crab from the U.S. Atlantic, and trapped stone crab are good choices. 

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Shrimp Sign - photo by Luxury Experience

King crab is not a good choice. Many others are "Good Alternatives." Atlantic Sturgeon: the decline is mainly due to human impacts. You can help sturgeon and other fish by purchasing and eating only species harvested sustainably. 

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Fish tank  - photo by Luxury Experience

Valuable Information Before You Go 

The aquarium is easily accessible by car, train, bus, or boat. There are several conveniently located parking garages. Visitors can travel on Metro-North. The trip by train via Grand Central Station to the South Norwalk train station is approximately 1-hour. Visit the Metro-North website for information on trains and discount Metro-North Packages. Want to make the trip by your boat? Call +1-203-854-7806 to request fees to tie up at the Norwalk Visitors Dock. 

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Fish tank  - photo by Luxury Experience

Do allow yourself a minimum of 2-hours (we spent 2.5-hours there) to fully experience and appreciate all that the aquarium has to offer. The aquarium is conveniently located in SoNo (South Norwalk) near many restaurants and shops so you can easily make it a day trip. 

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Fish tank  - photo by Luxury Experience

Admission: Adults (Ages 13 - 64): $29.95, Children (Ages 3-12): $20.95, Seniors (Age 65+): $25.95. 

For additional information on The Maritime Aquarium please visit their website: www.maritimeaquarium.org or call them at +1-203-852-0700. 

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Sea Turtle - photo by Luxury Experience
Sea Turtle

Marine Life Encounter Cruises and More

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Small crocodile  - photo by Luxury Experience
Crocodile

In addition to the Marine Life Encounter Cruise, The Maritime Aquarium offers the following cruises: Seal-Spotting & Birding, TGIF, Sunset, Norwalk Islands cruises, and more. Please visit their website for further information: https://www.maritimeaquarium.org/cruise-schedule or call them at +1-203-852-0700 extension 2206.

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Sturgeons - photo by Luxury Experience
Sturgeons

Know Before You Go - Cruise Information

Passengers must be over 42 inches tall and if under 18 accompanied by an adult.

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - Harbor Seal - photo by Luxury Experience
I will be looking for you at
The Maritime Aquarium

Cruise Pricing: $36.00 per person for all ages.

Until next time, we sign our postcard, "With love from The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT. Come and have some fun! Love, Debra and Edward"

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT - photo by Luxury Experience
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, CT

You might also like to read about our experience on their Marine Life Encounter Cruise  in the Adventures section. 

The Maritime Aquarium, Norwalk, CT, USA 

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Connecticut
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, Connecticut 06854
United States
Telephone: +1-203-852-0700
Website: www.maritimeaquarium.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maritime.aquarium
Instagram: @maritimeaquarium
Twitter: @marimeaqua 

Follow The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk on Facebook: www.facebook.com/maritime.aquarium 

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© July 2022. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.

 
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