Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Mystic Aquarium, Connecticut

There is so much to enjoy at the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut. First, so much of the aquarium is outdoors. In fact, I would recommend trying to go on a sunny day, as it adds a whole dimension to the aquarium that is often missing at others. You can stroll through a marsh trek and view turtles, huge tadpoles, fish and frogs. You can see seals, sea lions, penguins and whales-all outdoors. It makes the aquarium feel larger than its actual size and very open.
However, one of the other great features is that you can also view the elegant and beautiful beluga whales, penguins, seals and sea lions through glass windows, as you stroll below the ground level. Seeing them above and below ground gives you the sense of peeking into their world.There is also a sting ray touch pool, where you can watch the rays swim and for an additional fee, feed them. We just watched them glide by.

Underneath the sting ray exhibit is a huge array of fish, turtles, seahorse, sea anemones, sharks (!) and jellyfish in the indoor exhibits. You can meander from case to case and watch the animals swim around. There is also a small area for children to touch crabs and snails.

Another of our favorite parts of the visit was the sea lion and seal show. Included in your visit, despite the fact that our littlest one insisted on calling them “puppies”, both boys were completely entranced.

The aquarium also has other exhibits, such as a marine mammal observatory, a bird exhibit (which we skipped as it is $5 extra a person), and a look at Dr. Ballard’s expedition.

In advance of the visit, it may be worth reading Curious George Goes to the Aquarium as it based on the Mystic Aquarium. Our son has asked me to read it about 10 times since we went.

We are appreciative that the Whaler's Inn gave us tickets to check out the Aquarium. When we return, as an aquarium ticket is good for 3 days, I plan to stay overnight in Mystic and combining this with a visit to the outstanding Mystic Seaport. You can buy a Mystic Pass card that gets you into both the Aquarium and the Seaport. Click here for more info. Or you can just buy Aquarium tickets right at the front door.

Mystic Aquarium, 75 Greenmanville Ave, Mystic 1-860-572-5955

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