It is hard to imagine going to Mystic, Connecticut without a visit to the Mystic Aquarium. It is an amazing place to see sea creatures in indoor and outdoor exhibits. There are many hands-on activities that will keep you entertained for hours. You could also take in a sea lion show, watch feedings, or experience a 4-D movie.
Our hearts were won over by the beluga whales in the Arctic Coast exhibit. These gorgeous creatures would gracefully come up to the glass, curious of their visitors. Their tanks were quite impressive. They are held in three interconnecting pools with over 750,000 gallons of water. It is one of the largest outdoor beluga whale exhibits in the United States. There are several viewing areas so you can get different perspectives, including small caves that kids can crawls into that have small windows to view the whales.
We loved the Roger Tory Peterson penguin exhibit. Although there is an underwater viewing area, the penguins must have been enjoying the sunshine because they never went for a swim. It would have been cute to see them swimming, but we were able to enjoy them from the above-water viewing area. They were adorable!
My younger daughter loves sharks and she was wondering if there would be one at the aquarium. She was thrilled that not only could she see one but she could actually touch one too. Although hesitant at first, the shark encounter became a favorite and we went back twice. The staff member running the exhibit did a great job coaxing her into putting her hand into the tank.
Another great hands-on activity was feeding the stingrays. For $3 you are given three small frozen fish. The staff instructs you on the proper way to feed them and you are able to place your hands in the tank as the stingray suctions the fish into their mouths. It is quite a unique experience! If feeding the stingray sounds a little scary then you could just pet them as they swim by.
One of my favorite things about Mystic Aquarium is the amount of knowledgeable staff at the exhibits. At areas such as the beluga whales, penguins, sea lions, and seals, staff is on hand to give facts and encourage you to ask questions. We especially like when they give the history of how the animals came to the aquarium. Environmental conservation is also stressed throughout the aquarium and they tell guests what they can do to help.
The 4D movie was fun for both adults and kids. Be prepared to have all your senses engaged at once. The movie we saw was Ice Age: No Time for Nuts. The show starts every 15 minutes and you can check the scheduled sessions on the monitor when you get into the park.
Tickets cost an additional $6, but there are also value tickets that include it.
- Address: 55 Coogan Blvd, Mystic, CT 06355
- Phone number: (860) 572-5955
- Website: http://www.mysticaquarium.org/
- Admission: Adults $34.99, Youths (13-17) $28.99, Child (3-12) $24.99, Senior $29.99
- Open Daily:
- April- Labor Day: 9:00-5:50
- September 8th– November: 9:00-4:50
- December-February: 10:00-4:50
- March: 9:00-4:50
*A warm thank you to Mystic Aquarium for having my family as your guests. As always, all experiences and opinions are completely my own.