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The Maritime Aquarium

The Maritime Aquarium
10 North Water Street
203-852-0700

Mission:

The Maritime Aquarium inspires people of all ages to appreciate Long Island Sound and protect it for future generations. A vibrant and entertaining learning environment, the Maritime Aquarium achieves this goal through living exhibits, marine science, and environmental education.

A Brief History of The Maritime Aquarium

In the mid-1970s, the city of Norwalk under the direction of then-Mayor William Collins undertook the South Norwalk Revitalization Project. The goal of this program was to preserve the historic architecture of South Norwalk, affectionately dubbed SoNo, and revitalize the neighborhood. The Washington Street National Historic District was established, and 32 buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

However, it would take more than old buildings to turn SoNo around. Plans were drawn for a major attraction that would bring people and tourism dollars into SoNo. The City of Norwalk and its Redevelopment Agency, along with The Oceanic Society, the Norwalk Seaport Association, and the Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk made a major commitment to developing the new maritime center, complete with an aquarium featuring live animals from Long Island Sound, an IMAX theatre with an eight stories wide and six stories high screen, and a boat collection.

In 1986, ground-breaking ceremonies took place on the site of a former 1860s iron works factory, an abandoned brick building on the SoNo waterfront. What was then called The Maritime Center at Norwalk opened on July 16, 1988.

In July 1996, The Maritime Center at Norwalk changed its name to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk to better identify itself to the public and underscore the increasing importance of the live animal exhibits.

According to a March 2003 Economic Impact Study, the Aquarium's annual economic impact on Norwalk is $20.3 million. Statewide, the Aquarium's economic impact is $41.8 million. (The dollar figures include visitor spending, jobs in the Aquarium, jobs created outside the Aquarium by its tourist trade, taxes paid by visitors and employees, and other spending.) And as the Aquarium grows, so does our positive impact on the community.

The Maritime Aquarium has been at the center of a major turnaround in South Norwalk. SoNo now bustles by day with unique shops, boutiques, coffee shops, and delis, and by night with nightclubs, acclaimed restaurants, and cinemas.

Annual attendance now averages over 500,000 visitors, making it one of the largest attractions in Connecticut (and the largest in Connecticut within 100 miles of New York City). Among the Aquarium's visitors are more than 150,000 schoolchildren on field trips, many of whom participate in marine-science programs offered by an active Education Department.

To support the growing number of visitors and educational programs, The Maritime Aquarium completed its first major expansion project. Opened in April 2001, the new $9.5 million Environmental Education Center (funded through corporate, private, and state contributions) boasts new classrooms and high-tech educational equipment, plus a new main entrance, larger gift shop and 180-seat food-service area. The move from the old gift shop also allowed for the addition of loggerhead sea turtles to the Aquarium's growing animal collection.

In 2005 The Maritime Aquarium adopted a new mission statement which rededicated the Aquarium to inspiring its visitors to preserve and protect Long Island Sound and its inhabitants. To that end, the Aquarum is currently engaged in an extensive master planning process which will lead to expansion in its exhibits and programs and an even sharper focus on the conservation of Long Island Sound and all the world's oceans.


Recent News

The Maritime Aquarium News and Happenings - September 23, 2022

Don't Miss "Mask Up Maritime" This Saturday Evening! "Mask Up Maritime" Saturday, September 24 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Now that face masks are optional, we are staying open late to welcome guests who would like everyone to be wearing a mask in…

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The Maritime Aquarium - Fall into Wonder at The Maritime Aquarium

Summer may be over but that doesn't mean the fun has to end! Fall into wonder by immersing yourself in our 75 exhibits featuring animals from Long Island Sound and beyond. During a visit to the Aquarium, you can get up close and personal with…

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Your Chance To Experience The Aquarium Like Never Before This LDW

Final Days ... Extended Summer Hours! We are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Labor Day. Reserve Your Aquarium Tickets Today! Get Out and About and Have Some Fun with Our Animals Before Summer Ends! We're taking the work out of your Labor Day…

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The Maritime Aquarium : Summer's Last Hurrah ... a Trip

Summer is winding down and so is our special summer exhibit, “Flutter Zone!” This special walk-through encounter features dozens of varieties of exotic butterflies from Central and South America. Don't miss out! Reserve Your…

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The Maritime Aquarium - Only A Few More Weeks Left To Enjoy Free Admission For CT Kids

Extended summer hours! We will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Labor Day. FREE ADMISSION for CT Kids through Labor Day! Bring your kids or grandkids to The Maritime Aquarium this weekend — it’s FREE! Now through Labor Day,…

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Don't Let The Summer Go By Without A Visit To The Maritime Aquarium

Extended summer hours! We will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Labor Day. There's One Month Left to Enjoy FREE Admission for CT Kids! Now through Labor Day (September 5) Did you know that Connecticut kids can get close to nearly 10,000…

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Water You Up to This Weekend? How About a Trip to The Maritime Aquarium!

Walk through "Flutter Zone" and experience a magical environment! You’ll encounter beautiful tropical butterflies—some of which may flutter around and even, land on you-- at this special summer exhibit. The exhibit features dozens of…

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Celebrate Shark Week At The Maritime Aquarium

We've got you covered during Shark Week next week! Stop by the Aquarium to experience our special exhibit – "Shark Haven" – featuring four 4- to 5-foot sandbar sharks, one of the shark species native to Long Island Sound. Plus, our…

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The Maritime Aquarium - You Won't Want To Miss These Summer Savings

Extended summer hours! We will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Labor Day. Don't Miss Out ... FREE Admission for CT Kids! Now through Labor Day (September 5) We're offering free entry for all Connecticut residents 18 and under –…

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The Maritime Aquarium - CT Kids Can Visit the Aquarium for FREE this Summer

Now through Labor Day (September 5) We're offering free entry for all Connecticut residents 18 and under – along with one accompanying adult in each group – as part of the state’s “CT Summer at the Museum" admission…

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The Maritime Aquarium - Free Aquarium Admission for Connecticut Kids is Back this Summer!

July 1 - Labor Day (September 5) We are thrilled to be participating again this year in the state’s “CT Summer at the Museum" admission program, which offers free entry for all Connecticut residents 18 and under, along with one…

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Enjoy A Wonder-Ful Weekend At The Maritime Aquarium!

Enjoy Beautiful Tropical Butterflies in "Flutter Zone!" Experience “Flutter Zone,” a special walk-through encounter at the Aquarium this summer! This exhibit features dozens of varieties of vibrant butterflies from Central and South…

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The Maritime Aquarium - Take Mom to The Maritime Aquarium this Weekend to Enjoy All That's New

Celebrate Mother's Day at The Maritime Aquarium! The first 600 moms who visit the Aquarium on Sunday, May 8 will go home with a special little gift to help plant the seed for a great summer! Click Here for Aquarium Tickets We are thrilled to…

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The Maritime Aquarium News - Spend Time Outdoors this Weekend During the 'City Nature Challenge!'

Spend Time Outdoors this Weekend During the "City Nature Challenge!" Participate in the "City Nature Challenge" this Weekend! Do your part this weekend – April 29 - May 2 – during the City Nature Challenge as we compete with…

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The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk - Celebrate Earth Day with a Trip to The Maritime Aquarium this Weekend

The "Journey with Jellies" exhibit pulses with some of the most strangely beautiful – but potentially dangerous – animals in the sea! Our new "Meerkats" exhibit replicates these animals' native habitat and offers them many new…

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The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk News - April 15, 2022

Find Your Wonder in Our New Meerkats Exhibit! Our meerkats have moved upstairs into an exhibit twice as large as their original home! This new exhibit replicates the animals’ native African-desert habitat and offers the meerkats many new…

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The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk News - April 8, 2022

This Weekend, Visit the ONLY Aquarium Named a 2022 National Medal for Museum and Library Service Finalist! We Have Been Named a Finalist for the 2022 National Medal for Museum and Library Service! We are honored to announce that for the…

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The Maritime Aquarium - Kick off Spring with a Trip

Follow Mumble the dancing penguin in “Happy Feet 4D Experience,” our newest cinematic family adventure! This short film – based on Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’ Academy Award®-winning film…

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You Won't Believe Your Luck with These Offerings from The Maritime Aquarium! - March 18, 2022

Find Your Wonder ... in "Pinniped Cove!" Thrill to close views of our five female harbor seals - Rasal, Ariel, Leila, Polly and Tillie - as they explore their enormous new habitat, which also is now The Maritime Aquarium's largest display. …

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The Maritime Aquarium News

Ever wonder what it is like to feed the animals at the Aquarium? Now you can experience it yourself by feeding the rays during your visit! Even the littlest guests can get a real feel – literally (and safely) – for a variety of shark and…

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The Maritime Aquarium To Sea And Discover

Find Your Wonder ... in Our New "Sea & Discover Zone!" "Sea & Discover Zone" is a unique, permanent educational space created specifically for young children and their caregivers. Imaginatively designed, the new center offers three areas…

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Make a Heart Shaped Splash By Bringing Your Sweetie This Weekend - February 11, 2022

We'd LOVE to See You at The Aquarium this Weekend! Spend some quality time with your loved ones at The Maritime Aquarium this weekend to see your favorite animals including seals, sharks, sea turtles, otters, jellies and more! Please keep in…

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Maritime Aquarium Summer Camp Registration is Now Open

Fuel Your Child's Wonder at Aquarium Summer Camp Registration is now open for the Aquarium’s 2022 Summer Camp, which offers kids 6 - 15 age-appropriate animal encounters and discoveries, while also integrating science with art, music and…

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Escape the Cold Weather with a Trip to The Maritime Aquarium!

Find Your Wonder ... in Our New "Shark Haven" Exhibit! This exhibit features four 4- to 5-foot sandbar sharks, one of the shark species native to Long Island Sound. These sharks serve as examples of how animals new to the Aquarium are quarantined…

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Have You Seen Happy Feet 4D Experience at the AquariumYet?

Mumble Leads A Wake-Up Call in “Happy Feet 4D Experience” Mumble the dancing penguin smells something fishy about what’s happening in the ocean – and his persistence saves the day – in “Happy Feet 4D…

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The Maritime Aquarium News - January 14, 2022

Long Weekends = More Time to Spend at The Maritime Aquarium! There's Always Something New to Experience ... Meerkats! This new exhibit – twice as large as the meerkats' original home – offers them many new opportunities…

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Find Your Wonder at The Maritime Aquarium this Winter!

Happy Feet 4D Experience: Follow Mumble the dancing penguin in “Happy Feet 4D Experience,” our newest cinematic family adventure! This 13-minute film – based on Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Village Roadshow Pictures’…

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Spend Your Holiday Break with The Maritime Aquarium!

It's the Perfect Time to Visit The Maritime Aquarium! Time off from school and work means more time to visit The Maritime Aquarium! Don't miss our extended hours – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – December 26 through January 2. Click Here to Reserve…

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Jingle All the Way to The Maritime Aquarium this Weekend!

Holiday Cheer THE POLAR EXPRESS 4D Experience Don't miss this shorter version of the Warner Bros. film featuring thrill-enhancing sensory special effects as snow, wind and scents of hot cocoa. Shark-Diving Santa Sponsored by People's…

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The Season for a Trip to The Maritime Aquarium!

Make the Season Bright! Get into the holiday spirit this weekend with these festive offerings ... Shark-Diving Santa Watch as Santa dons his custom scuba outfit and enters our 110,000-gallon shark exhibit. Bring your camera for a fun holiday…

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The Maritime Aquarium News -November 26,2021

Today and every day, we are grateful for YOU — and our whole community — whose passion and commitment continues to inspire us and energize our mission. Because of YOU, The Maritime Aquarium overcame unprecedented challenges and achieved…

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Reserve Your Tickets Now to See Our New Shark Exhibit!

Our New Shark Exhibit is oFISHally Open! This exhibit home to four sandbar sharks gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at how we care for newly acquired animals. These sharks serve as examples of how?animals are quarantined?before…

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Earn the Chance to Name a New Shark Exhibit at The Maritime Aquarium

Name Our New Shark Exhibit! Four new sandbar sharks have arrived at The Maritime Aquarium and you have the exciting and unique opportunity to name their temporary home! All you have to do to participate in this exclusive opportunity is…

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Travel to a Whole New Dimension at The Maritime Aquarium!

Immerse Yourself in the 4D Experience! Our sensational 4D theater sends the action spilling off the screen with thrill-enhancing sensory special effects! Choose from these two films that play throughout the day: BBC Earth's Shark: A 4D…

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The Maritime Aquarium News - October 29, 2021

Delve into the Story of the Goldfish in Our Newest Exhibit! They likely were your first pet. You could win them at carnivals. Mom flushed them when they died. And there was a college craze in the 1950s of swallowing them. But there’s a lot…

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The Maritime Aquarium News - October 22, 2021

Travel to a Whole New Dimension in Our 4D Theater! Our sensational 4D theater sends the action spilling off the screen with thrill-enhancing sensory special effects! Choose from these two films that play throughout the day: BBC Earth's Shark: A 4D…

Read More »

The Maritime Aquarium News - October 15, 2021

We are open from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Masks are required for ALL guests age 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status. We encourage you to purchase tickets or make your member's reservation in advance online to speed up your entry process.…

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The Maritime Aquarium News - October 8, 2021

We are open from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Masks are required for ALL guests age 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status. We encourage you to purchase tickets or make your member's reservation in advance online to speed up your entry process.…

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Fall for The Maritime Aquarium This Weekend!

We are open from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Masks are required for ALL guests age 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status. We encourage you to purchase tickets or make your member's reservation in advance online to speed up your entry process.…

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Don't Miss Our Now Award-Winning Virtual Programs!

Last spring when the pandemic hit, The Maritime Aquarium quickly implemented an engaging new slate of STEM-based live programming for teachers, students and families desperately in need of science content and educational structure. We are thrilled…

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The Maritime Aquarium News - September 17, 2021

We are open from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Masks are required for ALL guests age 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status. We encourage you to purchase tickets or make your member's reservation in advance online to speed up your entry process. Click…

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The Maritime Aquarium News - September 10, 2021

We are open from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Masks are required for ALL guests age 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status. We encourage you to purchase tickets or make your member's reservation in advance online to speed up your entry process. Click…

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The Maritime Aquarium News - August 26, 2021

Masks are required for ALL guests age 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status. We are open from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. now through Labor Day! Members-Only hours are on Saturdays from 9 -10 a.m. We encourage you to purchase tickets or make your…

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Make a Splash with a Trip to The Maritime Aquarium!

Masks are required for ALL guests age 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status. We are open from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. now through Labor Day! Members-Only hours are on Saturdays from 9 -10 a.m. We encourage you to purchase tickets or make your…

Read More »

Don't Let Summer Go By Without a Visit to The Maritime Aquarium!

Masks are required for ALL guests age 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status. We are open from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. now through Labor Day! Members-Only hours are on Saturdays from 9 -10 a.m. Get Up Close to Thousands of Animals During a Trip to…

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The Maritime Aquarium News - August 6, 2021

UPDATE: Masks are required for ALL guests age 2 and older, regardless of vaccination status. We are open from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. now through Labor Day! Members-Only hours are on Saturdays from 9 -10 a.m. We encourage you to purchase tickets or…

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The Maritime Aquarium News - July 30, 2021

We are open from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. now through Labor Day! Members-Only hours are on Saturdays from 9 -10 a.m. Masks are required for guests between 2-11 years of age and anyone over the age of 12 who is not vaccinated. Masks are no longer…

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The Maritime Aquarium News - July 23, 2021

We are open from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. now through Labor Day! Members-Only hours are on Saturdays from 9 -10 a.m. Masks are required for guests between 2-11 years of age and anyone over the age of 12 who is not vaccinated. Masks are no longer required,…

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Trip to The Maritime Aquarium!

The Maritime Aquarium is open from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. now through Labor Day! Members-Only hours are on Saturdays from 9 -10 a.m. We strongly encourage you to purchase tickets or make your member's reservation in advance online for your…

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Extended Summer Hours, Free Admission for CT Kids and More at The Maritime Aquarium!

The Maritime Aquarium is open from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. now through Labor Day! Members-Only hours are on Saturdays from 9 -10 a.m. We strongly encourage you to purchase tickets or make your member's reservation in advance online for your…

Read More »

Have You Seen Our New Harbor Seal Exhibit Yet?

Take a Trip to "Pinniped Cove!" Follow our five female harbor seals - Rasal, Ariel, Leila, Polly and Tillie - as they explore their enormous new habitat! Watch from above and below the surface as the seals dive, twirl and bob in the…

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Transformative New Seal Habitat, 'Pinniped Cove,' Debuts June 8 as Largest Exhibit in the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

Norwalk, CT -- Cheer on the harbor seals of The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk as they explore an enormous new habitat that, upon its June 8 opening, becomes the Aquarium’s largest aquatic display. The 160,000-gallon seal exhibit – as…

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On Tuesday, June 8, Celebrate World Oceans Day by Joining Us for the Grand Opening of 'Pinniped Cove'

World Oceans Day encourages people around our blue planet to celebrate and honor the ocean. This year, we are expanding this celebration with a week full of events and experiences including the Grand Opening of our harbor seals' new exhibit! Cheer…

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The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk Weekly Newsletter May 28, 2021

Long Weekend? Take a Trip to The Maritime Aquarium! Looking for something fun to do with your family this Memorial Day weekend? Visit The Maritime Aquarium to see all of your favorite animals, including sharks, sea turtles, otters, jellies and…

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The Maritime Aquarium News - May 21, 2021

Things to Keep in Mind for Your Next Visit to The Maritime Aquarium! Planning a trip to the Aquarium? Please keep in mind that we continue to follow all CDC and State of Connecticut guidance. Here are the key things that you need to know before…

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Cruise Out On Long Island Sound This Spring For Animal Encounters And Sparkling Sunsets With The Maritime Aquarium At Norwalk

Norwalk, CT -– Discover what lies beneath Long Island Sound, or watch as the sun sets on the Sound, during fun and memorable public cruises now available aboard the unique research vessel of The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. The…

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The City Nature Challenge Starts on April 30, 2021

Get Involved in the City Nature Challenge This Weekend! April 30 - May 3 Join us in making observations of plants and animals – at a park, a beach or even just in your own neighborhood – April 30-May 3 as part of a worldwide…

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The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk Named Finalist for 2021 IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Service

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today that The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is among 30 finalists for the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The Maritime Aquarium is the only aquarium in the U.S.selected as a…

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The Maritime Aquarium - Thanks for Visiting The Maritime Aquarium!

Did you know that you can apply your ticket purchase towards a membership within 30 days of your visit? For more information, please contact our Membership Department at 203-852-0700, extension 2216 or membership@maritimeaquarium.org. We would…

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