Information on:

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.



Reviews

Salvador Campos

Rating:
Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018
A wonderful experience for the whole family. This was our first stop during a mini-vacation at Norwalk. We were pleasantly surprised to find a lot of experiences to be had for the whole family (child-adult). You can touch sting-rays, jellyfish, and crabs. There was an array of exhibits introducing new things I had never seen before. Our visit included a 40 minute IMAX movie, which was also very enjoyable. A great experience from top to bottom.

Matt Becher

Rating:
Thursday, July 12, 2018
Great aquarium. Very clean and well kept. The animals and exhibits are all in very good and healthy looking shape. Nice that it is inside . Perfect for young children who want to see a variety of sea life. Cafeteria is clean and food was pretty good. Entrance fee was a bit on the high end, but it is a great place for a day trip. Parking is right across the street and is only 8 bucks.

Chris Albanese

Rating:
Saturday, June 23, 2018
Really fun family friendly aquarium. The touch tank is really cool, being able to touch manta rays. The seal feeding is really fun too. And the jellyfish exhibit is awesome. The whole place takes about 90 minutes to get through, so it’s the perfect length if you have little kids. Prices are a little steep but it’s good to support a business that’s been there 30 years.

Jessica Keating

Rating:
Saturday, July 21, 2018
We had so much fun (both kids and adults)! So many interactive exhibits. Animals seem healthy and well cared for. Today they had a special event and staff were organized and prepared. IMAX movie Backyard Wilderness was engaging and incredible. Can’t wait to go back. We were there for 3 hours and still have so much more to explore.

Laquanta Fisher

Rating:
Friday, July 20, 2018
My daughter loves this aquarium... unfortunately, I don't get up there as often as I would like to anymore.. but I do suggest for anyone who is interested in marine life to go. There are beautiful jellyfish displays. My favorite one is a water ball full of jellyfish. We even went there for a school trip also and it's always a fun place to visit.🐡🐠🐟

The Maritime Aquarium is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media

Upcoming Events at The Maritime Aquarium

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
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Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
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Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Tuesday, Aug 14, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
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Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Thursday, Aug 16, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Thursday, Aug 16, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Thursday, Aug 16, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Friday, Aug 17, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Friday, Aug 17, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Friday, Aug 17, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
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Maritime Aquarium TGIF Cruises

Friday, Aug 17, 2018 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Norwalk, CT
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Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Maritime Aquarium Saturday Sunset Cruises

Saturday, Aug 18, 2018 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Norwalk, CT
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Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Sunday, Aug 19, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Sunday, Aug 19, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Sunday, Aug 19, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Monday, Aug 20, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Monday, Aug 20, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Monday, Aug 20, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
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Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Thursday, Aug 23, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Friday, Aug 24, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Friday, Aug 24, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Friday, Aug 24, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
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Maritime Aquarium TGIF Cruises

Friday, Aug 24, 2018 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Saturday, Aug 25, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Saturday, Aug 25, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Saturday, Aug 25, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Maritime Aquarium Saturday Sunset Cruises

Saturday, Aug 25, 2018 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Norwalk, CT
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Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Sunday, Aug 26, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Sunday, Aug 26, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Sunday, Aug 26, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Monday, Aug 27, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Monday, Aug 27, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Monday, Aug 27, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Thursday, Aug 30, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Thursday, Aug 30, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Thursday, Aug 30, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Friday, Aug 31, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Friday, Aug 31, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Friday, Aug 31, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Maritime Aquarium TGIF Cruises

Friday, Aug 31, 2018 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Saturday, Sep 1, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Saturday, Sep 1, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Saturday, Sep 1, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Maritime Aquarium Saturday Sunset Cruises

Saturday, Sep 1, 2018 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Sunday, Sep 2, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Sunday, Sep 2, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Sunday, Sep 2, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Albino Alligator

Monday, Sep 3, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Exhibition: Stuffed Animal CARE-ium

Monday, Sep 3, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Marine Life Encounter Cruise

Monday, Sep 3, 2018 from 1:15pm to 3:45pm
Norwalk, CT
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Aquarium Yoga

Saturday, Sep 8, 2018 from 8:30am to 9:45am
Norwalk, CT
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Central LIS Lighthouse Cruise

Saturday, Sep 8, 2018 from 10:00am to 3:30pm
Norwalk, CT
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International Coastal Cleanup Day

Saturday, Sep 15, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
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Salute Norwalk Day

Sunday, Sep 16, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
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Sukkah for Sukkot

Sunday, Sep 23, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
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Sukkah for Sukkot

Monday, Sep 24, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
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Sukkah for Sukkot

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
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Sukkah for Sukkot

Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
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Sukkah for Sukkot

Thursday, Sep 27, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
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Sukkah for Sukkot

Friday, Sep 28, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Sukkah for Sukkot

Saturday, Sep 29, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
Read More »

Sukkah for Sukkot

Sunday, Sep 30, 2018 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Norwalk, CT
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