This is a sponsored post from Mystic Seaport. We were provided with Mystic Aquarium tickets to make our visit possible. We appreciate their support of Jersey Family Fun that allows us to share with families information about weekend trips we think your family may enjoy.
Click over for a look at day one of our family travel trip to Mystic Connecticut and our Mystic Seaport adventures!
Our quick getaway to Mystic Connecticut had a fun and educational first day, and our second day was starting early and looked just as promising. Our hotel offered a free breakfast so after eating and checking out, we headed just a couple blocks away to the Mystic Aquarium. There’s plenty of nearby hotels to choose from, and all Mystic attractions are within a short distance of each other.
Like most of Mystic, the exterior is eye-catching and welcoming. Open since 1973, the aquarium has one of the largest Beluga whale outdoor exhibits (did you see Juno the whale photobomb the Connecticut governor recently?) along with so much more! Fans of aquariums won’t be disappointed with the exhibits at Mystic Aquarium.
Here are 6 Must See Mystic Aquarium Attractions
- Birds of the Outback (summer season only) For an additional fee of $3 admission and $1 per feeding stick, you can enter the enclosure and get up close to 5 varieties of birds. Take as much time as you want as the birds sing, tweet and fly around you. My son completely enjoyed it! Don’t miss the kookaburras near the exit, their laugh is infectious!
- 4D theater (tickets additional fee). It wasn’t our first 4D movie experience but it was definitely the best! The theater shows two movies at different times through the day, and we were in for Ice Age: No Time for Nuts. It was COLD in the theater, and we were spritzed with water, rumbled around, and blasted with air. It was a fun 10 minute movie!
- Exploration: Wild. When exiting the 4D theater, you find yourself in Exploration: Wild! There’s so many hands-on and interactive things to do in this diverse exhibit. We were able to touch an American Alligator, pretend to be in a shark cage or a dog sled, and hunt for fossils. The most impressive part was the Augmented Reality Sandbox, where kids (and adults) can make watersheds, learn about topographic contour lines, and make it rain.
- Belugas! Just days before we visited, Juno the beluga whale made himself an internet star by stealing the spotlight from the Connecticut governor during a press conference. Mystic Aquarium has the only belugas in New England, and one of the largest outdoor whale exhibits in the US. Underwater viewing is available, but the outdoor enclosure is beautiful, and offers different heights and perspectives.
Beluga, just passing by.
- California sea lion show. In the Foxwoods Marine Theater, the California sea lions put on a show multiple times a day! The theater fills so get your seat early and get ready for some sea lion acrobatics and intelligence, and a message about protecting our earth.
- Penguin Pavilion. We luckily came upon the penguin pavilion right at feeding time! It was interesting to watch more than 28 penguins swallow fish whole, and see the process that the staff goes through to feed them. Each penguin wears a color-coded bracelet and a staff member tracks their food intake. Some try to sneak back for more, but nope! The pavilion offers underwater viewing and an aquarium staff member is on hand to answer questions.
There’s all this and more: be sure to look out for the many art sculptures crafted from trash found in the oceans, and artwork made by the aquarium residents! We spent over 3 hours at the aquarium, but with validation you can turn a one day visit into a two day visit.
After our Mystic Aquarium visit, we browsed through the Olde Mistick Village where there was an art show and live music. We enjoyed the general store and fresh nuts. The music store made me feel like I was back in college, and of course we found some ice cream! Our drive back to New Jersey was full of recapping how great Mystic was, and when we can head back and see the town in different seasons.
If you travel to the Mystic Aquarium:
- Parking is free and shared with Mistick Village. It was crowded when we left midday on a weekend, but spots were plentiful in the morning.
- Most of the Aquarium exhibits are outside so bring sunscreen and sunglasses!
- Food is not allowed inside the aquarium, and no straws are available inside (to protect the animals). Penguin Cafe serves a full menu or you can leave for food outside the facility and come back in.
Mystic Aquarium is at 55 Coogan Blvd, Mystic CT. Admission begins at $24.99, but discounts can be had by buying tickets online, or buying a Mystic Pass for combination admission to the Mystic Seaport. The Aquarium is open year-round, though hours vary. For details click here.
For more Mystic Aquarium photos see our Facebook Photo Album.
Click over to read more from our family travel to Mystic Connecticut experience.
To arrange a feature on your location contact Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun publisher.