We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great for the younger children...”

The Maritime Aquarium
Ranked #1 of 37 things to do in Norwalk
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Awarded the 2013 Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor. The Maritime Aquarium inspires people of all ages to appreciate Long Island Sound and protect it for future generations.
Hopewell Junction, New York
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Great for the younger children...”
Reviewed July 24, 2011

I took my two grandchildren for our first visit to the aquarium. It was just the right size for a 4 and 7yr. old. We all enjoyed the various exhibits that had great explanations nearby or workers to give the necessary information needed. The hands-on tank was fun for the 7yr.old. My 4 yr. old grandson was hesitant to touch anything but enjoyed watching the creatures. We went early on a Sun. morning before the crowds so they could enjoy the aquarium. For $5 they put together a sailboat that they decorated and took home. That was such fun for them. We saw the dinosaur Imax film since there was a special dinosaur exhibit on display. We all liked the large screen that made the animals seem to come to life. When I taught 2nd graders we yearly visited this museum. I wouldn't recommend this aquarium to children older than that. There is a $ 7 fee to park 2 or more hrs as well as the entrance fees. There are various options to choose from.

Visited July 2011
2 Thank christeach2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

849 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“A good time”
Reviewed June 14, 2011

I guess a review depends on one's expectations. We took our 6 year-old granddaughter to the Maritime Aquarium on a Sunday, and it was a good experience for her. No, it's not a major aquarium, but it's very professionally run and the staff and volunteers were very knowledgeable and good with kids. Our little person especially enjoyed the sharks, the jellyfish, the meerkats, the IMAX theatre. The seals weren't particularly hungry at feedingtime, but we did get to see them respond to their trainer. The Dolphin film was excellent and it introduced kids to these remarkable creatures. When we were there, the cafeteria wasn't dirty, and the food was certainly adequate.

I think it's expensive to go there with a family, and we were disappointed not to be able to see live penguins (which were featured on their website) and live dolphins. But it was a good day, in all. Good for people with young children. More advanced students go to more advanced places.

Visited June 2011
Thank deena w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Poughkeepsie, New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Disappointing and Depressing”
Reviewed April 20, 2011

We are big aquarium fans and were thrilled to find out there was one within easy driving distance. Our first mistake was visiting on a weekday in the middle of Spring Break. The line to enter the aquarium snaked far around the building and the parking garage was full by 11:30 am. We decided to eat lunch and try again afterwards. By the time we returned and found parking, we were able to get in quickly but couldn't see much because of the huge crowds crammed into relatively small areas. We slowly worked our way through the exhibits, appalled to see the dirty conditions of the "lab" areas and the tiny tanks for the seals and sea turtles. The very large sea turtle repeatedly swam from one end of the tank to the other, back and forth, back and forth. While it was entertaining for the children it just didn't seem like a big enough tank for that size animal. There is very, very little pride taken in the cleanliness of this aquarium and it is sad to see the animals in such conditions. We also saw several animals/fish with obvious health problems.

The cafe was disgusting. Yes, it was a ridiculously busy day, but the staff was not even trying to clean up the dining area nearly 3 hours after the lunch rush. There was food and garbage all over the floor, liquid spills, and the tables were filthy. We only bought drinks.

The staff interacting with the guests at the "touch" tanks left a lot to be desired. The one man at the shark tank was fairly pleasant, but the ray tank host was abrasive and sarcastic. The guy at the seal tank was also a gem.

The meerkats were a huge hit with my kids. They also enjoyed the thrill ride. This is, at most, a 3-4 hour visit if you don't watch the imax movie. Perhaps it would be better in the summer at a less busy time, but overall it was disappointing.

Visited April 2011
Thank connorsmama04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Small aquarium is great for young kids”
Reviewed March 21, 2011

We spent a few hours at this small aquarium during the week. It was not crowded being a week day. The focus of this aquarium is on the life in the Long Island Sound. There were small exhibits with meerkats, penguins and seals. There is a pool of stingrays that you can touch (!) and a small exhibit where you can touch smaller creatures like crabs, starfish and snails. There are several large tanks with fish - the sharks and the sea turtles were the favorites. The exhibits for the penguins and the seals were a little sad - small and somewhat dirty, which is hard to enjoy. The kids enjoyed watching the seals being fed. There are several exhibits about sustainable fishing and conservation, which balance things out nicely.

We ended from the 'back' of the museum at the IMAX theatre which was an easy in and out.

It was a nice visit and a good sized aquarium for younger kids.

Visited March 2011
Thank Famtastictravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wappingers falls, ny
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Fantastic Aquarium for toddlers and kids!”
Reviewed June 1, 2010

What a fantastic aquarium! We were hesitant about going after reading some of the reviews on here but we are so glad that we decided to go! True, it is not a HUGE place but who needs huge when you have a 2 year old! This had everything you could ask for...a shark tank, seal feeding, touch tanks, an African penguin exhibit, a Wii fishing game!!!!, a boat to climb in, a brand new meerkat/African exhibit...AND a small area with climbing mats for children under 5 to run off some energy! Clean, updated, family friendly and just the right size- perfect! There is also an IMAX theater and some kind of simulated ride that we did not get to do. Beautiful outdoor picnic area and plenty of restaurants right a short walk away. We upgraded our tickets for a membership-- they refunded our day tickets and put it towards the membership....that's how much we enjoyed it!

2 Thank daisymelisWF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Been to The Maritime Aquarium? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing