a clownfish

Marvellous Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut

Mystic Marinelife Aquarium, an aquarium and a research centre in Mystic, Connecticut, has been around since the 1970’s.  The aquarium I remember from my childhood is very different from the aquarium we visited last summer.  It’s bigger and better than anything I recall.

My children really liked the Titanic Exhibit which was set up in 2012 by Dr. Robert Ballard who discovered the wreck of the RMS Titanic in 1985.  If anybody could recreate what the doomed ship looked like on the ocean floor, it would be him!

iceberg
Touching an iceberg

The exhibit’s got lots of hands-on things for children to do and explore as well as interesting factoids to pique their interest.

  • Did you know that the Titanic only had 2 private bathrooms?  The people in First Class had to share bathrooms and the passengers in storage had to make do with 2 bathtubs among 700 people.
  • The Titanic had lots of dogs on board but no cats.  At the time, cats on board were believed to be good luck.  Is that where it all went wrong?
  • Perhaps the Titanic’s bad luck came from never haven been christened.  Traditionally ships are christened by breaking a bottle of champagne over the bow.
shoe
portrayal of shoes found in the seabed

The children could also enter into a replica of Dr. Ballard’s deep-sea submersible which discovered the Titanic.

deep sea submersible

The Beluga whales were first introduced to the aquarium in 1975 from Manitoba in Connecticut.  The three Belugas are housed in the largest outdoor exhibit in North America (a tank that holds 750,000 gallons of water).

beluga
face to face with a beluga

There are also the usual hands-on sea animals and ray pools exhibits as well as enclosed tanks with fish and jellyfish.  The 3-D theatre and the 4-D theatre were also a big hit with the children.  You aren’t allowed to bring outside food into the aquarium and the food available onsite is standard sightseeing fare (cardboard pizza and rubbery burgers).

a clownfish
A friend of Nemo
jellyfish
Jellyfish

Details

Mystic Aquarium is easy to find off Exit 90 on Interstate 95 in Connecticut.  It’s open daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  For more detailed information, please visit the Mystic Aquarium website.

Published by

Shobha

I am an American expat based in London with my travel-loving family. I write at Just Go Places Blog about luxury, cultural and family travel.

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