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Mystic Aquarium Review
One of my favorite activities around our home is Mystic Aquarium.  I first visited this aquarium in 2006 when Brandon and I began dating.  It’s pretty expensive compared to other aquariums, the 2014 admission prices are $29.95 for an adult and $21.95 for children ages 3-12.  A family of four would spend over $100 on admission alone.  This year we decided to purchase a membership to the aquarium so we visit about once or twice a month.
The attractions within the aquarium are quite unique.  The facility has 3 beluga whales (originally there were 4 but sadly one died from respiratory illness) in the main outdoor tank.  Juno is our favorite whale and by far the most curious one.  He particularly loves the small children, babies in strollers and people in wheelchairs.  Juno is usually the one hanging around the viewing area, inspecting the guests.
A review of Mystic Aquarium, a must-see attraction in southeastern Connecticut. #visitCT #aquarium
Stink with Juno
Mystic Aquarium also houses African penguins, sea lions and fur seals outside, but on cold winter days the penguins are brought indoors.  The aquarium also has a large indoor exhibit, daily sea lion shows and opportunities to watch the handlers feed the sharks and sting rays.
Mystic Aquarium Review
The indoor shark and ray touch tank

In another building of the aquarium they show a 4D interactive film (currently Rio) and a really unique multi-level Titanic exhibit.  I have always been intrigued by the tragedy of the Titanic so visiting this exhibit never gets old for me.  There is an area where children can go down below and explore the engine room, multiple videos that explain how the Titanic was found at the bottom of the ocean and information about the lives lost on that April night in 1912.  The exhibit opened up in April 2012 on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  Stink’s favorite part of the Titanic exhibit is walking across the floor display of the shipwreck site.

Mystic Aquarium review
Titanic exhibit

Mystic Aquarium review

Update: As of 2015 the Titanic exhibit has been closed to make way for a brand new exhibit titled Exploration: Wild.  We haven’t had the chance to check it out yet but it looks amazing!

The Verdict:  Mystic Aquarium really is a must see for anyone visiting the area.  There is a lot to do for adults and children alike, and while admission can be prohibitively expensive there are a few ways of saving money.  The aquarium is constantly offering discounts; for example, Dads get in free for Father’s Day weekend and often they will offer free admission to military members and veterans for certain months or holidays.  If you don’t fall into either of those categories you can check out the 2014 Mystic Pass Card which includes free admission to the Mystic Aquarium, the nearby Mystic Seaport and offers discounts on other shops and accommodations in the area.  Anyone within a day’s drive of the aquarium should consider the membership; just 3 visits would pay for itself!

When to Go: Summer is by far the most popular time to visit Mystic and is also the most crowded.  Winter time is very quiet with few field trips or tourists visiting but if it’s too cold then many of the outdoor exhibits are closed due to the dangers of ice on the sidewalks.  From May to September there is a temporary outdoor exhibit where you can feed birds, something young children especially enjoy (there is an additional fee).

Mystic Aquarium
Feeding the birds. Go in the morning, at the end of the day the birds are too full to want to eat from your hand!

What Else to Do:  Mystic has lots of attractions to keep one busy.  Across the street from the Mystic Aquarium is Olde Mistick Village, a picturesque place for shopping and eating.  Driving toward downtown Mystic will lead you to Mystic Seaport where you can explore a 19th century fishing village and board an authentic whaling ship.  Continue to the drawbridge in downtown Mystic for shopping and dining.  Be sure to grab an ice cream cone at the popular Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream!

Child Friendly?  Definitely!  The first time we brought Stink to the aquarium was when she was just 6 weeks old.  We bought a membership when she was about 14 months old, right after she learned to walk.  The aquarium often hosts special events during Halloween and Christmas and this year we enjoyed a Frozen Sing-a-long event as well.

Pet Friendly?  No

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