The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk opens its backstage spaces for a special behind-the-scenes tour this Saturday (Nov. 16). Conducted before the Aquarium opens, from 8:15 to 10 a.m., the guided tour offers unique opportunities to see how the animal-husbandry staff meets the varying food and water needs of some 2,000 resident animals.
Behind the Scenes Tour are held each month on the third Saturday of every month, at 8:15 a.m.
Operating the aquarium is a complicated production that must satisfy more than 1,000 animals with varying requirements for food, water temperatures and salinities, and more. See how it’s all done when you visit our jellyfish “nursery” and the “fish kitchen,” where meals for our residents are prepared. We’ll go above the “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit, where you can look down on the sharks in their 110,000-gallon tank … and even toss in some fish for them to eat! And feel the tickle as you hand-feed the cow-nosed rays!
Participants must be 10 years and older. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. “Behind-the-Scenes Tours” cost $25 ($22.50 for Aquarium members) Does NOT include Aquarium admission. There is a maximum of 25 people per tour. Advance reservations strongly recommended. Walk-up sales are accepted.
Enjoy a special backstage look at how the sharks, seals, sea turtles, river otters and hundreds of other aquatic species are kept happy, healthy and well-fed during a “Behind-the-Scenes Tour” on Sat., Nov. 16 at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
A few lucky visitors may even get to help feed the sharks or hand-feed the rays!
The “Behind-the-Scenes Tour” starts at 8:15 a.m. and offer a unique opportunity to see how the animal-husbandry staff meets the varying needs of the Aquarium’s animals, all of which have preferences for what they eat, how cool and salty they like their water, who they’re sharing their exhibit with, and more.
The tour includes stops at the Aquarium’s “fish kitchen,” where 18 tons of fish food is prepared each year, and above the 110,000-gallon Ocean Beyond the Sound exhibit, where the dorsal fins of 7-foot sand tiger sharks cut through the water surface just below you.
“It’s an impressive moment to see the sharks swimming just below you, without a window of aquarium glass in between,” said Jack Schneider, the Aquarium’s animal curator.
Tour participants learn the delicate requirements of a jellyfish “nursery,” where a variety of jellyfish species are grown year-round. And a few members of the tour may get the chance to feed the nurse sharks and rays in the Shark & Ray Touch Pool.
Participants must be at least 10 years old; under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.
Cost is $25 ($22.50 for Aquarium members). Additional paid Aquarium admission for non-members at 10 a.m. is optional.
Space on the tour is limited, so reservations are strongly recommended. Walk-up tickets will be sold, space permitting.
The Maritime Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, which sets the top standards for animal care and visitor safety.
For reservations or more details about the “Behind-the-Scenes Tour,” go to maritimeaquarium.org or call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206.
10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT 06854
A not-for-profit institution, The Maritime Aquarium is one of the best places for family fun and school field trips in Connecticut. The Aquarium’s live exhibits focus on the animals, habitats and conservation needs of Long Island Sound, the estuary of national significance just outside our doors. The Aquarium also features Connecticut’s largest IMAX Theater, with a movie screen that’s six stories high and eight stories wide.