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. The one thing you have to do in Mystic CT with kids is visit the Mystic Aquarium. If you have more time in Mystic CT, things to do with kids beyond the aquarium include the Mystic Seaport living museum and, of course, Mystic Pizza (of movie fame). We travel from New York to Boston (and vice versa) a lot so Mystic CT is always an easy stop on our road trip.
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!
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.
The children could also enter into a replica of Dr. Ballard’s deep-sea submersible which discovered the Titanic.
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).
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).
There’s plenty of things to do in Connecticut beyond Mystic (including with kids!) so consider extending your Mystic trip for a few days to see the rest of the state.
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.