Shorter version originally posted in Mommy Nearest Magazine.
Part 1 of my tale discussed the our journey on the Metro North and fun in the Hilton's hot tub. Part 2 will be about the awesomeness that is the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, which was included in our MTA Getaway package!! It's just over an hour by train from Grand Central Station, so totally doable for a day trip.
We were extremely impressed with Maritime. It was the most kid-friendly aquarium I’ve ever been to, and it was really fun for us adults as well! You’ll have the opportunity to touch live jellyfish (I was a bit terrified, but they didn’t sting – PHEW!), sting ray, and sharks (though the sharks were "on a break" from being touched on the day we were there, boooo)! The sting ray were really really smooth, and very playful! They would go up to you you, poke their head out of the water, and flap their wings and get you wet! So fun!!
Jiggling the jellies was thrilling. I was raised thinking they would sting the crap out of you, so had never thought about touching one. Apparently this type is harmless, and it's "not likely" you would feel their sting. Hmmm... I was VERY careful to avoid the tenticles, just in case. And was quite nervous with my husband dangling my 14 month old's hand in the tank to touch the jellyfish!! How would I describe them? Slimy smooth but firm. Almost like jello!
There is a really exciting exhibit of meerkats, an adorable seal show, and really great tanks full of huge sea turtles, tropical fish, sharks, eels, you name it!!
The seal show was fun, and done 3 times a day. I think I counted 7 seals, and the trainers talked about how they get them to learn new tricks, and showed us how they can jump up onto the plan and exit the tank when needed! They were so cute hopping all around!
There were three choices for the IMAX and we chose 3D “Born to be Wild” which was about two programs for raising orphaned orangutans and elephants and re-releasing them into the wild. It was a really sweet story, and I was most pleasantly SHOCKED that my 14 month old sat and watched the entire 40 minute movie!!
We spent about 4 hours at the aquarium (so it is totally doable as a day trip from NYC,) and didn’t test out any of their food options since it’s located in the SoNo Historic district with a lot of restaurant options nearby - so we ate right before and after our visit. The aquarium had changing tables in BOTH the women’s and men’s bathrooms, which was very refreshing to see! It was stroller friendly and surprisingly not very crowded - we went on a cold Sunday so I figured it would be packed!
So, an amazing 3 day weekend thanks to MTA Getaways!! I highly recommend checking out the Maritime and if time and budget allow, turn a long day trip into a more relaxing weekend adventure! Norwalk also has a great children's museum, which we didn't check out but maybe next time! It's a really cute town (only negative is that Norwalk is VERY VERY VERY not stroller friendly after a big snow storm...)!
You can bet you'll start seeing more "MTA Getaway" posts from me - I'm hooked!!
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!