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The re-energized focus on Long Island Sound's story is obvious in the colorfully redesigned main hall, which has been renamed Newman's Own Hall in celebration of a $1.2 million grant from Newman's Own Foundation."

–  The Norwalk Citizen

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Holiday Fun at The Maritime Aquarium

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! “The Polar Express” returns to our IMAX theater, twinkling lighthouses adorn our galleries, and there will be several Santa sightings over the next few weeks. Don’t miss all The Maritime Aquarium has to offer this holiday season!

For even more updates, follow along with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Google+.

When you visit, don’t forget your camera — we love when you share your photos! Tag them #MaritimeAquarium, or look for our photo hotspots at the jellies, sharks and meerkats exhibits, and add #TMAjellies, #TMAsharks or #TMAmeerkats to let us in on your favorite moments.

“The Polar Express” Returns to IMAX
Nov. 29-Jan. 1
Get showtimes here.

Renew (or begin) a family tradition by securing your tickets for a magical ride to
the North Pole as “The Polar Express” steams back onto the giant IMAX screen for a
limited holiday engagement at The Maritime Aquarium.

Based on the 1986 Caldecott Award-winning book by Chris Van Allsburg, “The Polar Express” follows a young boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus but gets taken on a magical Christmas Eve trip to the North Pole.

Digitally re-mastered into the immersive IMAX format, the animated film has Tom Hanks lending his voice and likeness to several main roles, including the train conductor, a mysterious hobo and Santa Claus.

The late critic Roger Ebert called the film “a movie for more than one season; it will become a perennial, shared by the generations. It has a haunting, magical quality because it has imagined its world freshly and played true to it, sidestepping all the tiresome Christmas cliches that children have inflicted on them this time of year. The conductor tells the boy he thinks he really should get on the train, and I have the same advice for you.”

“The Polar Express” will play Nov. 29-Dec. 22 at 4 & 7:30 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays and at 4 p.m. Sundays. and at 4 & 7:30 p.m from Dec. 26-Jan. 1. daily (except just at 4 p.m. on Dec. 31).

Tickets are $11.50 for adults, $10.50 for youths (13-17) & seniors (65+), and $9.50 for children 2-12. Special group shows at 10 a.m. are available for preschools and Grades K-2 starting Nov. 1. Call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, for details.

Visits from Santa
Sat., Dec. 7 and Sat., Dec. 14

The Maritime Aquarium is pleased to welcome that “right jolly old elf,” Santa Claus, for two special visits in December. Children can bring their wish lists and share them on Santa’s lap on Sat., Dec. 7 and Sat., Dec. 14. Times are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring your camera to snap a keepsake memory. The Santa visits are free with Maritime Aquarium admission.


Santa Dives with Sharks

On select dates in December, Santa Claus will join The Maritime Aquarium’s dive
team to demonstrate that sharks aren’t the blood-thirsty killers of myth. Santa will strap on scuba gear and enter the Aquarium’s 110,000-gallon “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit, which is home to 7-foot sand tiger and lemon sharks. It’s all part of the regular dive-team program, in which Aquarium visitors can see – and talk with – divers swimming in the exhibit on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 12:15 & 2:15 p.m.

Check the Aquarium’s website for specific dates when Santa can pull himself away from the North Pole and exchange his snow boots for swim flippers.

2013 Festival of Lighthouses Contest
Exhibit open Nov. 16, 2013 – Jan. 20, 2014

Enjoy a bonus display of imaginative handcrafted lighthouses – and then vote for your favorite – in The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s 12th annual “Festival of Lighthouses Contest” through the holiday season.

Your votes determine the winners of this exhibit, which presents 22 large model lighthouses throughout the aquarium galleries from Nov. 16 through Jan. 20. The lighthouses are the creations of regional artists, crafts people and just folks with an idea. Some entries come in as scale models of real lighthouses. Others are wildly creative,

Entries this year include: a lighthouse made from Twinkies®, Ho Hos® and other
Hostess snack cakes; a gingerbread lighthouse; one made of tin; one made of green
plastic soda bottles; a lighthouse that celebrates the children’s board game Candy Land;
and a World Series lighthouse set in a baseball stadium. Four entries were built by
students at The Ursuline School in New Rochelle, for their “Senior Introduction to
Engineering” class.

The lighthouse that gets the most visitor votes will win $1,500. Other prizes to be
announced in a special evening reception on Jan. 23 are: $750 for second place, $375
for third; $300 for fourth; $225 for fifth; and $150 for sixth.

Lighthouses must be 3 to 6 feet tall and have a working light – pretty much
beyond that, it’s up to the creators’ imaginations. (Prohibited are animal remains,
including shells.) Learn more here.

Can’t wait to visit? Start planning your next trip right now!

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The Maritime Aquarium inspires people of all ages to appreciate Long Island Sound
and protect it for future generations. A vibrant and entertaining learning environment,
it achieves this goal through living exhibits, marine science, and environmental education.

10 North Water Street          Norwalk, CT 06854          Phone: 203.852.0700         Fax: 203.838.5416

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation

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