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

Exhibits & Animals

Blue Crab Fun Fact

Blue crabs are good swimmers. Their specially adapted pair of back legs are "swimmerets" that help move them effectively through the water.


Aquar.FlutterZone 4website

This Summer Enter the "Flutter Zone"

It's an immersive walk-through butterfly exhibit, accompanying IMAX® movie, "Flutter Fun" kids activities and demonstration pollinator garden!

Open May 23 (Memorial Day Weekend) to Sept. 7 (Labor Day)
Aquarium Members' PREVIEW: Fri., May 22, 3 - 6 p.m.
"Flutter & Flights" wine-tasting fund-raiser: Thurs., June 4, 6 - 8 p.m. More Info.

Enter a magical environment all aflutter with exotic tropical butterflies in our special walk-through encounter open this summer outside on our riverfront courtyard.

The exhibit features hundreds of exotic tropical butterflies of dozens of varieties from Asia, Africa and South America. Walk among them as they flitter and flutter about. Some may even choose to land on your head or arm!

You also can watch the life cycle of butterflies unfold, in a special section of the exhibit featuring the chrysalises whose metamorphoses will keep the exhibit stocked with flittering butterflies throughout the summer. Displays also emphasize the horticultural and agricultural importance of butterflies and other pollinators.

Plus, kids can enjoy our "Flutter Fun," daily, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Newman's Own Hall. Make a butterfly hat, help support monarch butterflies by planting milkweed in your backyard ($1 donation), learn about metamorphosis, play a caterpillar to butterfly matching game, learn how to tell a butterfly from a moth, or conduct a butterfly symmetry exercise. Activities rotate so come back for something new each day.

Plus, adjacent to “Flutter Zone,” we're growing a demonstration “pollinators’ garden” filled with flowering plants that native butterflies – including monarch butterflies – specifically seek for food and egg-laying. The "pollinator's garden" will be a certified monarch way station designated by Monarch Watch.

Check out the Butterfly Cam

Entry into “Flutter Zone” is free with Aquarium admission.

Plus, round out your butterfly experience by also seeing our new IMAX® movie “Flight of the Butterflies," about the incredible migration of monarch butterflies. (Additional charge for the movie; save with Discount Combo ticket!)


Dragons! Real or Myth?

See a baby black dragon – one of only an estimated 31 in the U.S. – in the only place in the country to exhibit one: in our new special exhibit, “Dragons! Real or Myth?"

See animals of land and sea with the word "dragon" in their names. 

Explore facts and fictions about mythological dragons and their roles in cultures throughout time. Find similarities between real live dragons and fire-breathing dragons of lore.

Entry into “Dragons! Real or Myth?” is free with Aquarium admission.

The dragons are on exhibit in the the same area as the Meerkats.

Meet nine varieties of real dragons in our new exhibit:

Aquar.Dragons.BlackDragon1 copyBlack Dragon
(Varanus salvato macromaculatus)

This very rare black dragon is a melanistic form of the Asian water monitor lizard. Opposite of an albino (no pigment) this animal's body produces an overabundance of pigment, making the animal nearly solid black.Black dragons can grow to become very large muscular lizards, averaging 5-6 feet in length and weighing over 60 pounds!

Watch our Black Dragon as he moves into his new home.


weedy 4webWeedy Sea Dragon
(Phyllopteryx taeniolatus)

Very delicate fish found in Australia’s southern coast. They live in coral reefs and seaweed beds, to which they are perfectly camouflaged. 




Jiggle A JellyJiggle a Jelly at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk! The touch-a-jellyfish exhibit is open on weekends and holidays; daily in July & August. Visit our website for more details: touch-a-jellyfish exhibit 

Do something you've tried to NOT do all your life:  touch jellyfish!

Gently touch the tops of live moon jellies as they pulse in the exhibit.  One of our trained volunteers will guide you.

How is this possible without being stung? The stinging cells of moon jellyfish are known to be relatively benign for most people.




"They're so cuuuuute!"  Meet a family of meerkats, one of Africa’s most entertaining species.


First popularized by the comical sidekick Timon in Disney’s “The Lion King” and then celebrated in the Animal Planet television series “Meerkat Manor” (2005-2009), meerkats are members of the mongoose family that live in social “mobs” or “gangs” in burrows in the African Kalahari Desert.

No mere cats, meerkats (Suricata suricatta) are fascinating for living in structured but cooperative societies, including a foraging strategy where adults take turns standing guard upright on their hind feet, watching for predators, while the others eat.

meerkat for web

Meet six sibling meerkats – three males, three females. A viewing bubble even lets young visitors stand up right among the meerkats.

Visit our Meerkat web cam

pdfMeerkat Activity Sheet



Mission: 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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