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!

Now thru Sept. 7 (Labor Day)

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.

Aquar.FlutterZone.2 copyPlus, 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!)

Special note: Please no strollers, food or drink inside the butterfly enclosure.


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, all 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.Aquar.Dragons-MeetTheDragon 4web

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

Plus, you can touch or hold one of the exhibit's bearded dragons in our special "Meet the Dragon" encounter programs daily July 1-Labor Day! Details here. 

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

The nine varieties of real dragons in our new exhibit include:

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! 

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



International Children's Art Exhibit


Art in its simplist form.
May 15 - Sept. 1

See how 120 young artists from the U.S. and 20 other countries shared important moments that reflect their cultures in this special display.

The 19th International Children’s Art Exhibit is presented by Creative Connections in Norwalk. It will be displayed in our IMAX® Theater lobby, so paid admission is not necessary to view it.

Theme of this year's show is “Picture the Moment." The drawings and paintings were created by children in Grades 3 to 12 who were challenged to draw or paint pictures that "thoughtfully capture a moment depicting one's ethnic and cultural identity."

Children from Connecticut – including dozens from schools in Fairfield County – are equally represented.

Previously during the school year, the pieces made by American students were exchanged with art by the students overseas, allowing insights into their partners' cultures.

Exhibit sponsors include include Fairfield County Bank and Peralta Design in Shelton, with support from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Office of the Arts.


Mission: The Maritime Aquarium inspires people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound ecosystem
and the global environment 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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