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.



lighthouses in gallery 4web










Festival of Lighthouses Contest

Now through Jan. 18

Our 14th annual "Festival of Lighthouses Contest" showcases 22 large model lighthouses, built by local artists, families, individuals and students from around Connecticut and Westchester County, NY.

The annual holiday display works like a juried art show except that you and thousands of other Maritime Aquarium visitors vote. The lighthouse with the most visitor votes wins the $1,500 first-place prize. There are other cash prizes for second- through sixth-places.

Some entries in our 2015 contest are modeled after real lighthouses; others are wildly whimsical. They're made out of everything from wood, paper and stone to playing cards, candies, fabric penguins and paper cupcake liners.

Which is best? You be the judge!

This year's winners will be announced in an awards ceremony on Thurs., Jan. 21.  (We'll post the winners here afterward.)


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.

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

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



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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