Stepping Stones Museum for Children
Even though we live about an hour away, I'd never heard of this children's museum until we started asking around for staycation ideas. Located not far from the Maritime Aquarium, Stepping Stones is an excellent stop for families with preschool and younger elementary children.
Hands-on exhibits include a waterscape area, where kids learn about water motion via use of balls (river, "toilet", dams, etc), a construction area with a "green" house, Rainforest Adventure, and Healthyville, where kids can learn about healthy habits and food choices. There is also a toddler play area as well as an enclosed outside play area for older children (Celebration Courtyard) which has a giant bubble maker.
Nearby (other end of the parking lot) there is a "boundless" playground for more outdoor activity.
There is a small snack bar on site, and a packed-full gift shop with lots of interesting and educational toys.
- Family Travel
Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum
I am a mansion buff and love to check them out whenever I get the chance. Unfortunately the mansion was closed when we got there. We were able to walk around the grounds and snap some pictures of the exterior of the mansion, which is impressive in itself. The gift shop was still open, or so I thought due to the door being wide open. It was actually closed and the staff person had forgotten to lock it up.
Tours are offered on a limited basis at noon, 1 PM, 2 PM and 3 PM.
Adult - $10.00
Senior - $8.00
Student (8-18) - $6.00
Under 8 - Free
Member - Free
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
The Maritime Aquarium
As usual, I have ants in my pants and just can't seem to sit still, so yesterday I gathered up the boys and headed out to Connecticut to see the Maritime Aquarium. This is a really cute aquarium, perfect for younger kids and kids who have never seen an aquarium before. There are a variety of exhibits including seals, meerkats, lorikeets, turtles, jelly fish and sharks. I wish they had more exhibits of tropical fish as I feel they are much nicer to look at. The Lorikeets were Patrick's favorites. He loved feeding them the nectar and how the birds climbed on him. At one point he had 5 on him at once. All I kept saying was please don't poop on me. My favorite part was getting to pet the stingrays and nurse sharks in the touch tank. The stingrays were awesome and would come right up to the side of the tank to be petted. The technician told us that stingrays like to be touched. The admission is a bit steep for what you get, $19.95 for adults and $12.95 for children 3-12. You can bundle a ticket to the IMAX show and save a couple of bucks off of buying the tickets separately.
Check out my travelogue for additional pictures of the our time at the aquarium.
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
The Norwalk oyster fest is a blast. You can enjoy dozens of live acts of all genres. My pick for best band this year- "Yankee Zulu"
This club is across the street from the site and is the best place to park your sled. Just talk to the doorman.
Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
We first went to the Maritime Aquarium in the late 90s, pre-kids - I most remember the seal tank area near the entrance and not much else (did we even take pictures?)
The Aquarium has since renovated and expanded, although the seals are still there. There's a touch tank, jellyfish, a regional fish exhibit, meerkats (what that has to do with the ocean I'm not sure...) and an African fish exhibit, otters, shark tank, sea turtles, and African penguins. Another big draw is the IMAX 3D movies. There is a small play area upstairs, as well as special exhibits (frogs on our trip).
The Aquarium also offers special events, including birthday parties and overnights, and they will bring the Aquarium to you - bringing small sea creatures to your event and allowing guests to touch and hold them as the sea life is explained.
There is a gift shop and cafe on site. Admission starts at $12.95 for adults, $9.95 for ages 2-12, with various pass combos available with the IMAX and ride films.
SONO Arts Festival
This year it seemed little more than a simple street fair with find it everywhere items.
Not sure if its degraded that badly or if it was the extreme heat that made it feel as such.
Overall I was disappointed.
The Oyster Festival is much more like a county fair. And at $10 per person to get in is not in my opinion worth it.
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