Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Mystic Aquarium

My wife Sally and my daughters Hannah and Emma visited the Mystic Aquarium a couple of weeks ago.  Hannah then filed this report for the "NYC & the Area" series.
The Mystic Aquarium is a magical place, where you can get close to many underwater animal favorites, while still comfortably standing on ground. You get to see the Arctic aspects of the ocean, a sea lion show, and a gallery featuring sharks, jellyfish, and much more. Though I enjoyed all of the aquarium, I think that these were my favorite parts of the trip. 
Hannah & Emma in their natural environment.
The Arctic aspects of the aquarium were engaging, while educating. There were Beluga whales, smart, white whales that would shake their heads and catch fish midair. They really loved the attention, and one swam real close to a young boy, “smiling” and flipping underwater. There were also baby seals, which swam around, and hid, because of  the sun, but they were so cute! They would swim in straight lines through the water, moving really fast, and then suddenly turn around, to show their bellies. There was the penguin pavilion, which featured South African penguins, a species so endangered they will probably be extinct within our lifetimes. All three species in the Arctic section are endangered, but the penguins have trouble with multiple oil spills at their home. The arctic animals were so smart and funny, I think I may have liked them the most!
There were tanks where we watched animals swim, and at 12:30, 1:00, and 3:00, there are sea lion shows at the Foxwoods Marine Theater, which are hosted by a trainer.  These are hilarious. The trainer had five sea lions, and she started the show by explaining the difference between seals and sea lions.  Then she demonstrated their tricks. The sea lions showed off their swimming speeds, and their top speeds could reach 25 mph. A sea lion jumped up to grab a cup, and multiple sea lions pushed each other out of the way to recycle. The trainer also made them dance to music, which was funny. This show makes you laugh and still feel engaged and includes audience activities as well.
The majestic beluga whale.
Emma & the whale tank.
My third favorite part of the trip was the main gallery, which was home to tame sharks.  In touch pools and tanks there are stingrays, jellyfish, rare tropical fish, alligators, a lobster, and even holes where you can be in the tank! They had graphs demonstrating how much electricity an electric eel produces, and they had fish swimming in perfect circles around cylindrical tanks, all in sync, which was cool. The aquarium also has shark touch tanks, where you could touch very tame sharks, and next to the gallery, you could also touch stingrays! The aquarium also had clownfish and blue tangs, (like Nemo and Dory) which were cool. The gallery was educating in a fun, engaging way. 
The aquarium's main entrance.
The jellyfish tank.
The Mystic Aquarium was a great trip.  It's not cheap, but it was money well spent-by a wide margin. I really enjoyed this trip, and I think you will too, so make sure the Mystic Aquarium is in your 2016 summer schedule. Great for all ages, this trip is one worth doing!

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