Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration is a state-of-the-art destination for discovery in Mystic. Explore the depths of the ocean as you make your way through the aquarium’s exhibits, watching jellyfish float by and sea lions playfully swimming through the water. Learn about fearsome sharks or feed a ray from your hand. You might spot African penguins, beluga whales and American alligators or see a sea lion take the stage for a live theater show.
Begin your visit to the Mystic Aquarium with a trip through the main galleries. You’ll see a shimmering coral reef and fluorescent corals, as well as a mass of multicolored jellies. Check out loggerhead turtles, moray eels and barracuda, or learn about the story of the aquarium’s green sea turtle, Charlotte. The Shark Lagoon and Shark Encounters exhibits reveal a different side of the much-feared creatures. See stingrays and feel the skin of a ray as it glides underneath your fingers at the Touch Pool.
California sea lions are a breathtaking sight as they whirl around the underwater viewing area. Learn more about these playful creatures at the Foxwoods Marine Theater. More interactive experiences await at the Discovery Lab, where you can learn how to hold a crab. The aquarium’s Arctic Coast exhibit contains the largest outdoor beluga whale enclosure in the country. Kids will delight in the Exploration: Wild exhibit, which takes visitors on an exciting trail through some of the world’s most fascinating habitats.
Make your way along the wooden boardwalk of the Marsh Trek and spy turtles, bullfrogs and ducks amid the lily pads. The 4-D theater and National Geographic Theater are ideal for sitting back and experiencing captivating documentaries on the big screen.
Check the aquarium’s program for feeding times, educational presentations and animal encounters. If you are hungry, take a break at the aquarium’s Penguins Café. Stop by the gift store to pick up a souvenir for your visit.
Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration is less than 10 minutes’ drive from downtown Mystic. Discounted tickets are available for children and seniors. This attraction is open daily except for Christmas Day and Thanksgiving.