Field Trip Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about Maritime Aquarium Field Trips!

The Basics

Educational Programs

  • Offered starting at 9 a.m. General admission to the Aquarium starts at 10 a.m.
  • Up to 30 students per program. Groups choosing to split classes into smaller program groups should do so before arrival. 


One adult chaperone is required for every seven students in your group. Chaperones must be at least 18 years old and must remain with students at all times, including during programs. Chaperones are admitted free to the Aquarium and programs. Additional chaperones above the 7 to 1 ratio pay a discounted fee as extra adults. Click Here to Learn More About Group Pricing.

Due to classroom capacity limits, only chaperones at the 7 to 1 ratio can accompany students to programs. Students with special needs are permitted extra chaperones with advance notice. Please note: for your additional adults to receive the discounted chaperone rate, they must be included on your contract. Parents who are not part of your contract pay individually upon arrival and will be charged full price.

The Aquarium

  • Allow 90 minutes to explore all exhibits. 
  • Our Gift Shop is teacher- and kid-friendly. Teachers receive 10% discounts on resource materials. The discount is not transferable for student purchases.

To Make a Reservation

To Make a Reservation

  • All educational programs must be reserved and prepaid at least 6-8 weeks in advance.
  • Please designate one group leader as our contact person. This person must make the reservation. Fill out your Group Reservation Form or call (203) 852-0700, extension 2206, between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Email your Financial Aid Form to It must be received at least 4 weeks before your visit/program date. Aid is limited. Please apply as early as possible.

When You Call, Please Have Ready

  • Name, phone number, cell phone number and email address of the group leader on the day of visit.
  • Name, address and phone number of your school or organization.
  • Grade level(s) or ages of the group.
  • Number of students, chaperones and extra adults.
  • First, second and third choices for date of your visit. (Prior to calling us, please pre-approve these dates with your school administration as well as your preferred transportation company.)
  • The program(s) you want and preferred time(s).
  • Your preferred 20-minute lunch period (for bag lunches) or if you intend to purchase lunches in our cafe.


  • Payment or purchase order for educational programs is due at time of reservation.
  • Payment for Aquarium admission is due upon arrival. Trips taking place on weekends must be paid in full at time of reservation.
  • Maritime Aquarium memberships cannot be used for any students or adults attending as part of your group.
  • Payment options: check, purchase order, credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) or cash.
  • Final attendance numbers must be called in to our Reservations Department (203) 852-0700, extension 2206 at least 72 hours prior to trip. All unused wristbands must be returned at check-in or otherwise will be charged. After a group leader has finalized the contract, there can be no further changes. 
  • Box lunches (if desired) must be ordered and paid in advance. See “Lunch Options.”

Timing and Parking

  • Please plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of your first scheduled event. Educational programs at the Aquarium and 4D movies cannot be delayed or made up due to late arrival. We encourage groups coming from far away to schedule later program times.
  • After student drop-off, bus parking is in nearby Veterans Park. (We’ll put a map in your confirmation packet.) Note that there is a $5 parking fee per bus or van May 1 through October 15.
  • An option: the Aquarium is within walking distance of the South Norwalk train station, served by MetroNorth.
  • Parent chaperones driving separately should park in the Maritime Garage adjacent to our main entrance.

Lunch Options

Lunch is not included with your visit. You may:

  • Bring your own lunches and eat inside in our 150-seat Oyster Hall. Oyster Hall reservations are required at time of reservation. Because we must accommodate many groups, lunch periods in Oyster Hall are limited to 20 minutes.
  • Purchase lunches in our 160-seat Cascade Cafe. Notice is required at time of reservation. Groups cannot eat in the Cafe without advance notice.
  • Order box lunches in advance. Call (203) 852-0700, extension 2217.

What to Bring

Soon after making your reservation, you’ll receive a confirmation packet containing your contract, entrance procedures, and your admission wristbands. Admission wristbands must be worn by everyone in your group during your visit.  A $25 replacement fee will be charged for any lost or forgotten wristbands. 

If you have not received your confirmation packet within two weeks of your reservation, please call (203) 852-0700, extension 2206. 

Weather Issues

With a delayed opening at your school or the Aquarium, all programs before noon – those at the Aquarium or at your school – will be canceled and rescheduled. If your school is closed or has a delayed opening because of inclement weather, please call us as soon as possible (at any hour) and leave a message:

  • before 9:30 a.m., call (203) 852-0700, extension 2270.
  • between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., call (203) 852-0700, extension 2206, or email

Need to Reschedule?

We require 72-hours notice to reschedule a visit that does not include a program, and four-weeks notice for a reservation that includes a program. There is no charge for the first reschedule, and $25 for each additional. 

Late Arrivals and Cancellations

Late arrival may require shortening or cancellation of programs. If rescheduling is not possible, full refunds will be issued for programs missed due to school or Aquarium closure. Under all other circumstances, these conditions apply:

  • Refunds for educational programs require notice of cancellation at least four weeks prior to the program.
  • All wristbands must be returned or you will be charged. No refunds are issued for late arrival or no-shows.

Our Mission

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.

Contact Us

Open Daily 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Phone: (203) 852-0700

10 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT 06854

Directions Contact Us