FAQ: Your Field Trip Visit at The Maritime Aquarium

The Basics

Except where noted, our Educational Programs:

  • Vary in length, from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours. The cost varies by the duration of the program and the number of times we present it to your students. On the Programs pages, you'll find each program's cost below the program description.
  • Are for up 30 students. Groups of more than 30 students may reserve different programs at the same time or the same program at different hours. Groups choosing to split classes into small program groups should do so before arrival.
  • Require a 7:1 student-to-chaperone ratio. More details below.
  • Must be booked four weeks in advance.
  • Must be prepaid in advance. (Payment for Aquarium admission & IMAX is due upon arrival.)

Although the Aquarium opens at 10 a.m., most programs are offered hourly beginning at 9 a.m. However, if you are traveling from outside Fairfield County, you should plan for later program times.


The Maritime Aquarium requires that one adult (21 years or older) accompany every seven children in your group. Chaperones must remain with students at all times, including during programs. Chaperones are admitted free to the Aquarium & programs and pay just $7.50 for an IMAX movie. Additional chaperones above the 7:1 ratio pay a discounted fee as extra adults.

Arrival Time

Your group should arrive 30 minutes before the start of your first scheduled event (program, IMAX movie, etc.). Please factor for rush-hour traffic.

The Aquarium

Allow at least an hour to explore all exhibits. Seal Training Demonstrations are at 11:45 a.m. and 1:45 & 3:45 p.m. daily.

IMAX movies

IMAX movies play on the hour beginning at 11 a.m. and are about 40 minutes long. Special screenings of any film in our IMAX library are available at 10 or 11 a.m. for groups of 50 or more.

The Gift Shop

We feature a broad book selection and interactive audio/ video stations. Teachers receive a 10 percent teacher discount on resource materials.

Contacting Us

Call reservations at (203) 852-0700, ext 2206, Monday through Friday between 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Email us at reservations@maritimeaquarium.org

Maritime Aquarium Group Reservation Form

Group Financial-aid Form

When to Call

All programs must be reserved and prepaid at least four weeks in advance. Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, between 9:30 a.m. & 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday or e-mail at reservations@maritimeaquarium.org

Please Have Ready ...

  • Name, phone number, cell phone number and email address of the teacher or group leader coming on the day of your group’s visit.
  • Name, address & two phone numbers of your school or organization.
  • Grade level(s) or ages of the group.
  • Numbers of students, chaperones and extra adults who will attend.
  • First, second and third choices for the date of your visit.
  • Times you expect to arrive and depart.
  • Program(s) you want and the time(s) you prefer.
  • IMAX movie you want to see and preferred time.
  • If desired, your preferred 20-minute Oyster Hall lunch period.
  • Payment method (if reserving a program). Have a P.O. or credit card number handy. All programs must be prepaid at the time of reservation.


Payment may be made with a single check, purchase order, Visa, MasterCard, American Express or cash (large bills, please).

  • Aquarium and/or IMAX visits: A non-refundable 25% deposit for IMAX movies is due at time of reservation. Balance of payment is due upon arrival. Advance reservations are required to receive group rates. (Visits occuring on weekends must be paid in full at time of reservation.)
  • If you are reserving any Educational Program, full payment or purchase order for the program is due at the time of reservation. (Aquarium/IMAX admission is due upon arrival.)
  • Final attendance numbers must be called in to our Reservations Dept. at least 72 hours prior to your field trip. All unused wristbands must be returned at check-in or otherwise will be charged. Once group leader has finalized the contract, there can be no further changes.
  • Box lunches (if desired) must be ordered and paid in advance. Contact the Aquarium’s food service operator, CulinArt, at (203) 852-0700, ext. 2217.

What to Bring

Soon after making your reservation, you’ll receive a confirmation packet containing your contract, information on entrance procedures and your admission wristbands. Admission wristbands must be worn by everyone during your visit.

PLEASE NOTE: there will be a $50 replacement fee if you lose or forget your wristbands.

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

Group Cancellations

If you must cancel a prepaid Aquarium/IMAX visit, refunds are available. However, all IMAX cancellations (prepaid or not) must be made at least two business days before your visit. IMAX cancellations made within 24 hours of your visit and “no shows” are billed for the price of the tickets.

If you have reserved an educational program and must cancel, notify our Reservations Department at least four weeks in advance, or your payment will be forfeited.
If you arrive late for a program, it may be abbreviated or cancelled without refund.

Weather Issues

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 10 a.m., call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2250.

Between 10 a.m. & 5 p.m., call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206.

Be sure to leave a phone number. We'll make every effort to reschedule your visit.

Getting Here

Most schools utilize buses. After student dropoff at the Aquarium, bus parking is in Veterans Park, a city park just across the Norwalk River from the Aquarium. Please note that from May 1st through Oct. 15, the City of Norwalk charges a $5 bus parking fee. This fee will be included in your confirmation letter. A map will be included with your confirmation packet.

The Maritime Aquarium is within walking distance of the South Norwalk train station, so consider riding MetroNorth Railroad, which makes the field trip even more exciting and environmentally friendly, as well as less expensive. For details on the MetroNorth option, call (212) 499-4398.

Please note: there is $5 per/bus parking fee.

Lunch Options

Lunch is not included with your visit. Pack lunches and eat at adjacent Oyster Shell Park or:

  • Store and eat your bag lunches in our Oyster Hall (reservation required). Lunch times are assigned in 20-minute blocks (which includes your clean-up time) on a first-come, first-served basis when you make a reservation. (Maximum 150 people at a time.)
  • Purchase lunches in the 160-seat Cascade Cafe on the second floor. (Upon arrival, please let our staff know if more than 10 in your group will be buying lunch.)
  • Order in advance prepackaged box lunches to eat in the cafeteria. Box lunches must be prepaid. Lunch order forms are available by calling (203) 852-0700, ext. 2217, or by e-mailing maritimecatering@culinartinc.com.

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