Field Trip FAQ

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. 
Chaperones

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, and pay just $7.50 for an IMAX movie. Additional chaperones above the 7:1 ratio pay a discounted fee as extra adults (click here for more information.) Due to classroom capacity limits, only chaperones at the 7:1 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.

IMAX films

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

The Aquarium
  • Allow 90 minutes to explore all exhibits. 
  • Backpacks are not permitted in the Aquarium. Please leave them at school or on the bus.
  • Our Gift Shop is teacher- and kid-friendly. Teachers receive 10% discounts on resource materials. The discount is not transferable for student purchases.

Reservations

To Make a Reservation:
  • All educational programs must be reserved and prepaid at least four weeks in advance. A non-refundable 25% deposit is due for IMAX movies.
  • 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, ext. 2206, between 9:30 a.m. & 4:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 
  • Email your Financial Aid Form to reservations@maritimeaquarium.org or fax to (203) 838-5416. 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).
  • The IMAX movie you want to see and preferred time.
  • Your preferred 20-minute lunch period (for bag lunches) or if you intend to purchase lunches in our cafe.

 

Payment

  • Payment or purchase order for educational programs is due at time of reservation.
  • Payment for Aquarium admission and your IMAX balance 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 (see number at bottom of page) 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 / Parking

  • Please plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of your first scheduled event. Educational programs at the Aquarium and IMAX 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/van May 1 - Oct. 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 outside on our riverfront courtyard or 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, ext. 2217, or send an email to maritimecatering@culinartinc.com.

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, ext. 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, ext. 2270.
  • between 9:30 a.m. & 4:30 p.m., call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, or email reservations@maritimeaquarium.org.

Rescheduling

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 & 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.
  • Refunds for IMAX tickets (minus the 25% non-refundable deposit) require notice of cancellation 48 hours prior to the scheduled show.
  • All wristbands must be returned or you will be charged. No refunds are issued for late arrival or no-shows.

Traveling Teacher

Have Aquarium Educators Come to You!
  • Certain programs can be presented at your school. Prices are listed in each program description, and vary by the duration and the number of times we present the program. Additionally, travel fees may apply (less than 20 miles from Aquarium, no fee; 21+ miles, $1 per mile; 80+ miles, 2 program minimum. Additional fee for 5 NYC boroughs: $50.)
  • When considering an Aquarium program at your school, the first two items under “The Basics” apply.
  • Chaperones are not required, but teachers are to remain in the classroom during the Aquarium presentation.
  • All items under “To Make A Reservation” and “Payment” apply (except, of course, those relating to an IMAX movie and lunch).
  • All items under “Weather Issues,” “Need to Reschedule” and “Late Arrivals & Cancellations”

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