We have a rule in homeschooling — no one leaves the field trip destination without either asking at least three questions or at finding the answer. So on our trip to the Mystic Aquarium this was no different.
See a full overview of how to plan a weekend trip to Mystic, CT.
After finding out that the Mystic Aquarium had invited us to visit in exchange for coverage in our ocean series, my 8 year old frantically started writing down questions. Knowing they are home to Beluga Whales, she went into her visit equipped with an entire list of questions she wanted answered. And little did we know that it would be the first exhibit.
The unsuspecting worker was inundated with questions and after learning a bit more about echolocation and how the whales see or hear what in from of them, it snowballed into all sorts of fun facts about these beautiful whales!
He told us all about how beyond echolocation, the whales were different from other whales in that they could articulate their heads and that they were really noisy. We chatted with him comparing them to other sea life and he started telling us about how he could tell their three Belugas apart from each other — their spots, their relative sizes, etc..
He was a wealth of information and excitement! So much so we came back before leaving and spent another good amount of time talking with him.
While we were asking him questions and watching, he even exclaimed that one of them rarely came over to that side of the tank and he was surprised to see her! Which led to an entire discussion about how the bright color dress that one of the girl wore might have been attractive.
Inside the doors of the aquarium we were met with shark touch tanks, augmented reality, and tons of amazing tanks full of gorgeous fish.
Key topics to plan to talk about at the Mystic Aquarium
As I mentioned previously, we came armed with big, probing questions! However, there was obviously a lot more to talk about than my children had planned for.
So here are some specific marine wildlife, research, and conservation topics that are something you can dive into at the Mystic Aquarium.
Field Trip Prep
- Arctic Animals – there is also an option for an augmented reality experience.
- Cartilaginous Fish – my kids were introduced to this term while reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; therefore, it was great to have the touch tank for both the sharks and rays to discuss this further.
- The electricity eels produce – there is even a hands-on crank with a lot of great information about what they could power in our daily lives if using their electric charge.
- Ocean pollution and cleanup – there is even a drop the claw crane game
- Hydro-electric Power, Dams, and changing landscapes – we spent a good amount of time playing with the water feature where we could pull up a dam to flood the landscape and produce power to generate light. It was a really great interactive exhibit.
Pandemic Procedures at the Mystic Aquarium
- Purchasing tickets will require some advanced planning as you will need to pick a day and time. Tickets vary in price based on when you choose.
- You will have a few safety checkpoints as you head into the Aquarium and masks are required for both visitors and staff.
- Tickets can be used on your phone or printed at home.
- There are several viewing spots marked with social distancing in mind and then inside of the building, everything is clearly marked with arrows to guide you on your visit.
- There are the regular hand washing stations for things like rinsing your hands before enjoying a touch tank, but there are also sanitizer stations throughout.
The Mystic Aquarium is such a great destination for field trips and for family day trips or weekends getaways. Stay tuned for more about what to do in Mystic, CT!