Santa will be posing with kids in a holiday exhibit, scuba diving with the sharks and appearing on the six-story IMAX® Theater screen in “The Polar Express,” all part of the Connecticut family attraction’s bonus Christmas offerings.
A visit to the Aquarium is always a gift to yourself, your family and your friends, thanks to the sharks, seals, river otters, jellyfish, sea turtles and other marine animals, as well as the amazing IMAX movies playing on the six-story screen (Connecticut’s largest).
But this holiday season offers special bonus presents for kids and families to enjoy:
At 12:15 & 2:15 p.m. Nov. 25-26 and most Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays in December. (No dives Dec. 24 & 25.) Also daily Dec. 26-31.
Several times each week through the holiday season (workload permitting), Santa will strap on his custom scuba outfit and enter the Aquarium’s 110,000-gallon “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit, which is home to 7-foot sharks.
He’ll swim up to the exhibit window and pose with children, so bring your camera for a unique photo opp.
Santa is expected to participate in each dive beginning Nov. 25-26, and then in December on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Times are 12:15 & 2:15 p.m. Check the Aquarium’s website – www.maritimeaquarium.org (under “Upcoming Events”) – to confirm the dates when Santa can pull himself away from the North Pole and exchange his snow boots for swim fins.
“Shark-Diving Santa” is part of a regular Aquarium program where guests can see and talk with volunteer divers swimming in the exhibit. The purpose of the dives is to correct common misperceptions about sharks, as the divers demonstrate how sharks do not see humans as prey.
All the dives are free with Aquarium admission.
Santa in the Fishing Village
Dec. 2-3, 9-10 and 16-17, each day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Visit Santa Claus aboard a festive fishing boat on three special weekends in December as The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk adds a bonus holiday exhibit to “fish” you a Merry Christmas!
Santa Claus will be in the holiday exhibit Dec. 2-3, 9-10 and 16-17, each day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Look for him in what is normally the Aquarium’s “Go Fish” exhibit, which will be transformed into a holiday wonderland in December. Santa will accept children’s wish lists and pose for photos for free, so bring your camera to snap a keepsake memory.
Please note that, each of those weekend days at 12:15 p.m., Santa will take breaks from the Fishing Village to become “Shark-Diving Santa,” joining the Aquarium scuba team to swim among the sharks in the “Ocean Beyond the Sound” exhibit.
IMAX movie “The Polar Express” photo attached
At 5 p.m. Nov. 24-26 and Dec. 2-3. And at 9 a.m. & 5 p.m. Dec. 9-10.
The animated Hollywood film, featuring Tom Hanks as the voice of five characters, returns to the Aquarium’s six-story screen Nov. 24-26 and Dec. 2-3, with all show times at 5 p.m. On Sat. Dec. 9 and Sun., Dec. 10, “The Polar Express” will play at 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
“The screen size, picture clarity and surround-sound audio makes IMAX the most immersive film format,” said Aquarium spokesman Dave Sigworth. “And so IMAX is the perfect way to experience a movie like ‘The Polar Express’ that’s all about believing.”
Based on the 1986 Caldecott Award-winning book by Chris Van Allsburg, “The Polar Express” follows a young boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus but gets taken on a magical Christmas Eve trip to the North Pole.
Because “The Polar Express” is an hour and 40 minutes long, tickets are specially priced at: $11.50 for adults; $10.50 for youths (ages 13-17) & seniors (65+); and $9.50 for children 3-12. Maritime Aquarium members save $1.
Special weekday shows at 9 or 10 a.m. are available for preschools and elementary schools. Call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, for details.
“Flurry Zone! An Indoor Snow Experience”
Every hour on the hour, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Dec. 1-31
No matter the weather outside, The Maritime Aquarium is guaranteeing a snowy forecast inside the popular family attraction, thanks to a special snow machine that will produce an hourly flurry each day in December.
Every hour, on the hour, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., snow will fall from the ceiling of Newman’s Own Hall (where the seals are). The squall will last for 5 minutes but, through unique technology, evaporate before hitting the floor, so no shoveling will be required.
“Here’s the chance to enjoy a pretty snowfall to help get you into the holiday spirit, but a snowfall that will be inside, where it’s warm!” said Dave Sigworth, the Aquarium’s spokesman.
“Flurry Zone! An Indoor Snow Experience” will be free with Aquarium admission.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in 70mm IMAX film
Premieres Thurs., Dec. 14 at 7 (sold out) & 10 p.m. Then showing at 1, 4, 7 & 10 p.m. Dec. 15-Jan. 15, except Dec. 24 (noon only) and no shows Christmas Day.
The Maritime Aquarium is one of only 10 theaters in the U.S. that will show “The Last Jedi” in 70mm IMAX film projection. (The next closest is in Philadelphia.) Thus, “Star Wars” fans won’t see “The Last Jedi” bigger or better anywhere in New England – or in the New York metropolitan area – than at The Maritime Aquarium with its six-story screen.
The Maritime Aquarium’s theater combines the brightest, clearest images at almost 10 times the resolution of standard-projection formats with powerful, laser-aligned digital sound and customized theater geometry to create the world’s most immersive film experience. Director Rian Johnson shot portions of “The Last Jedi” with IMAX cameras, and those scenes will fill the Aquarium’s giant screen (in ways unavailable in conventional cinemas).
“The Last Jedi” premieres on Thurs., Dec. 14 at 7 (sold out) & 10 p.m. Then, in an unprecedented move, The Maritime Aquarium is suspending its regular schedule of 40-minute IMAX documentaries from Dec. 15-Jan. 15 to present only “The Last Jedi.” Show times are 1, 4, 7 & 10 p.m. (There’s only one show on Dec. 24 – at noon – and no shows Christmas Day.)
Tickets are $15 for adults, seniors and youths (13-17), and $12.50 for children (3-12). Get them online at www.maritimeaquarium.org. Aquarium admission tickets are separate.
Episode VIII in the “Star Wars” series and sequel to “The Force Awakens,” “The Last Jedi” stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac. New cast members include Benicio del Toro and Laura Dern. Fisher died in December 2016, making “The Last Jedi” her final film role.
“The Last Jedi” is expected to have a rating of PG-13. It’s produced by Lucasfilm and will be distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.