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Encounters




Marine Theater Guest Star
  • Want to be more than a member of the audience? Join us for a theatrical experience in the Foxwoods Marine Theater featuring our California Sea lion show. In this special appearance you will join the trainers and a California sea lion on the stage in a select scene as part of our show and help our team shine a spotlight on marine mammal conservation and education. As the Celebrity guest you will have the opportunity to give the sea lions two hand signals and pose with the sea lion for a photo opportunity!
  • Children must be at least 8 years old to participate
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to encounter time to complete a program liability form.
  • Encounter occurs rain or shine and is available year round.
  • Please note: General admission is NOT included in encounter pricing. Admission ticket purchase is REQUIRED.
  • If you have a gift certificate, please contact Reservations at 860.572.5955 ext. 520 to register.
  • For a full refund of reservation/encounter fees, cancellation must be made a full 72 hours (3 days) prior to the scheduled encounter program. Fees are non-refundable for cancellations received less than 72 hours from the date of the scheduled program. At least 48 hours (2 days) notice is required to reschedule an encounter program. If participants do not meet the encounter requirements, the program will be considered void and no refund or reschedule will be issued.




Penguin Encounter
  • In this 60-minute program, one of our penguin specialists will describe these remarkable birds and their care here at the Aquarium. Participants also learn about the history of the species and conservation issues affecting these intriguing animals.
  • Participants must be at least 6 years old; children ages 6-12 years must be accompanied by a paying, participating adult.
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to encounter time to complete a program liability form.
  • Encounter occurs rain or shine and is available year round.
  • Please note: General admission is NOT included in encounter pricing. Admission ticket purchase is REQUIRED.
  • If you have a gift certificate, please contact Reservations at 860.572.5955 ext. 520 to register.
  • For a full refund of reservation/encounter fees, cancellation must be made a full 72 hours (3 days) prior to the scheduled encounter program. Fees are non-refundable for cancellations received less than 72 hours from the date of the scheduled program. At least 48 hours (2 days) notice is required to reschedule an encounter program. If participants do not meet the encounter requirements, the program will be considered void and no refund or reschedule will be issued.




Penguins Up Close
  • The 30-minute adventure begins with a walk through the outdoor exhibits. Then, climb the stairs to the penguin care facility for a program that includes a private behind-the-scenes look at the intricacies of penguin care including training behaviors, animal/trainer relationships and, of course, the chance to interact with an African penguin.
  • There is a maximum of four guests per program; participants must be at least 6 years old; children ages 6-12 years must be accompanied by a paying, participating adult.
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to encounter time to complete a program liability form.
  • Encounter occurs rain or shine and is available year round.
  • Please note: General admission is NOT included in encounter pricing. Admission ticket purchase is REQUIRED.
  • If you have a gift certificate, please contact Reservations at 860.572.5955 ext. 520 to register.
  • For a full refund of reservation/encounter fees, cancellation must be made a full 72 hours (3 days) prior to the scheduled encounter program. Fees are non-refundable for cancellations received less than 72 hours from the date of the scheduled program. At least 48 hours (2 days) notice is required to reschedule an encounter program. If participants do not meet the encounter requirements, the program will be considered void and no refund or reschedule will be issued.




Birthday Party
  • Our in-house birthday parties take place in a private learning lab with a party host. You and your guests will enjoy an age appropriate, educational and entertaining themed program, a private touch tank of live sea creatures or a live reptile based on the chosen program topic, a personalized ocean themed birthday cake, decorative tableware and utensils and a fun party favor for each child!
  • The party is 1 1/2 hours and also includes admission to Mystic Aquarium after your scheduled party where guests will be able to explore the wonders of the ocean world.




Paint With A Ray
  • Step into the Ray Touch Tent and help our staff during a private feeding and enrichment session. Through the use of a specially-crafted tool, the attached paintbrush will move as the stingrays below eat during this stimulating enrichment session. Participants will achieve a better understanding of stingrays all while creating a one-of-a-kind piece of art for your family.
  • Fee is per family (8 guests maximum); must be at least 6 years old to participate in the painting portion of the encounter; children ages 12 and under must be accompanied by a paying, participating adult. Please Note: Children under 5 years old can enter and watch the program but cannot participate.
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to encounter time to complete a program liability form.
  • Encounter occurs rain or shine and is available year round.
  • Please note: General admission is NOT included in encounter pricing. Admission ticket purchase is REQUIRED.
  • If you have a gift certificate, please contact Reservations at 860.572.5955 ext. 520 to register.
  • For a full refund of reservation/encounter fees, cancellation must be made a full 72 hours (3 days) prior to the scheduled encounter program. Fees are non-refundable for cancellations received less than 72 hours from the date of the scheduled program. At least 48 hours (2 days) notice is required to reschedule an encounter program. If participants do not meet the encounter requirements, the program will be considered void and no refund or reschedule will be issued.




Sea Lions Up Close
  • During this up-close encounter, guests will not only meet one of Mystic Aquarium’s resident California sea lions and get a behind the scenes look at the Foxwoods Marine Theater, but will also participate in a 20-minute private training session! During this approximately 45-minute program, guests will receive an exclusive guided tour of the Foxwoods Marine Theater while learning directly from our animal care experts. Discover each of our rescued sea lion’s unique stories and gain an understanding of training programs, animal biology and natural history plus current conservation issues and how you can help make a difference.
  • General admission not included in encounter cost and must be purchased with your online order or in-person day of encounter.
  • Restrictions: Must be at least eight years old; ages 8-12 must be accompanied by a paying participating adult. Maximum of two guests per encounter.
  • Please note: General admission is NOT included in encounter pricing. Admission ticket purchase is REQUIRED.




Beluga Encounter
  • Enjoy a classroom introduction and preparation (approx. 20 min.) followed by a 20 minute in-water experience where you'll pull on waterproof waders and go waist-deep in the Arctic Coast exhibit to meet a beluga. Learn about the species and try your hand at directing a behavior. Feel the whale's melon and finish with a posed photo with a beluga. A question and answer session is available to conclude the program.
  • To ensure guest safety during the animal encounter, Mystic Aquarium staff will first discuss safety protocols with program participants. Guests are required to wear a personal flotation device for the duration of their encounter program. An Aquarium staff member will at all times be responsible for monitoring guest conduct and behavior.
  • Participants must be at least 5 feet tall and able to stand unassisted for duration of program; children under 16 must be accompanied by paying, participating adult.
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to encounter time to complete a program liability form.
  • Encounter occurs rain or shine and is available May – October.
  • Please note: General admission is NOT included in encounter pricing. Admission ticket purchase is REQUIRED.
  • If you have a gift certificate, please contact Reservations at 860.572.5955 ext. 520 to register.
  • For a full refund of reservation/encounter fees, cancellation must be made a full 72 hours (3 days) prior to the scheduled encounter program. Fees are non-refundable for cancellations received less than 72 hours from the date of the scheduled program. At least 48 hours (2 days) notice is required to reschedule an encounter program. If participants do not meet the encounter requirements, the program will be considered void and no refund or reschedule will be issued.




Whales Up Close
  • In this 40-minute program, go behind-the-scenes of the Arctic Coast exhibit to engage in an actual beluga whale training session. Learn about training enrichment activities, direct a behavior and maybe even touch the beluga's melon.
  • Participants must be at least 6 years old; children ages 6-12 must be accompanied by a paying, participating adult.
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to encounter time to complete a program liability form.
  • Encounter occurs rain or shine and is available May – October.
  • Please note: General admission is NOT included in encounter pricing. Admission ticket purchase is REQUIRED.
  • If you have a gift certificate, please contact Reservations at 860.572.5955 ext. 520 to register.
  • For a full refund of reservation/encounter fees, cancellation must be made a full 72 hours (3 days) prior to the scheduled encounter program. Fees are non-refundable for cancellations received less than 72 hours from the date of the scheduled program. At least 48 hours (2 days) notice is required to reschedule an encounter program. If participants do not meet the encounter requirements, the program will be considered void and no refund or reschedule will be issued.




Paint With A Whale
  • In this 40-minute program, you'll help enrich the lives of our belugas. Hold the beluga's canvas as the artist creates a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Learn how the beluga's anatomy allows it to paint and take home your own personal piece of beluga artwork.
  • Participants must be at least 13 years old.
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to encounter time to complete a program liability form.
  • Encounter occurs rain or shine and is available May – October.
  • Please note: General admission is NOT included in encounter pricing. Admission ticket purchase is REQUIRED.
  • If you have a gift certificate, please contact Reservations at 860.572.5955 ext. 520 to register.
  • For a full refund of reservation/encounter fees, cancellation must be made a full 72 hours (3 days) prior to the scheduled encounter program. Fees are non-refundable for cancellations received less than 72 hours from the date of the scheduled program. At least 48 hours (2 days) notice is required to reschedule an encounter program. If participants do not meet the encounter requirements, the program will be considered void and no refund or reschedule will be issued.




Paint With A Seal
  • As part of our commitment to animal care, Mystic Aquarium’s seals have been taught to paint using a non-toxic product (much like children’s finger paints). Just like humans, animals benefit from a variety of stimuli. Painting with our animals is just one way that Mystic Aquarium helps ensure an enriching and stimulating environment! We are inviting our guests help too! During a seal painting session, trainers will introduce participants to one of the Aquarium’s resident seals and together this dynamic duo will create a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork. It is a great opportunity to learn more about our local seal species and their habitat as well as ways guests can help with the conservation of marine mammals.
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to encounter time to complete a program liability form.
  • Encounter occurs rain or shine and is available year round.
  • Please note: General admission is NOT included in encounter pricing. Admission ticket purchase is REQUIRED.
  • If you have a gift certificate, please contact Reservations at 860.572.5955 ext. 520 to register.
  • For a full refund of reservation/encounter fees, cancellation must be made a full 72 hours (3 days) prior to the scheduled encounter program. Fees are non-refundable for cancellations received less than 72 hours from the date of the scheduled program. At least 48 hours (2 days) notice is required to reschedule an encounter program. If participants do not meet the encounter requirements, the program will be considered void and no refund or reschedule will be issued.




Seals Up Close
  • In this 40-minute program, interact with one of our resident harbor seals and learn more about their adaptations, animal care, training, and conservation issues. You'll get the chance to direct a behavior and feel the seal's thick fur coat.
  • To ensure guest safety during the animal encounter, Mystic Aquarium staff will first discuss safety protocols with program participants. Guests are required to wear a personal flotation device for the duration of their encounter program. An Aquarium staff member will at all times be responsible for monitoring guest conduct and behavior.
  • Participants must be at least 6 years old; children ages 6-12 must be accompanied by a paying, participating adult.
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to encounter time to complete a program liability form.
  • Encounter occurs rain or shine and is available May – October.
  • Please note: General admission is NOT included in encounter pricing. Admission ticket purchase is REQUIRED.
  • If you have a gift certificate, please contact Reservations at 860.572.5955 ext. 520 to register.
  • For a full refund of reservation/encounter fees, cancellation must be made a full 72 hours (3 days) prior to the scheduled encounter program. Fees are non-refundable for cancellations received less than 72 hours from the date of the scheduled program. At least 48 hours (2 days) notice is required to reschedule an encounter program. If participants do not meet the encounter requirements, the program will be considered void and no refund or reschedule will be issued.




Trainer For A Day
  • Visit behind-the-scenes to learn what it takes to care for belugas, sea lions, African penguins and seals. Interact with animals during hands-on, side-by-side training sessions with staff.
  • To ensure guest safety during the animal encounter, Mystic Aquarium staff will first discus safety protocols with program participants. Guests are required to wear a personal flotation device for the duration of their encounter program. An Aquarium staff member will at all times be responsible for monitoring guest conduct and behavior.
  • Program lasts from 1:00-4:30pm; participants must be at least 13 years old.
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to encounter time to complete a program liability form.
  • Encounter occurs rain or shine and is available May – October.
  • General admission is included in encounter cost.
  • If you have a gift certificate, please contact Reservations at 860.572.5955 ext. 520 to register.
  • For a full refund of reservation/encounter fees, cancellation must be made a full 72 hours (3 days) prior to the scheduled encounter program. Fees are non-refundable for cancellations received less than 72 hours from the date of the scheduled program. At least 48 hours (2 days) notice is required to reschedule an encounter program. If participants do not meet the encounter requirements, the program will be considered void and no refund or reschedule will be issued.




Summer Camps: Animal Antics

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.





Summer Camp: Mystic River Adventure

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.





Summer Camp: Sea Stars

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.





Summer Camp: Extended Day

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.





Summer Camp: Animal Spotlight

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.





Summer Camps: Dinosaurs

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.





Summer Camp: Eco Explorers

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.





Summer Camp: Spectacular Species

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.





Summer Camp: Conservation in Action

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.





Summer Camp: Aqua Camp

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.





Summer Camp: Water is Life: Think Blue!

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.





Summer Camp: Marine Animals And Their Environment

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.





Summer Camp: Environmental Conservation Camp

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.





Summer Camps: Aquarium STEM

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.







Summer Camp: Junior Aquarium Careers

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.





Summer Camps: Endangered Species

Offered June through August, our camps offer hands-on activities, up-close animal encounters, field trips and other fun and educational experiences for children ages 3 to 16. For younger children, the Aquarium offers day camps, while older kids have the opportunity to participate in overnight programs.





2019 Marine Mammal Seminar
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