For some, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is a place with too many stimuli. So on Sun., Feb. 3, the Aquarium is planning a special morning to give guests with sensory-processing differences a fun, comfortable and accepting environment.
During “Sensory-Friendly Morning,” lights in the Aquarium will be lower, and music and other sounds will be turned down or off.
Additionally on Feb. 3, the Aquarium will open two hours earlier than usual – at 8 a.m. – so guests with special needs who are averse to crowds will be less likely to encounter them. And admission prices between 8 and 9:30 a.m. will be discounted.
In The Maritime Aquarium’s IMAX® Theater, the movies “Oceans: Our Blue Planet” at 9 a.m. and “Pandas” at 10 a.m. will be shown with the volume lowered and the theater lights only partially dimmed. (An IMAX movie is included with Aquarium admission.)
Also on Feb. 3, a special low-volume seal-training demonstration is planned for 8:30 a.m. And the regular 11:45 a.m. seal-training demonstration will be delayed until noon.
A “quiet room” will be available for guests who need a place to calm. For families that need to leave within the first 30 minutes of arrival, passes will be available to come back and try again another day.
The Maritime Aquarium’s “Sensory-Friendly Mornings” are offered several times a year, after being designed with input from staff members with children and siblings who have special needs. Training of Aquarium staff and volunteers was conducted by Cooperative Educational Services in Trumbull (CES).
The discounted admission prices at the door between 8 and 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 3 are: $21 for adults; $20 for seniors (65+); and $16 for children (3-12). Normal admission prices will resume after 9:30 a.m.: $24.95 for adults; $22.95 for seniors; and $17.95 for children. Kids under 3 are free.
For more details about the popular Connecticut family attraction’s exhibits, IMAX movies and programs this winter, call (203) 852-0700 or go to www.maritimeaquarium.org.