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General Admission

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Animal Encounters

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Group Admission

We offer discounted admission rates and free chaperones for schools, homeschools or other youth organizations that meet certain requirements and strive to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for your group.

 

IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR SCHOOL/YOUTH GROUP ADMISSION RATES, YOU MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

  • At least 10 paying guests. (Children under 2 do not apply.)
  • Group admission must be reserved at least two weeks in advance, and purchased at least one week in advance, in one payment transaction. (Please note that the reservations office is open Monday-Friday.)
  • All youth arrive and enter the gates with their adult chaperone on the date and within the hour that was purchased.

 

AQUARIUM SCHOOL/YOUTH GROUP ADMISSION-ONLY RATES

Please note that seasonal pricing applies.

September – May: $16/student (under 18) & June – August: $20/student (under 18)

1 free adult chaperone per 5 students in Pre-K-grade 12

1 free adult chaperone per 20 students of higher education

September – May: $20/adult and for additional chaperones & June – August: $25/adult and for additional chaperones 

Join Us For A Unique Classroom Experience While Here!

  • Enjoy fun, active learning with hands-on investigations of live animals and rare biofacts.
  • Inspire scientific literacy and inquiry, encouraging students to think critically and creatively. 
  • Promote interest and understanding of STEM with hands-on applications of science.
  • Support Common Core and 3-Dimensional Learning of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
  • We offer a variety of Classroom Programs for Pre-K to grade 12. Click below for more information!

Classroom Program Topics:

There are four topics to choose from, and each topic has options for every grade group from Pre-K to 12. The younger grade groups typically address up through grade 3, and middle grades usually range from grade 4 to 8. Older grades refer to high school students, however we can easily adapt up or down a grade for most class options. These topics are aligned with the Cross Cutting Concepts (CCC) of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Click here for more information on standards addressed in programs by grade.  

Topic 1 – Animal Adaptations (CCC: Structure and Function)

Younger grades can choose to focus on the adaptations of penguins or whales, and middle-older grades can choose from whales, sharks or a squid dissection, depending on the grade, to understand more about structural and behavioral adaptations.

Topic 2 – Classification (CCC: Patterns, Structure and Function)

Younger grades can choose from sorting animals into main groups such as mammals, birds, fish, etc., or discovering patterns through ocean animal movement. Older grades can dive deeply into the subject with ocean invertebrates including three phyla not found on land. High schoolers in distance learning or at the Aquarium can also focus on the comparative evolution of marine mammals.

Topic 3 – Habitats & Ecosystems (CCC: Energy and Matter, Systems and System Models)

All grades have an option of specifically focusing on the Long Island Sound ecosystem and local aquatic habitats. Younger grades can also choose to focus on an overview of ocean habitats and the animals found there, or they can specifically learn more about the relationships of animals within a coral reef community. Middle grades have an added option of learning about the balance of ocean food webs. Older grades also have the option to focus on ecosystem approaches to conservation of threatened species.

Topic 4 – Humans and the Ocean (CCC: Stability and Change; Cause and Effect)

Younger grades can choose from understanding beach animals and the proper etiquette of nature exploration that “leaves only footprints,” or they can specifically focus on how coastal indigenous people lived in balance with nature. Middle grades can learn about keystone species and how their survival indicates and/or affects the health of an ecosystem, such as amphibians or sharks. Older grades have a variety of choices on this topic including an overview of careers, veterinary sciences specifically, population genetics, or ecosystem approaches to species survival.

Classroom Programs at Mystic Aquarium

Monday – Friday Cost: $75 per program for up to 25 students plus school/youth group admissions.

Saturday – Sunday Cost: $150 per program for up to 25 students plus school/youth group admissions. Times offered 10:00am or 1:00pm.

WHETHER AT THE AQUARIUM OR AT YOUR LOCATION, EACH CLASSROOM PROGRAM...

  • is immersive and FUN, including 15 minutes of a “Touch & Learn” session with live invertebrates!
  • is 45 minutes long.
  • can accommodate up to 25 students per program.
  • must be reserved at least three weeks prior to the program date.
  • can be reserved Monday-Friday to start on the half-hour from 9:30 to 3:30. Weekend program times vary depending on location. Later times can also be requested. Earlier times can be requested for programs at the Aquarium only.
  • must be paid at least two weeks in advance of the program. Payment cannot be accepted on the day of the program by instructors or at the gate.
  • cannot be refunded if a cancellation is made within two weeks of the program date.
  • Note that we also offer the option of an onsite educational, private touch tank for groups that need a shorter classroom program (30 minutes,) and/or would prefer to have just the “Touch & Learn” experience for their students. Full classroom program pricing applies. (Please refer to pricing structure listed above.)

PENGUIN OUTREACH AMBASSADOR PROGRAM

Our Penguin Animal Ambassador Programs can occur at the Aquarium or at your location and are a one-of-a-kind outreach program appropriate for audiences of all ages where your students not only meet one of our resident African penguins but also learn from their trainers how we are working every day to save these Endangered Species.   While we are eager to provide these enriching and educational Penguin Animal Ambassador Programs, please ensure that your school, organization, or facility can adhere to the following criteria prior to reserving the program at your location.

  • Penguin programs are available to schools, organizations or facilities that are within 60 miles of Mystic Aquarium.
  • Penguin programs must be held in indoor presentation areas.  Gymnasiums, auditoriums, multi-purpose activity rooms, and other large, enclosed spaces are ideal.
  • An offstage area free of wires and debris must be provided as a “safe zone” for the animal ambassadors.
  • Indoor temperatures must be above 50°F and below 65°F.
  • Due to strict quarantine policies, no other animals may be present in the presentation or offstage area.
  • Since the safety of our audience is a primary concern, we cannot allow audience members to feed or hold any of our Animal Ambassadors.

Penguin Animal Ambassador Programs are available October through April on Monday through Wednesday for a one-hour block or 2 consecutive 30-minute blocks between 10:00am-12:00pm or 1:00pm-3:00pm. This offering is $1,750 for the programming at your location (maximum of 300 students) and $1,500 for programming at Mystic Aquarium (maximum of 20 students).  Please email EducationInfo@MysticAquarium.org to reserve this one-of-a-kind program.

CUSTOM PACKAGE PROGRAMS

We can work with you and tailor a program to meet your group’s specific needs. Those looking for a more in-depth experience beyond just one class can contact our Education Department to create an engaging, multi-part program. Activities can take place virtually, at the Aquarium, at your location, or on the coast! Contact the Education Department today at EducationInfo@MysticAquarium.org.

ADD ON A SEA LION TRAINING SESSION TO YOUR VISIT.

Learn directly from the animal care staff and our California sea lions about how and why we train our animals in this 30-minute session. This program includes about 15 minutes of training basics and tools, 10 minutes with a sea lion demonstration of those techniques, and five minutes for Q & A. Programs take place in the Foxwoods Marine Theater. Programs accommodate multiple groups until the maximum is reached. Please contact us for pricing; see below.

Mystic Aquarium Visit Checklist

PROGRAM REGISTRATION

After reviewing the Classroom Program Topics, please complete the form in the button below to request a reservation for a group visit and education programs, whether at the Aquarium, at your location, or through distance learning. If you need more information or a quote for multiple/package programs, please contact us at EducationInfo@MysticAquarium.org or 860.572.5955 x431.

Group Visit Request Form