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Animals Up-Close

Encounters with the animals that call Mystic Aquarium home

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This year, experience a holiday lights event like no other!  Wave at the whales as you begin your holiday stroll through our outdoor and indoor habitats taking in the sights and sounds of your favorite holiday themes.  From the snowy Arctic Coast to the magical frozen tunnel of icicles, you will enjoy the magic of the holidays while getting access to our main indoor aquarium gallery, shark touch habitat, Arctic Coast beluga habitat, and newly-renovated courtyard decked with dancing lights choreographed with your favorite holiday movie tunes. 

There will be refreshments available for purchase, countless photo opportunities, and even some surprise special guests! 

Don’t miss the first-ever Home for the Holidays lights extravaganza, select evenings from November 24 – December 30, 2023, from 6pm to 9pm. The final entry of the night occurs 30 minutes before close.


Schedule of Appearances

Saturday, Dec 9

FHS Falcon Music Dept Ensembles, meet the Happy Snowman!

Sunday, Dec 10

 Craig Edwards Yuletide Fiddle, meet SANTA and the Jolly Elf!

Friday, Dec 15

Bacon Academy Carolers, meet the Nutcracker!

Saturday, Dec 16

Mystic River Brass Ensemble, meet Jack Frost!

Sunday, Dec 17

Ledyard Carolers, meet SANTA and the Christmas Grouch!

Thursday, Dec 21

Stonington High Chamber Choir, meet SANTA and the Happy Snowman!

Friday, Dec 22

Stonington High Ensembles, meet SANTA and the Frost Fairy!

Tuesday, Dec 26

Meet the Snow Sisters!

Wednesday, Dec 27

Ice Sculpting Demos by Ice Matters

Thursday, Dec 28

Ice Sculpting Demos by Ice Matters

Friday, Dec 29

Meet the illuminated Unicorn Fairy!

Saturday, Dec 30

Meet your favorite Fashion Dolls!

*Holiday Crafting - Crafts may vary nightly from holiday ornaments to aquarium inspired gifts! Crafting is free, limit one craft activity per child. While supplies last!

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Event Details

During the event, you can enjoy the Arctic Coast beluga exhibit, Pacific Northwest, main indoor aquarium gallery complete with shark touch, jellies, sharks, turtles, and more, as well as the newly-renovated courtyard. In addition, Saltwater Café, Quick Bites, and the Gift Shop will be open. Please note that Penguin Pavilion, Marine Theater, and Ray Touch Tent will be closed. 

The cost of tickets is $25 for standard admission and $20 for members. Bundled tickets are available at $35 for standard admission and $25 for members.

On select evenings, we will also offer fun and festive activities, live music performances, holiday character meet-and-greets, and more! Schedule of appearances and performances is subject to change without notice. Please check our Event Calendar for more details. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Take Photos?

Yes! Flash photography is allowed for most exhibits. Video lights are not allowed. Be aware certain exhibits are marked – No Flash. Any commercial use of still or motion pictures taken at the Aquarium without the written consent of Mystic Aquarium is prohibited.

Are Strollers Allowed?


Will Food Be Available?

Yes, The Saltwater Café and Quick Bites will both be open with limited menus

Does My Normal Aquarium Admission Ticket Get Me Into The Event?

No, Home for the Holidays is a separate ticketed event. Tickets can be purchased here.

Are There Any Discounts I Can Use For The Event?

No. Ticket prices are standard for all guests. $25 for general admission and $20 for Mystic Aquarium Members.

Learn more about becoming a member here.

Can I Bring My Pet?

For the health and safety of our animals, we do not allow pets into the Aquarium building with the exception of service animals.

Emotional support, therapy, comfort, or companion animals are not considered service animals under the ADA.

Do I Have To Pay To Park?

No, parking is always free at Mystic Aquarium!

Will The Gift Store Be Open?

Yes! The gift store will be open for all your holiday shopping needs.