Shop for sweets for your sweetie – or for your own sweet tooth – among sharks, seals, sea turtles and other amazing marine animals on Sun., Jan. 25, 10am til 7:00-pm, when “The Chocolate Expo” once again takes over The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.
Some 40 local and regional vendors will set up throughout the Aquarium galleries and offer tastings and sales of their delicious and decadent chocolates, baked goods, gelato and specialty foods.
The regular Aquarium admission price is lowered 25% for the Chocolate Expo and the hours are extended til 7:00pm instead of 5:00pm.
There will be free demonstrations by celebrity chefs throughout the day and you’ll find way more than traditional and gourmet chocolates. There will be unique offerings like chocolate tarts, chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate balsamic dressing, chocolate-covered bacon and even chocolate-scented bath soaps. Non-chocolate goodies will include gourmet crackers, pumpkin seeds, quiches, cannolis, vinaigrettes, pickles, cotton candy, challah breads and more.
Vendors at the Expo typically offer small tasting-sized portions of their products. Guests receive get a small sample to try and have a chance talk with the person who made the product. If you like what you’ve tasted, you can purchase that product for yourself or to give as gifts.
For ready-to-eat treats, Aurora Gourmet will have their chocolate fountains flowing, while Crazy Crepe Café will be making delicious crepes and Pika’s Farm Table will serve authentic Belgian-style waffles dipped in a choice of white, dark or milk chocolate.
There will be no IMAX® movie presentations on Jan. 25, so that demonstrations using chocolate can be presented by three celebrity chefs:
• Tony Albanese, pastry designer and former assistant to Buddy Valastro of “Cake Boss,” at 11:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
• Barret Beyer of Fox TV’s “Hell’s Kitchen” at 12:30 & 5:00 p.m.
• Larry Rosenberg, recipe-book author and owner of Bacon Bites, at 2:00 p.m.
Seating of 310 for the demonstrations will be on a first-come, first-seated basis. The chefs also will be available throughout the day for pictures and autographs.
All Maritime Aquarium exhibits except Except for Jiggle-A-Jelly and Meerkats will be open during the Expo – and will stay open two hours longer than normal: from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
There are no NFL playoff games on Jan. 25, so there’s no reason for anyone to stay home.
Enjoy all the decadent treats while exploring The Maritime Aquarium where visitors to get close to more than 250 species native to the Sound and its watershed, including sharks, seals, sea turtles, river otters, jellyfish and other animals.
Special Chocolate Expo-Aquarium ticket prices on Jan. 25 are $15 for adults and $10 for kids 3-12.
Paid admission is required on Jan. 25 of Aquarium members, who save $2 per ticket. Prices include Chocolate Expo admission, all Maritime Aquarium exhibits and the cooking demonstrations.
Last year’s Chocolate Expo resulted in the busiest day in The Maritime Aquarium’s history. Loynd said the Aquarium is prepared for another big crowd on Jan. 25, but suggested that guests will enjoy easier and quicker access by coming before 11 a.m. or after 4 p.m. Skip the line at the door, he added, by purchasing tickets in advance online at www.maritimeaquarium.org.
More parking is available for this year’s event: in the Maritime Garage (across from the Aquarium’s main entrance) and short walks away in the city’s Webster Lot and Veteran’s Memorial Park. Free shuttle-bus service will run continuously from Veteran’s Park.
Find an open parking space by using a smart-phone app called Parker that displays “real-time” parking availabilities in South Norwalk.