Halloween is on a Saturday! Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk to Transform into “Aqua-Scarium”

There’s no trick about this treat: on Halloween Day, kids in costume can get free admission to The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk – and meet Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man – when the popular family attraction transforms into the Aqua-Scarium.

Each kid age 3 to 12 who comes to the Aqua-Scarium in costume on Oct. 31 gets a free child’s admission (a $12.95 value) with each paying adult. Adult admission is $19.95. (The offer requires one paying adult for each free costumed child.)

As a special Halloween bonus, between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., guests can meet and pose for photos with the officially licensed Marvel Comics’ superhero Spider-Man. The web-slinger’s appearance is free with Aquarium admission.

Throughout the day, kids can collect candy and prizes in safe trick-or-treating throughout the galleries of the Aqua-Scarium (while supplies last), and everyone can take part in family-fun crafts and activities.

“With Halloween on a Saturday, our Aqua-Scarium event gives kids – and adults – plenty of time to test out and show off their costumes during the day, and still get home in plenty of time for neighborhood trick-or-treating that evening,” said Dave Sigworth, Aquarium spokesmonster.

During Aqua-Scarium, youngsters can decorate a free trick-or-treat bag to then use to collect goodies at special stops throughout the animal galleries. And, from 1 to 5 p.m., the normal toy-boat-building station raises the Jolly Roger on Halloween Day so guests can design a toy pirate boat. (Aaaar, but, matey, there is a $5 fee to build a toy boat.)

For guests who want to enhance their Halloween alter ego, Wells Noonan of Face-Painting by Wells will use her brushes and skilled hand to transform faces into wild creatures, superheroes or princesses. Face-painting times are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s free with Aquarium admission.

Also during Aqua-Scarium, a dragon will be loose … but not too loose … at a “Meet the Dragon” station. Aquarium educators will invite guests to touch or hold a live bearded dragon, one of the nine species of dragons displayed in the “Dragons: Real or Myth” exhibit. (Check the Aquarium website – www.maritimeaquarium.org – for “Meet the Dragon” times.)

Plus, between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m., all Aqua-Scarium guests should watch for roaming swashbucklers, in battles staged by Way of the Sword of Ridgefield.

The Aqua-Scarium itself will be ghoulishly decorated for Halloween, with jack-o’-lanterns, seasonal accessories and staff dressed in costume. Sigworth added that the event is an Aqua-Scarium in name only, with no frightening aspects for young children.

For more details, go to www.maritimeaquarium.org or call (203) 852-0700.

The Maritime Aquarium is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to educate visitors about – and to create stewards for – Long Island Sound. It accomplishes this by allowing 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. One of the top places for family fun in Connecticut, the Aquarium also features hands-on educational programs and displays, public study cruises out onto the Sound, and Connecticut’s largest IMAX movie theater, with a screen that’s six stories high. TripAdvisor.com reviewers rate The Maritime Aquarium as one of the Top 25 aquariums in the U.S. and the best aquarium in New England.