Planning Your Spring Staycation? Aquarium Has Kids’ Programs.

Children ages 6 to 12 can count shark teeth, go on a treasure hunt, discover how whales keep warm, stock a real salt-water aquarium and lots more in a series of fun camp programs during the upcoming school vacation April 14-18 at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk.

The Maritime Aquarium’s “Spring Vacation Adventures” invite young students to explore a different topic involving our watery world each day of the school break.  Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Taking into account parents’ busy schedules, the Aquarium is offering pre-care from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. and post-care from 3:30-5:30 p.m. each day as well.

For Ages 6 to 9:

Younger kids can sign up for one, some or all five days. Each will be full of animal encounters, age-appropriate crafts and hands-on activities and experiments that make learning fun. The daily schedule and topics are:

 Mon., April 14  –  “Sharks & Fish.” 
Find out what makes a shark different from a flounder on this very fishy day! Kids will visit the Shark & Ray Touch Pool, count teeth in real shark jaws, and learn about a shark’s unique senses through hands-on activities. They’ll see how food is prepared for the sharks and might even get a sneak peek behind the scenes to see where the Aquarium’s cares for our friends with fins.

Tues., April 15 – “Whale of a Day.”  It’s a special day devoted to Earth’s biggest animals. Activities include an IMAX® movie, blubber and feeding experiments, assembling a life-size whale puzzle, touching real whale artifacts, crafts and more.

Wed., April 16 – “Go Geo.” 
This fun session will navigate through the history of navigation and some of the many tools that have been used to help us find our way in the world. Kids will learn what geocaching is, use navigation tools and go on a special Maritime Aquarium geocaching hunt for treasures! Includes seeing a special IMAX movie.

 Thurs., April 17 – “Making Sense.” Through hands-on activities, kids will learn about our five senses, including the fun of optical illusions. They’ll use tools such as hand lenses and microscopes in discovering the senses of animals, from crabs to sharks and jellies.

Fri., April 18 – “Water World.” Why is Earth called the “blue planet?” Kids will learn how we are connected, and that what we do in our yards affects Long Island Sound. They’ll go on an outdoor river walk (weather permitting). The day will be topped off with learning about things they can do to help the environment.

For ages 9 to 12:

April 14-18 – “Junior Marine Biologist.” In this five-day program, students get involved in the inner workings of the Aquarium’s animal-husbandry staff, with the goal of setting up, stocking, feeding and maintaining an aquarium display of Long Island Sound marine life. They’ll use water-chemistry meters to monitor water quality, grow brine shrimp to feed their animals and participate in squid and fish dissections.

No matter the child’s age, cost of a “Spring Vacation Adventures” program is $100 per day or $435 for the full week.  Pre-care is $20 additional per day or $75 for the week. Post-care is $35 per day or $145 for the week. Maritime Aquarium members receive discounts.

As a Connecticut state-certified camp, the Aquarium requires health-exam forms for every child enrolled.

Children should bring a snack, a bag lunch and an appetite for adventure.

Space is limited and advance registration is required.  For reservations or more details, call (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206, or go online to www.maritimeaquarium.org.

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