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Spring Break – an ocean of fun

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Children 6 to 12 years old can have fun studying otter behaviors and penguin senses, experimenting with blubber, setting up a real salt-water aquarium and lots more during the school vacation week of April 15-19 at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. The Maritime Aquarium’s “Spring Vacation Adventures” invite young students to explore our watery world each day of the school break.  For ages 6 to 9, there’s a different topic each day. Sign up for one, some or all five. Ages 9 to 12 can take part in the five-day “Junior Marine Biologist” class. Program 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 to 5:30 p.m. as well.

Daily program topics for kids ages 6 to 9 inlcudes: Wacky Water Fun on April 16 where kids learn why water is important and how it sustains all life. They’ll participate in water-based crafts, science experiments and competitions. A special aquarium tour will include the chance to touch live intertidal animals with emphasis on why a clean Long Island Sound is so important to their health. On April 17 during Mammal Mania students will study the behaviors of our seals and otters, assemble a life-sized animal puzzle, handle a real whale skeleton and get special access to our huge collection of marine-mammal artifacts. They’ll learn about the special adaptations of marine mammals by conducting feeding and blubber simulations, and also attend a special seal feeding. Tours of the aquarium  where kids can touch live intertidal animals will take place on on April 18.  On Friday, April 19 kids will learn why earth is called the “blue planet”.  Students will learn how we are connected, and how what we do in our yards affects Long Island Sound. They’ll go on an outdoor river walk (weather permitting) and brainstorm ideas for what they can do to help the environment.

There is also a special program for kids  ages 9 to 12 called Junior Marine Biologist.  This is a 5 day program where 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 “Winter Vacation Adventures” program is $98 per day or $435 for the full week.  Maritime Aquarium members receive a 20 percent discount. Pre-care is $17 additional per day or $72 for the week. Post-care is $33 per day or $143 for the week. Children should bring a bag lunch, a snack and an appetite for adventure. Space is limited and advance registration is required.  For more details or to download a registration form, go to www.maritimeaquarium.org. Or for reservations or more details, call (203) 852-0700 ext. 2206.

For area information www.visitfairfieldcountyct.com.

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