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Showing posts with label aquarium. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aquarium. Show all posts

Sep 3, 2015

Summer Family Trip to Norwalk CT

Trip to Norwalk CT

Originally, our weekend trip was going to be to Mystic, CT. After looking into lodging and accommodation for just one night, it was way too expensive in this well known town. Broadening our search for a fun and light family weekend getaway, we came across Norwalk. At it turned out to be much better than expected.

We started out driving up to CT on Saturday morning. Even though it was a weekend and early, traffic was horrendous. We finally arrived in Norwalk around noon. Which actually worked out fine as our kiddo got a nice nap in and was up just in time.
Our first stop and the major attraction for the trip was The Children's Museum.
This place is built specifically for toddlers. We had no idea such places existed. Usually most places are 3 years and up. This one actually says that it is 3 and below. Older kids would find it boring. However, our 1.5 year old loved it.

There are a lot of hands on activities. And since most of the parts are built for the age group, they have a bit more freedom to run around and do what they want without getting into too much trouble. They could fish from a small boat, play dress up and make believe, run up small stair to play in the fully stocked kitchen, or have dinning room or reading room experience with a large table and their size chairs. And that is only one small part of the place. Just in that area we spent probably an hour. Than it was time to slow down a bit and have lunch.
After refueling we went to check out the next area of the museum, the Energy lab, aka water fun. There are a couple of tanks with moving water and plastic balls all around. The ball swirl, swim, and get pushed into tubes and up with the water for whirlwind effects and other fun science type of constructions. It seemed to be the most liked area by the kids as there was always quite a few and even parents got in on the fun of throwing the balls, pumping the water, and making the water rush through pipes.

With all the water and splashing, we all got a bit wet. Next up, was to get outdoors to warm up and dry up. The outdoor section is covered up and has foam everything. The ground is rubber and all the activities are foam or soft plastic.
With so many activities for our little one and her running around, we had a chance to try out our new GoPro HERO4 SILVER camera. It took some time to get used to it as the controls are bit different and the camera itself is tiny. And with the case closed, the amount of control over the type of shot is limited and cannot be adjusted easily on the fly.
Also with all the activities, kiddo passed out on the way to the restaurant we were going to for dinner. We went to Harbor Lights, an Mediterranean restaurant on the waterfront with great seafood selection. And she actually slept through our entire meal. It was great to spend some time enjoying a great dinner, with no interruption, for almost an hour. Towards the end of our dinner, kiddo woke up, and got a meal of her own.
After the meal and some hanging out by the docs at sunset, we made our way to the hotel. Overnight we stayed at Hampton Inn. It was very nice, with plenty of parking, great layout inside, and a pool. After checking in, we walked by to check out the pool. And after settling in the room, we changed, and headed to the pool. All of us had a blast in the water with almost no one being in the pool.

Getting back and getting ready for bed, kiddo laid out all of the content of her own backpack. The backpack that she brought is a mini version of full size book bag that has side pockets for bottle, front pockets for favorite animal, and also a leash attached to keep them close in crowded areas. Also she brought her favorite toy of the moment, a clapper, and a travel doodle board.
The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel. It was not free or included, but it was pretty good for the price ($12.95 per person) and also very convenient. After eating and packing up, we were onto the next adventure, Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. On the way there, once we were a few blocks from the place, we ran into more traffic issues, as it turns out there was a large street fair happening with several blocks closed off. It was not much fun circling around for some time as GPS was not very helpful. Though our munchkin didn't mind. She was getting her early afternoon nap in. Since she was sleeping once we got there and parked, we decided to stroll down to the river and enjoy the views. This was made even better by a couple of ice cream trucks nearby. One of them turned out to be a promo for Wall Street Journal app and they were giving out waffle cones of ice cream for FREE. Win win.

Inside the aquarium one of the first exhibits are the seals. We saw them swimming around back and forth between inside and outside areas. We just missed the show, so we were going to come back later in the day. The next portion in hallway was a large tank with rays and small sharks that you can lean over and pet. I did that. Though neither my wife or kiddo wanted to touch the creatures. The rays’ stinging barbs have been removed and sharks are very friendly. Some of the rays purposely swam up to get patted. Some other fun exhibits included jelly fish (also could touch), lizards and meerkats, sharks, and huge turtles. The seal show was short though fun and educational. Our kiddo clapped when the seals jumped on rocks and two of them kissed.

We also stepped into the butterfly exhibit tent they had set up outside. There were many different types and size butterflies. One of them landed on our Canon camera to get a close up:

Before heading back home, we stopped for lunch at restaurant a few blocks from Aquarium called the Washington Prime. It was a walking distance, so no need to get the car of parking garage, and they had a pretty good selection.

Related links:
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