Conn. (WTNH) — Summer is right around the corner, and amid the warm weather, it’s the perfect time to visit the animals at a local zoo or aquarium in Connecticut.
So, where can you go to spot animals like giraffes, monkeys, whales, and more? We’ve got you covered with all the facilities in the state — and when they open to the public.
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo — Bridgeport
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo is the state’s sole zoo. The zoo’s 2023 calendar was just released, outlining events through September like an evening lecture series, summer animal shows, and the Glow Wild Lantern Festival.
The zoo is open daily in Bridgeport from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Find tickets and info here.
Mystic Aquarium — Mystic
Whether you want to see a sea turtle up-close, feel a shark in a touch tank, or watch sea lions bask in the sun, Mystic Aquarium is the place to go. There are a handful of experiences throughout the summer, including painting with a sea lion, penguin encounters, and the ability to see seals up-close.
Take a trip to Mystic and learn about all the sea animals any day of the week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Grab tickets here.
The Maritime Aquarium — Norwalk
Learn about river otters, stroke the backs of sharks and a variety of rays, and enjoy a sting-free encounter with a local species of jellyfish at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk. Sea turtles, horseshoe crabs, meerkats, and more animals are a part of the aquarium’s marquee exhibits this summer.
Find admission tickets and various 4D film experiences at the aquarium here. The aquarium is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
SeaQuest Connecticut — Trumbull
Have you ever wanted to meet a sloth? How about hang out with a Wallaby? All is possible at Trumbull’s SeaQuest. The interactive aquarium has over 20,000 square-feet of adventure, with the ability to touch, feed, and interact with all sorts of animals.
SeaQuest is open Sunday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Grab admission tickets and see the various animal interaction options here.
Riverside Reptiles Education Center — Enfield
The Riverside Reptiles Education Center is the only reptile and amphibian zoo in the state, giving guests an opportunity to see exotic creatures like snakes, lizards, and alligators. Their indoor and outdoor space includes habitats for turtles, frogs, geckos, and more in a 7,000 square-foot gallery. On Saturdays and Sundays, guests can meet-and-greet select animals.
Visit the center Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Find tickets here.