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Norwalk's Maritime Aquarium Honors Veterans With Free Admission In November

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is offering free admission to all veterans and active-duty military in November. Rasal, a harbor seal at the Aquarium, is a veteran herself, having been trained by the U.S. Navy to retrieve objects from the sea floor.
The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is offering free admission to all veterans and active-duty military in November. Rasal, a harbor seal at the Aquarium, is a veteran herself, having been trained by the U.S. Navy to retrieve objects from the sea floor. Photo Credit: Maritime Aquarium

NORWALK, Conn. – To honor the men and women who have served, or are currently serving, their country, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is offering free admission to veterans and current active-duty military during the month of November.

“The Maritime Aquarium offers a $10 admission discount to veterans year-round,” said Aquarium spokesman Dave Sigworth. “But, throughout the month in which we mark Veterans Day, we are happy to expand our offer to veterans for completely free admission.”

“Admission is always free to those currently serving in any branch of the military, not just in November,” Sigworth added.

Maritime Aquarium admission is $22.95 for adults, $20.95 for youths (13-17) and seniors (65+), and $15.95 for children (3-12). Admission includes a 40-minute IMAX movie. ID or proof of service is required at the door to receive the veterans’ and active-duty discounts. The offer is not available with advance online purchases.

Also throughout the month of November, Aquarium guests will be encouraged to fill out thank-you notes, which will be forwarded by Operation Gratitude to those currently serving in the military.

As a bonus during Veterans Day Weekend, on Sat., Nov. 11 and Sun., Nov. 12, three military vehicles will be on hand for exploration and photos during “Military Touch-A- Truck.” Sit inside a World War II Jeep, a 1950 M38 Jeep and a 1987 Humvee during the special visits. You can even pop a helmet on for a photo.

In addition, on Sat., Nov. 11, who better to join in on the Aquarium’s three daily seal-training demonstrations than a decorated former U.S. Navy SEAL? Capt. Peter Wikul retired in 2009 after a 39-year Navy career with the honorific title of “Bullfrog 13” as the longest-serving active-duty SEAL. His roles included deputy commander of Special Operations Command South and commanding officer of the Kennedy Irregular Warfare Center at the Office of Navy Intelligence.

Wikul will participate in the seal trainings on Nov. 11 at 11:45 a.m. and 1:45 & 3:45 p.m. He actually will be the second Navy veteran in the Aquarium’s seal exhibit: in the 1980s, Rasal the harbor seal was trained by the Navy to retrieve objects from the sea floor.

Between the demonstrations on Nov. 11, Wikul will be on hand to talk with Aquarium guests about the Navy and his experiences as a SEAL.

Plus, on Nov. 10, 11 and 12, veterans are free to come aboard The Maritime Aquarium’s special “Scenic Coastal Cruises,” departing each day at 1 p.m. (Tickets for non-veterans are $29.95, or $24.95 for Aquarium members.) Space aboard the R/V Spirit of the Sound is limited, so advance registration is strongly suggested for these two-hour cruises, which will follow the Connecticut coastline as Aquarium educators point out historic lighthouses, gorgeous waterfront homes and other sights. Advance registration is by phone only: (203) 852-0700, ext. 2206. Tickets will be sold at the dock, space permitting. ID/proof of service is required at the dock prior to boarding.

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