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Family Friendly Things to Do in Norwalk, CT  

Here at Hotel Zero Degrees Norwalk, we love hosting families. And as it happens “Oystertown” happens to be a great place for family visits, given the caliber of all-ages attractions here.

Let’s take a look at two of the standouts!

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

 One of the most popular destinations in all of Connecticut, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk puts the spotlight on the remarkable liquid universe right at our doorstep here along Long Island Sound. More than 1,200 scaly, whiskery, gelatinous, and goggle-eyed creatures representing about 260 different species call the aquarium home: from moon jellies and tropical reef fish to sharks, seals, river otters, and sea turtles.

Better than 30 different exhibits cover a broad spectrum of aquatic habitats, including a fascinating span of local waters: freshwater river to saltmarsh to the estuarine depths of the Sound and the deep blue of the open ocean beyond.

The Maritime Aquarium also harbors the biggest IMAX theater in the state, showing both educational science films and popular movies (The Polar Express and the latest Star Wars offering, The Last Jedi, are both playing this month).

And the aquarium certainly gets in the holiday spirit: A certain high-profile visitor from the North Pole is currently holding court here, with the “Go Fish!” exhibit temporarily transformed into Santa’s Fishing Village. When he’s not posing for pictures, Santa’s donning scuba gear: At 12:15 PM each day, he goes diving among the toothy sharks of the “Ocean Beyond the Sound” tank.

Stepping Stones Museum for Children

This exceptional educational institution makes childhood learning a genuinely fun, hands-on adventure: The word “museum” doesn’t exactly capture the interactivity on offer here. From the Energy Lab and Build It! Center to the ColorCoaster and the Light Gallery, the exhibits at Stepping Stones stimulate young minds, encourage creative thinking, feed the imagination, and cultivate a sense of wonder about the world.

Speaking of wonder, Stepping Stones is also currently hosting its seasonal program, “Holiday Happenings—Six Weeks of Wonder.” It involves plenty of festivities, from kid-friendly gift-making in the Elf Workshop to the “Shine!” Family Talent Show and the globe-spanning Festivals of Light. Santa’s here, too (he must be commuting between Stepping Stones and the Maritime Aquarium). And on New Year’s Eve, there’ll be a lively “Countdown to Noon” to celebrate 2017’s rollover into 2018—without the whole staying-up-till-midnight bit.

Between the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk and the Stepping Stones Museum for Children, you can’t go wrong on a family day out and about in Norwalk! And with lodgings at Hotel Zero Degrees, both of these top-class attractions are just a stone’s throw away.