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Local attractions open their doors to families after tragedy in Newtown

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk and the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport are inviting families to enjoy their vast array of exhibits at no cost on certain days in December.

In response to the tragedy in Newtown, two popular Connecticut attractions, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk and the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport are inviting families to enjoy their vast array of exhibits at no cost on certain days in December. The thought is to simply give kids and their families a place to feel normal and to have fun.

On Saturday, December 22, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is offering free admission to children 12. Many special displays will keep kids occupied for hours.

Among kids favorites are the interactive harbor seal exhibit with seal show times at 11:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. daily as well as the newly installed ray and shark touch tank.  Meerkats continue to charm with their playful antics that vary every day because enrichments are added to make their habitat more engaging.

The Maritime Aquarium has a fun and special exhibit of 22 homemade lighthouses through Jan. 21, 2013. Aquarium visitors will follow these handcrafted beacons through the galleries and then may cast a vote for their favorite.

 The Maritime Aquarium located on 10 North Water Street in Norwalk is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. every day of the year, except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.  For more information visit www.maritimeaquarium.org.

Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo will open its doors to children for free Wednesday, December 26 to Friday, December 28, 2012.  The Zoo has been a family destination for 90 years and zoo staff would like to invite families from around the state to visit and hopefully find some peace and comfort there over the holidays.

Connecticut's only zoo features 300 animals representing primarily North and South American species. Visitors won't want to miss the Amur (Siberian) tigers, Brazilian ocelot, Red wolves, and Golden Lion tamarins. Other highlights include a South American rainforest with free-flight aviary, the prairie dog exhibit with "pop-up" viewing areas, the New England Farmyard with goats, cows, pigs, sheep, and other barnyard critters, plus the Grasslands trail featuring bison, pronghorn, deer, and more.

Visitors can grab a bite at the Peacock Café, eat in the Picnic Grove, and enjoy a ride on the colorful carousel located in a beautiful pavilion. For more information, visit www.beardsleyzoo.org.

For area information visit www.visitfairfieldct.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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