On Thursday, July 18, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is offering another of its occasional events for guests with sensory-processing differences — but instead of the usual “Sensory-Friendly Morning,” the Aquarium is hosting a “Sensory-Friendly Evening.”
— an announcement from the Maritime Aquarium
“It’s summer, when it’s nice out and fun to do things after dinner, and that’s no different for individuals with sensory-processing differences and their families,” said Tom Naiman, the Aquarium’s director of Education.
“While the hours for this event are different, the purpose and opportunities remain the same: to offer guests with sensory-processing differences a fun, comfortable and accepting environment,” Naiman said.
The Maritime Aquarium will close on July 18 as usual at 6 p.m. but it will reopen from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. During the “Sensory-Friendly Evening,” guests averse to crowds will be less likely to encounter them, lights in the Aquarium will be lower, and music and other sounds will be turned down or off. A “quiet room” will be available for guests that need a place to calm.
In the IMAX Theater, the movie “Superpower Dogs” will be shown at 7 p.m. with the volume lowered and the theater lights dimmed less than usual.
The Maritime Aquarium’s “Sensory-Friendly” events are offered several times a year, after being designed with input from staff members who have children and siblings with special needs. Training of Aquarium staff and volunteers was conducted by Cooperative Educational Services in Trumbull (CES).
Reduced admission for the “Sensory-Friendly Evening” on July 18 (including the IMAX movie) is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors (65+), and $10 for children (3-12). Children under 3 are free.
Besides offering occasional “sensory-friendly” events, The Maritime Aquarium recently partnered with 10 other attractions in Fairfield County on an initiative to be more accommodating to guests with special needs. Information on planning a visit to any of the 11 sites can be found on a new website: AccessibilityForAllCT.org.