Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce
Like us on FacebookSails Up 4 CancerMystic Country


Last-Minute Gift Ideas from Mystic Aquarium

Last-minute holiday shopping is easy at Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration. Animal encounters, aquarium memberships and more are sure to excite everyone on the holiday list.

Still not sure what to get everyone on your list? Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration makes this “whale” of a task easy with an array of unique gifts sure to elicit “oohs” and “ahhs” from even the most difficult person on the list.

Another reason to give a gift from the Aquarium? It’s like giving two gifts in one – proceeds from these presents go right back to the animals in the form of toys, food, enrichment and other animal care needs.

For the ultimate animal-lover, adventurous individual or when you want a gift that truly stands out…an animal encounter program
Touch a beluga whale or go beak-to-nose with a penguin. The Aquarium’s animal encounter programs provide the experience of a lifetime and long-lasting memories. Participate in a medical training session and touch a penguin during the 60-minute Penguin Encounter program, available on weekends September through May. Get waist-deep in water with a beluga during our 90-minute Beluga Encounter program, available May through October.

Cost: Beluga Encounter – $159 non-members, $149 members; Penguin Encounter – $79 non-members, $70 members

For more information on programs and guidelines, or to make a reservation, visit or call (860) 572-5955, ext. 520.

For the gift that keeps giving…an aquarium membership
A membership to Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration is the perfect gift for families, individuals who frequently visit the Aquarium or simply animal fans! Among the many exclusive benefits are unlimited free admission, invitations to special “members-only” events and discounts on guest admission, gift shop items, special exhibits and events, aquarium programs, animal encounter programs and café purchases.

Cost: $139 for families, $89 for couples, $59 for individuals, $109 for senior couples and $79 for senior individuals. Senior memberships include admission for up to six grandchildren. Memberships may be purchased at, at the front gate or by phone at (860) 572-5955, ext. 233. Get $10 off a new membership through December 24, 2008 when you mention promo code PR101008.

For the charitable soul or fan of a particular marine animal …the Animal Parent program
Recipients will be thrilled to become the proud parent of a penguin, beluga, sea lion or another of our animals available for adoptive support. These donations are used to buy toys, a nutritious fish meal or fulfill one of many other animal needs to ensure their continued care and enrichment. Animal parents may choose from five adoption levels. All animal parents receive an adoption certificate, photo of the species, animal facts on the species, an official Animal Parent DVD and the Aquarium’s newsletter. Those in the upper levels receive additional benefits, such as passes to the Aquarium, a one-year membership and an Animal Encounter program.

Cost: Starts at $50. Call 860.572.5955, ext. 559 for more information on the five levels of adoption.

For the person who has everything…a unique item from the gift shop
The aquarium gift shop features a variety of gifts for all ages, from plush toys and apparel to books, ornaments, home accents, eco-conscious products, jewelry and more. Can’t decide? Get a gift certificate!

For more information on these one-of-a-kind gift ideas or to browse some of the Aquarium gift shop’s offerings, visit