Aquariums have never been on the top of my “to see” list.  Some people love to visit the graceful creatures that inhabit the massive indoor tanks. Not me. We chose to visit the Maritime Aquarium on a recommendation from a friend.  It is located in Norwalk, Connecticut and an hour away from our home.  Since this was the case, I figured that we could always leave if we weren’t interested. What surprised me most is that we (including me) were interested. Very interested. The aquarium was built from renovations done to an old grain supply warehouse. The old beams running across the ceilings seem to tell their own stories. The beauty of the building itself was worth the trip. What was created from the incredible building was even better.  The majesty of each sea creature was highlighted in its respective exhibits. The front vestibule highlights a sea lion tank, where the floor dips down into stadium viewing for kids to watch and view the feedings. I think we would have remained here all afternoon, had we not urged the boys to press on. There are a great many places to touch and feel, as we found when we arrived at the jellyfish tank. John’s hand, of course, zoomed in to feel the rubbery mounds as Daniel’s remained behind his back. The bright colors of the tanks are an amazing spectacle and are as inviting as are the bright colored flags that line the wall. There is a play area for toddlers.  The boys and their friend Lily loved the safe space designed with them in mind.  We explored so much of the aquarium before realizing that we had missed an entire wing.  This other area, which seemed even larger and greater than the previous, was full of enormous shark tanks, more exploratory stations and, what we love best, giant sea turtles. The boys ran back and forth, hoping to keep up with the gigantic tortoises.  My favorite thing was a large cylindrical tank full of jellyfish; their graceful movements breathtaking and calming and I could have sat and watched for hours. Even the café(teria) is incredible. Clean and posh, I am sure that a great many weddings have and will take place in this beautiful space. More of the fine architecture is highlighted here and it was truly a special experience dining here. For me, this adventure was an important reminder to remain open-minded to experiences that I may have already discarded.  It may open doors and enlighten my children’s minds; it certainly opened my own. Go for the aquatic animals; stay for the exquisite architecture and always keep an open mind in adventures in life with your children.