This summer, my kids are going to Mommy Camp.  We spend most days at our town pond, but I planned a few day trips for us to break up the long days of summer. Our first trip was to Mystic, Connecticut, a two hour drive, to meet up with friends. Thank you to the Mystic Aquarium for generously giving my family complimentary admission to the aquarium. All opinions are my own!

First Stop: Mystic Diner

Mystic Diner | Mystic CT | A Cookie Before Dinner

 

Our first stop was the Mystic Diner!  We love the Mystic Diner.  We met our friends here for lunch first. The nice thing about Mystic Diner is that they can accommodate a large party. If you’re meeting friends or traveling with a big group, the Mystic Diner can handle it! It’s a true diner, with a huge menu and options for everyone. Sometimes, it’s almost too hard to choose what to eat. The kids’ meals are decently priced, and I usually save money by having my little guy, who is almost four, share macaroni and cheese with one of his sisters, since the mac and cheese is big enough to share.

 

Next Stop: Mystic Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium | Mystic CT | A Cookie Before Dinner

 

The Mystic Aquarium is a 2 minute drive from the Mystic Diner. (In fact, if you want to stay overnight, you could totally go car-less by staying at the HoJo next to the Mystic Diner, and walking to the aquarium from the diner.) The first thing my kids said when we approached the entrance was that it looked like a pirate ship. They couldn’t wait to get inside. You can buy tickets the day you arrive, or you can save 10% by purchasing your tickets online.  Mystic Aquarium is an AZA SAFE zoo, so if you two  specially-marked Stonyfield YoKids yogurt multi-packs, you can receive FREE kids’ admission to the aquarium. (Check out our earlier post about the partnership between Stonyfield YoKids and AZA SAFE for more information.)

When we got inside, the kids made a BEELINE for the shark pool.

Mystic Aquarium | Mystic CT | A Cookie Before Dinner

Source: Mystic Aquarium

It was thrilling to get an up close look at these sharks, and be able to touch them! They eagerly waited for the sharks to make their lap around the pool and coast under their fingertips. The shark pool is in the main space, so from there, we checked out everything Wierd and Wonderful. We were fascinated by these garden eels (and maybe a little creeped out, ha ha.)

Mystic Aquarium | Mystic CT | A Cookie Before Dinner

Source: Mystic Aquarium

There is so much to see and do in the main gallery.

Mystic Aquarium | Mystic CT | A Cookie Before Dinner

Mystic Aquarium | Mystic CT | A Cookie Before Dinner

Source:  Mystic Aquarium

 

Mystic Aquarium | Mystic CT | A Cookie Before Dinner

Source:  Mystic Aquarium

As we finished up our turn around the gallery, it was time for the 4D show! The day we were there, the 4D movie was a LEGO movie, much to our delight.  If you purchase a Value ticket, the 4D movie is included in the ticket price, and the 4D movie is included with every membership.

My little guy was SUPER excited to see the 4D show. He was mesmerized and loved all the special effects. (The content of the 4D movie is kid-friendly but there are strobe lights, loud sounds, vibrating chairs and 3D effects, so use your own discretion to gauge whether it’s appropriate for your kiddo.) You can watch a trailer of the LEGO movie right HERE.

Mystic Aquarium | Mystic CT | A Cookie Before Dinner

 

After we got out of the movie and reluctantly returned our 3D glasses, we headed back out to visit the seals and penguins.

Mystic Aquarium | Mystic CT | A Cookie Before Dinner

Source: Mystic Aquarium

 

Mystic Aquarium | Mystic CT | A Cookie Before Dinner

Source: Mystic Aquarium

 

Mystic Aquarium | Mystic CT | A Cookie Before Dinner

Source: Mystic Aquarium

 

Our last stop before leaving was The Birds of the Outback! In this cool enclosure, you get up close and personal with all kinds of birds. You can lure them with bird food on a  popsicle stick, and hope one of them will pay you a visit.

Mystic Aquarium | Mystic CT | A Cookie Before Dinner

 

Last Stop: Olde Mystik Village

After the excitement of the aquarium, we need some ice cream! We walked over to Olde Mystik Village, which is an outdoor shopping center with all kinds of shops, like a toy store, a chocolate shop, an entire store devoted to all things Alice in Wonderland, and of course, ice cream. We decided to go to Mango’s Homemade Ice Cream. They had delicious flavors (moose tracks for one kid and birthday cake for the other, mom got a  milkshake!), and great customer service. One of the servers overheard my kids asking for water, and she immediately came out with cups of water for them. You can sit outside and people-watch, or you can sit inside in the air conditioned dining room and chill out.

Olde Mystik Village | Mystic CT | A Cookie Before Dinner

 

We had a great day in Mystic, and we will definitely return to see some other sights that we missed this time around, like Mystic Seaport. Have you been to Mystic? What are your favorite things to do there?

 

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