Maritime Aquarium holiday offerings; SoNo businesses

A 13-minute version of the 2004 animated Hollywood film, “The Polar Express,” will play daily with thrill-enhancing special effects in the Maritime Aquarium 4D Theater between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. (© ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
Announcements of interest.

NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk announcements for you:

  • Underwater Santa returns to Maritime Aquarium
  • Children publisher’s business pops up for holiday season in SoNo
  • SoNo hotel changes hands

Santa in the tank

Santa joins The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk to demonstrate that
sharks are nice, not naughty, during “Shark-Diving Santa” presentations. (Maritime Aquarium)

Scuba-diving Santa Claus, decked out in a custom diver’s outfit, will swim with the sharks in the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s huge “Ocean Beyond the Sound” tank on Saturdays and Sundays from Dec. 3 through 31 (“workload permitting”), according to a news release.  Proving that sharks aren’t all vicious maneaters, Santa will glide among sand tiger and lemon sharks, up to the exhibit window where he’ll pose for photo ops with kids.  Exhibit attendees can talk to the divers accompanying Santa underwater.

“Santa’s Breakfast Pajama Party” for Aquarium members is planned for Saturday Dec. 17 from 8 to 10 a.m. The multi-sensory movie The Polar Express 4D Experience, narrated by Tom Hanks, depicting a youngster’s self-discovery on a train ride to the North Pole, will screen that day at 9:40 a.m.  Tickets cost $30 apiece regardless of age. The film will be shown hourly through Monday Jan. 2.

The Aquarium is open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.  Tickets cost $29.95 for adults, $25.95 seniors (65+), and  $20.95 children (3-12).  The additional charge for a 4D movie is $7 per person ($6 for members).

The Aquarium website is at www.MaritimeAquarium.org.  Call them at (203) 852-0700.

Screengrab from the Rabbit Ears website.

SoNo holiday store

Rabbit Ears Entertainment’s pop-up store at 114 Washington St. South Norwalk will be humming throughout the holidays. In a news release, Rabbit Ears President Deborah Weingrad said it’s the company’s first physical store, after years of online presence on Amazon and other e-commerce sites.

An award-winning children’s publisher, Rabbit Ears produces its media at SoNo’s Palace Production Center.  Accolades have included two Grammy Awards, 18 Grammy nominations, 21 Parents’ Choice Awards, a National Education Association Award, and The Humanitas Prize.

The SoNo store’s offerings include hardcover books, DVDs, CDs, VHS and audiocassettes.   Current top sellers include:

  • The Velventeen Rabbit narrated by Meryl Streep with music by George Winston
  • The Elephant’s Child told by Jack Nicholson with music by Bobby McFerrin
  • Pecos Bill narrated by Robin Williams with music by Ry Cooder


Curiosities abound, such as a one-sided LP of The Three Billy Goats Gruff told by Holly Hunter, and The Three Little Pigs with music by Art Lande.

At Rabbit Ears, you’ll find classic children’s tales narrated by the likes of Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Whoopi Goldberg, Garrison Keillor, Danny Glover, Laura Dern, Morgan Freeman, Nicolas Cage, Denzel Washington, and Michael Keaton.   Iconic musicians who’ve lent their talents to putting the stories across include B. B. King, Mark Isham, Yo-Yo Ma, UB40, Lyle Mays, Elvis Costello, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

The Rabbit Ears Children’s Story Hour is planned for Tuesday mornings at 10:30 a.m., starting Nov. 22.

Store hours are 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Mondays, and 10:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday.  When you visit, be sure to say you read about it in NoN.

The website is at www.rabbitears.com.

New hotel changes hands

Residence Inn Norwalk, a three-year-old hotel located at 45 South Main St. was recently taken over by Alabama-based Highline Hospitality Partners.  It is Highline’s ninth such acquisition.  According to a news release, their team has over 60 years of experience buying, managing, and selling hospitality properties.

The hotel’s apartment-style suites have fully equipped kitchenettes, complimentary Internet access, and separate living space.  There’s the seasonal rooftop Sky Bar & Café, the Lobby Bar, a 24-hour fitness center, a convenience store, and an in-room streaming package including Netflix and Hulu Plus.

“We are proud to add the Residence Inn Norwalk to our growing portfolio of hotels,” said Highline Managing Partner, Chuck Pomerantz. “This is our first property in Connecticut, and we are looking forward to getting acquainted with the city of Norwalk and providing best-in-class accommodations for visitors.”  The firm’s website is at www.highlinehp.com.


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