We are heading into the Arctic this July as part of our trip to Alaska. (Read my Alaska itinerary.) One of the things I am the most excited about doing is trying to see the beluga whales as they migrate through the Turnagain Arm around Seeward.
My family’s love affair with these magnificent creatures started closer to home, at our local Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. The first creatures that you encounter there are the large white belugas interacting with visitors through the glass of their tank. They have huge personalities and love to surprise people by making faces. Although some people assume this behavior has a more offensive purpose, spending time with well care for belugas, such as Juno, Kela and Natasha, you can see how much they enjoy interacting with humans.
When my friends at Mystic Aquarium invited my family for a chance to experience their new Wild Arctic exhibit and meet these whales in person, we couldn’t wait for the opportunity.
Mystic Aquarium’s New Wild Arctic Exhibit
For anyone not able to make it all the way to the Arctic, or frankly not brave enough to meet a polar bear in the wild, this is the perfect option. First you can read about animals such as polar bears, humpback whales and walruses, then you can virtually interact with them. You can even pet the polar bear’s belly!
Have an Encounter with a Beluga Whale at Mystic
I definitely try to teach my sons the value of experiences over things. Last year for his birthday, my youngest chose a visit to Mystic to meet his favorite birds, penguins. Read about our Penguins Up Close experience.
He also loves narwhals, but they cannot be kept in captivity. But their cousins are just up the road from me in Connecticut! We were hosted to take part in Mystic’s Whales Up-Close program. We were able to take part in one of Juno, the aquarium male’s, training sessions. It was certainly a bucket list item for my whole family. Getting to know a beluga will open your heart even more to these sweet animals!
We were all able to pet his melon (his head). He even waited for us to give his tongue a little pat. He wouldn’t leave until he got some extra tongue pats!
Beluga Whale Encounter
The aquarium has many ways for you to meet its animals. To get even closer to the belugas, you can purchase tickets to the Beluga Encounter in which you don waders and get into the tank with the whales.
If you are looking for a fun and educational experience for your family this spring and summer, be sure to visit Mystic Aquarium and my Arctic friends. A big thanks again to Mystic Aquarium for hosting my family for this wonderful day!