Mystic Aquarium offers free admission to families receiving SNAP benefits

Mystic — Connecticut families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits will receive free admission to the Mystic Aquarium for the next 12 months.

The program was announced at the aquarium Thursday by Gov. Dannel Malloy, Connecticut Department of Social Services Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby and aquarium officials. SNAP offers nutrition assistance to eligible, low-income individuals and families through the use of EBT cards.

"Since 1973, Mystic Aquarium has brought the wonder, mystery and joy of the ocean to life for millions of people from all over the world," Malloy said. "Today's announcement is tremendous news for so many children and families across our state, and a testament to Mystic Aquarium's commitment to providing a fun, safe learning environment for all Connecticut residents, regardless of their socioeconomic status."

Under the program, SNAP EBT card holders will have to show their card and a valid personal identification that matches the name on the EBT card to receive free admission for themselves and up to four guests. Card holders may also purchase tickets for $5 each for up to three additional guests in their party. All children under five years old will be admitted free. The offer ends Dec. 31, 2018.

The announcement offers a significant savings for families. General admission for a family of five would typically cost more than $150. Adult admission is $36.99, with tickets for teens 13-17 costing $30.99 each and $26.99 for those 3 to 12. Children two and under are free.

In announcing the offer, the aquarium said it “is focused on engaging communities throughout Connecticut in ocean conservation and is seeking to reach those communities that currently may not be able to enjoy a Mystic Aquarium visit.”

“Mystic Aquarium is deeply committed to community. We appreciate this partnership with the Governor and State of Connecticut to provide more equitable access to the wonderful resources of the Aquarium for all residents,” said Dr. Stephen M. Coan, the aquarium’s president and CEO. “This is a wonderful time of the year to visit the Aquarium.”

Coan added that visiting the Aquarium has a positive impact on people of every age in terms of learning about conservation and the environment.

“For kids, especially, a visit to the Aquarium, or better yet, several visits, can have a lifelong impact on learning,” he said. “In partnership with the State we want all members of the community, especially young people, to visit throughout the year.”


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