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Sign On for "Pirate Days"

Shiver me timbers! Mystic Aquarium's pirate-themed school vacation week activities, April 19-20, will kidnap kids, meaning the house stays unplundered and parents can forgo walking the plank. "Pirate Days" takes our fascination with the menacing men of the high seas as a jumping off point for two days of stimulating, problem solving and creative hands on projects appealing to young and old salts. The entertaining rundown includes a planetarium program that shows how pirates navigated their ships while searching for loot, and lets visitors give it a try, as well as craft projects for creating pirate souvenirs."Pirate Days" run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a Pirate Treasure Hunt on the agenda each day to fire up visitors with a high level hide-and-seek. Using a treasure map, they figure out which clues to follow to uncover some tricky hiding places where more clues are stored, leading to the final treasure chest reveal. For kids four through ten, there are also pirate story telling sessions and a craft workshop where they can fashion their own pirate swag.

Surprisingly, pirates weren't only on the prowl in Caribbean waters, like Johnny Depp, or fantasy seas, like Long John Silver and Capt. Hook. Beginning in the 17th century, these flesh and blood marine terrors roamed throughout New England's waters, even in Connecticut's it's believed. According to legend , in October,1694, Captain Kidd's black flag-flying ship snuck into Bridgeport Harbor, in the dead of night, to secretly bury treasure on the beach.  For years, the story fired imaginations, so much so many attempts were made to find Kidd's booty. In the 1850s, spirit mediums were brought in to divine where to find the treasure. Though no treasure chest was ever found, in 1889, the Hartford Times reported that, after heavy rains, several gold English coins were found on the Stratford beach, reigniting the search frenzy.

Young fans can learn about the lore, the legends and the loot at Mystic Seaport's "Pirate Days," while they have a swashbuckling good time. Admission is $10 or $30 per family. For more information, visit the Seaport's website .

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