Scarium at the Aquarium

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aq-2There is a sense of eeriness that echoes through the halls of the Aquarium of the Pacific. Is it the sounds of whales or an invading a manor of moaning ghosts? As we entered the “scarium,” Batman greeted us and took our photo. Everywhere we went, the excitement of little children dressed in Halloween costumes added to the atmosphere of fun.

The Aquarium of the Pacific located at 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach opens it’s doors this weekend October 24-25, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for it’s 10th annual Scarium of the Pacific. Children under 12 dressed in Halloween attire can get in for free  by downloading this flyer.

aq-halloweenAll yesterday and today the Aquarium has special attractions to accommodate the frightfully fun theme. Children can participate in coloring and crafts, spooky story telling and Dave the Vampire Magician entertains the little ones at 12.00p.m. The children especially enjoy having their face painted, and there is an extremely talented artist drawing ghoulish impressions of your children. Both face painting and drawings are free. Three face painters are on hand to move through the long line quickly.

Aside from all the haunting activities, the aquarium everyday possesses some frightful creatures. The Giant Pacific Octopus can be found in the Northern Pacific region, and this guy is a real character. He is not shy or timid. This octopus is full of energy, and is constantly moving around in front of the glass in full motion.

aquarium-sealThe resident sea lions are a real treat. These mammals are adorable and playful. Not only do they play with the toys that are provided for them in their enclosure, but if you have a ball and run it along the outside of the window, they will chase it. Try also, putting a quarter up to the glass and the sea lions will want to play. They are even very curious about pumpkins.

The children will love all the hands on activities at the aquarium. You hear hair-raising shrieks as they touch stingrays, sharks, sea anemone, sea urchins, and even warty sea cucumbers, that feel very soft and squishy, quite different to a shark which feels like sandpaper. All five senses will be explored. There are exhibits that protrude smell. Like the Crested Auklet that secretes a tangerine smell during breeding season.

Another really cool exhibit is the rocky coastline. Here waves are created. It is very amusing to see the surfperch fish swim the direction of the tide, moving with it one way, then the other continuously, bouncing around while the waves crash on the rocks overhead.

lorikeets-pumpkinAt the lorikeet aviary you are greeted by a werewolf, but it is not the werewolf that will make you scream. In this exhibit the lorikeets fly frantically about in groups and you will need to have some real good bobbing, ducking and weaving skills, as these birds fly at you full speed, and miss you by the hair on your chinny chin chin. The parents and children alike gaze in amazement with shrills of excitement in an aviary visit like none other before.

Be sure too catch the blue cavern dive show, where divers are emerged into a 142,000 gallon saltwater fish enclosure, one of them is actually commentating on the microphone while he is under water and the other divers are feeding the fish. Fish of all kinds go into a feeding frenzy, including a leopard shark, but luckily for the diver he is harmless,

aquarium-3Another critter you want to stop and see is Tito the porcupine, and very interesting is the California halibut fish that blends in with the sand. See if you can see it in the photo provided.

There is an influx of prizes for halloween costumes, and if your costume is made out of recycled material or related to climate change you are eligible for a special prize. So all in all, this is the perfect time to visit the aquarium of the pacific, and the weather is ideal. Take the family and have a great time oooout!

The Aquarium of the Pacific is located at 100 Aquarium Way in Long Beach. Kids in costume free admission to the Aquarium today (Sunday, October 25). Regular admission is $23.95 for adults, $11.95 for children (ages 3-11), and $20.95 for seniors over 62. For directions, visit www.aquariumofpacific.org or call 562-590-3100.

About Sharon Hamilton
Sharon Hamilton recently joined the Everything Long Beach team to write about Things to do with Kids in Long Beach. She comes to us all the way from Sydney, Australia. She now lives locally with her husband and three children: a 12-year-old son and 7-year-old twin daughters. Sharon is the author of 12 children books.

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