Story provided by Cindy Hanson
Oregon Coast Aquarium
The Oregon Coast Aquarium will be decked out for the holidays surrounded by a sea of twinkling lights, holiday music, a new photography exhibit and unique gift ideas. The 19th Annual Sea of Lights is a festive holiday celebration Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm both evenings. It’s a tradition for many families and visitors who come from all over the region during the holiday season to visit the Aquarium, shop and spend time together at the beach. Admission to the Sea of Lights is $2 and two items of non-perishable food, or pet food, or a new unwrapped toy, or $5. Admission is free to members.
Sea of Lights include a grand holiday tree in the lobby, lots of sparkling small trees and thousands of colorful lights outdoors. Guests will enjoy face painting, holiday music and a visit with Santa. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
After visiting Santa, guests will stroll through a sea of twinkling lights to the sounds of holiday music performed live by the Coastalaires and Women of Note of the Central Coast Chorale along with their handbell choir. The aquarium’s gift shop will be open with holiday displays and gift ideas. In addition, a bake sale and a children’s craft area will be humming with busy little hands.
The Sea of Lights will also offer a chance to see Swampland before it ends January 3, an exhibit that features a fascinating variety of swamps from the western hemisphere and the animals that live in them, including an American alligator, a giant anaconda and a chance to “swim with the piranhas” in a crawl-through exhibit.
The Sea of Lights also showcases ‘Beauty and the Birds,’ a photography exhibit by photographers Susan and Steve Dimock, that captures the essence of our feathery coastal friends as they adorn our coastal landscapes. Inside the Passages of the Deep you’ll discover artwork that celebrates the beauty and complexity of the Oregon coast.
In addition to holiday festivities and new exhibits, the Aquarium will also offer a variety of gift ideas for the conservation-minded. “The Aquarium is a wonderful place to shop for unique holiday presents,” said Libby Scott, Aquarium Development Manager. “Not only will you find gifts that your friends and family will love, you’ll also be supporting the Aquarium and marine conservation.” Scott said “We offer a festive yet peaceful shopping experience found nowhere else except at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.”
Aquarium Gift Ideas:
Aquarium Memberships Membership is the gift that keeps giving all year. Memberships include one full year of free entry to the Aquarium and lots of other great benefits such as newsletter subscription, in-store discounts, and special events tickets.
Adopt an Animal The Adopt an Animal Program is a gift for animal lovers, ensuring the best care possible for the animals at the Aquarium. Adoptions start at $40.00 and include a beautiful photo of the chosen animal. Other levels of adoptions include plush stuffed animals, t-shirts and animal encounters. Adoptions include the Aquarium’s most popular animals including otters, sea lions, seals, sharks and many more.
Dedicate a Brick The Oregon Coast Aquarium’s “Buy a Brick” program helps support the Aquarium and its mission. For donations of $100 or more, supporters can purchase a personalized brick, which is installed in the Aquarium’s entry pathway. You may have your name engraved on a brick, have it inscribed in memory or in honor of another individual or use it as an opportunity to leave a personalized message.
The Aquarium Gift and Book Shop Toys for young and old, books, games, puzzles, videos, nature music CD’s, stuffed toys, clothing, cards, jewelry, beautiful wall art, glass art, environmentally friendly gifts, cards, ornaments and a wealth of educational resources.
The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a private, not-for-profit aquatic and marine science educational facility offering a fun and interesting way to learn about Oregon’s unique coastal ecosystem. The Aquarium is dedicated to teaching marine wildlife and ocean conservation through responsible management and exhibition of marine life. For more information, visit the Aquarium’s Web site at www.aquarium.org or call (541) 867-FISH.