Story provided by 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. A tradition for many families, visitors 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.
At the Sea of Lights, there will be a big lighted tree in the lobby, lots of lighted small trees and thousands of colorful lights outdoors. Guests will enjoy face painting, holiday music and a visit with Santa while parents snap photos. After visiting with Santa, guests can stroll through a sea of twinkling lights to the sounds of holiday music by the Coastalaires and the Central Coast Chorale. The gift shop will be open with holiday displays and gift ideas. In addition, a bake sale and children’s craft area will be offered.
The Sea of Lights will offer visitors a final chance to see Swampland before it ends January 3, an exhibit that showcases three different types 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 display.
The Sea of Lights also provides an opportunity to see Beauty and the Birds, a photography exhibit featuring birds in their native habitats. The photographers, Susan and Steve Dimock, are Bandon residents who love nature and the Aquarium. Their work features Oregon coast landscapes and birds, including Aquarium puffins. The Aquarium uses the gallery space within the Passages of the Deep exhibit to highlight artwork that shows off the beauty and complexity of the natural environment of the Oregon coast.
In addition to holiday festivities and new exhibits, the Aquarium will also offer a variety of gift ideas for conservation minded visitors. “The Aquarium is a wonderful place to get some unique and lasting gift ideas,” said Libby Scott, Aquarium Development Manager. “Not only will you find gifts that your friends and family will love, you also support the Aquarium and marine conservation.” Scott said the Aquarium is ideal for those looking for a festive and peaceful shopping experience.
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.