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New Exhibit at Oregon Coast Aquarium

Courtesy photo

The Aquarium Celebrates 20 years with the Opening of “The Sea & Me” May 26
The new children’s Interactive exhibit is designed for groups and families

The Oregon Coast Aquarium will open “The Sea & Me,” a new children’s interactive exhibit, amid Memorial Day weekend festivities, May 26-28. The opening coincides with the Aquarium’s 20th anniversary and the beginning of summer hours, 9 am to 6 pm, through Labor Day weekend. Opening weekend will include a performance by Radio Disney, face painting, a children’s craft, behind the scenes tours, Sea & Me giveaways, sea lion kisses, sea lion encounters and interpretive dives.

The Sea & Me is designed to be fun and imaginative, based on a model used by children’s museums, offering play experiences that are appropriate for children 4 to 10 years old, but older kids also will find the interactive discoveries quite enjoyable. The Sea & Me invites curiosity and promotes cooperation within groups, while encouraging discovery and understanding of the habitats of marine and freshwater animals.

“Visitors to The Sea & Me will delve into the ocean on our submarine, haul in a catch on our fishing boat, dig in the sand for seashore treasures and see, hear and touch some really cool animals,” said Kerry Carlin-Morgan, Aquarium Director of Education & Volunteer Services. “For grown-ups, one of the great pleasures in life can still be play.” Carlin-Morgan said the intent of The Sea & Me is to encourage kids and families to get outdoors, connect with nature and follow their curiosity.

The Sea & Me includes a Submarine Sea Lab, Fishing Gallery, play area, touch pool and marine displays of animals that inspire inquiry. The Submarine Sea Lab allows children to explore the ocean through interactive displays and the power of imagination. Children can learn to be an ocean scientist aboard a mini submarine and descend into a coral reef into the depths of their own imaginations. The submarine features a working periscope, simulated ocean views using live animals and modern technology with things to push, flip, turn and twist.

The highlight of the Fishing Gallery is a child-sized fishing boat outfitted with a wheelhouse and fishing gear. Young explorers will slip on rubber bibs and experience life as a fisherman in coastal waters while they learn where seafood comes from and how it is caught.

One of the largest features in Sea & Me is the transformation of the Aquarium Theater into “Create Your Own Ocean,” a free-play area where children can engage in a variety of unstructured activities. The play area includes discovery boxes filled with ocean “biofacts” like shark jaws and whale baleen, ocean-themed books and marine animal-themed costumes with a stage area where young visitors can act out their own ocean adventure.

The Sea & Me also features a new touch pool where visitors interact directly with sharks and rays. In addition, the Aquarium’s regular touch pool featuring invertebrates from Oregon tide pools is open in the Rocky Shores gallery.

Memorial Day Weekend Activities:
Saturday, May 26
KYTE-FM Radio Remote and Sea & Me giveaways 11 am – 2 pm
Radio Disney Performances 1 – 3 pm
Children’s Craft 9 am – 6 pm
Interpretive Dive Show 11:30 am – 12 pm
Face Painting 11 am – 2:30 pm
Behind the Scenes Tour 1:30 – 2:00 pm
Sea Lion Kiss 2:30 – 3:00 pm
Sea Lion Encounter 10 – 11:00 am

Sunday, May 27
Children’s Craft 9 am – 6 pm
Interpretive Dive Show 11:30 am – 12 pm
Face Painting 11 am – 2:30 pm
Behind the Scenes Tour 1:30 – 2:00 pm
Sea Lion Kiss 2:30 – 3:00 pm
Sea Lion Encounter 10 – 11:00 am

Monday, May 28
Behind the Scenes Tour 1:30 – 2:00 pm
Sea Lion Kiss 2:30 – 3:00 pm

The Oregon Coast Aquarium gratefully acknowledges The Sea & Me sponsors: Meyer Memorial Trust, Henry Lea Hillman, Jr. Foundation, Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund, Rose E. Tucker Charitable Trust, Wheeler Foundation, Jeanette B. Hennings Foundation, Jackson Foundation, Pacific Power Foundation, Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund, Autzen Foundation and more than 140 individuals who donated to The Sea & Me.

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