In lieu of the Halloween season, Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is incorporating a number of spooky themes into its family-friendly activities this weekend. This Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25 and 26, starting at 12:30 pm, the Pier Aquarium will be hosting a “fintastic” Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos celebration, with costume wear encouraged.
“This is a great time of year that we all really enjoy,” said Randi Parent, Outreach Manager at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. “We love the full dressing-up of the Aquarium, even more than it’s normally decorated with all of our wonderful exhibits, and being able to celebrate both Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos at the same time.”
The Pier Aquarium has ensured that even those who may not have costumes prepared yet can partake in the Halloween spirit. Some gently used “goblin garb” will also be available at the aquarium, courtesy of the sponsorship of Santa Monica’s Resource, Recovery and Recycling division.
“Some of the public visitors already come in costumes, but because of the city’s annual Halloween swap, we’re able to provide some costumes here as well,” Parent said.
The aquarium’s usual interactive, educational activities will be creatively enhanced by Halloween themes. Visitors can learn facts about ocean animals in a glow-in-the-dark deep-sea laboratory, create Dia de los Muertos-inspired crafts and masks, and take a tour through a marine animal graveyard. There will also be allotted times for scary stories and face painting over the weekend.
“We love being able to do crafts different from the ones we usually do,” Parent said. “The staff also gets to do some special presentations that they normally wouldn’t be able to talk about during the rest of the year.”
On Sunday, the Aquarium will be celebrating with a shark theme, with a 3:30 pm feeding at the shark exhibit. Beforehand, there will be a parade at
3 pm starting at the front of the Aquarium and snaking along the pier to make stops and go trick-or-treating among the pier businesses, including Rusty’s Surf Ranch, Bubba Gump’s, and Pacific Park.
“This is the second year we’ve organized the parade across the pier,” Parent said. “It definitely worked really well last year, and we’re excited about doing it again this year.”
General admission is $5, with children under 13 years of age admitted free with an adult.
The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is located at 1600 Ocean Front Walk, just below the Carousel at the Santa Monica Pier.
For more information, call 310.393.6149 or visit healthebay.org/smpa.