Holidays Bring Octopus and Santa to Oregon Coast
(Newport, Oregon) – Things are a little different on the coast. Here, the holidays bring not only Santa, lights, decorations and the usual stuff, but they bring freaky fish and an octopus.
Two of Newport’s biggest names hosts some special events this season: the Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Now is a good time to visit the Hatfield Marine Science Center, where you can name their new octopus.
Enter names for the new Visitor Center octopus by December 31st. A name will be drawn on that day and the winner notified. If your name is chosen you will have your picture taken with the new octopus and receive a prize on Saturday, January 9 – which is Octopus Day.
The Visitor Center will be open every day December 26th through 31 from 10 to 4.
Hatfield Center staff will announce the name of the new octopus before the 1 p.m. feeding. After the feeding will be a comparative necropsy of two squid and an octopus.
Octopus related films will be played throughout the day.
Hatfield Marine Science Center. 2030 Marine Science Dr. Newport, Oregon. 541.867.0167.
The 17th Annual Sea of Lights is coming to the Oregon Coast Aquarium on December 4 and 5, featuring the central icon all decked out for the holidays and surrounded by a sea of twinkling lights on that Friday and Saturday. It happens from 6:30 to 9:00 pm both evenings.
You’ll find a special Dinner with Santa, along with unique gift ideas.
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. The entire Aquarium will be adorned with holiday decorations, a large Christmas tree and thousands of colorful lights. Admission to the Sea of Lights is two items of food for Food Share of Lincoln County, or a new unwrapped toy, or pet food for the Lincoln County Animal Shelter or $2 for adults and $1 for kids. Admission is free to members.
“We put up about three miles of lights,” said Bob Llewellyn, Aquarium Grounds Manager. “We are going to LED’s each time we replace a new string, to slowly replace the old standard minis. LEDs use 8 or 10 times less electricity than the standard minis. We plan to have a big lighted tree in the lobby, lots of lighted small trees and plenty of lights outdoors.
“Don't forget: we’ll also have lots of lovely wreaths, swags and garlands.”
At the Sea of Lights, 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 music, the Youth and Adult Handbell Choirs, the Coastalaires, Women of Note and others. The gift shop will be open with holiday displays and gift ideas. Visitors can look at pets that are available for adoption on the “Pet Christmas Tree” from the Lincoln County Animal Shelter. A bake sale will be offered and a children’s craft will take place in the classroom.
“The Aquarium is a wonderful place to get some unique and lasting gift ideas,” said Jennifer Locklear, Aquarium Membership Manager. “Not only will you find gifts that your friends and family will love, you also support the Aquarium and marine conservation.”
Locklear said the Aquarium is ideal for those looking for a festive and peaceful shopping experience.
Some Aquarium Gift Ideas:
Aquarium Memberships Membership is the gift that keeps on giving. 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 through an animal care program: individuals and groups can sponsor one of 25 different species at the Aquarium. Contributions offset the expense of caring for and feeding the Aquarium's more than 10,000 animals. Contributions range from $25 a year to $1,000.
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.
Dinner with Santa, Sunday, December 13, from 6 to 8 pm – Santa, buffet dinner, holiday magic, music and fun are the theme of the night. Santa will take time out of his busy schedule to enjoy an enchanted evening with children of all ages. The buffet dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Santa and his two favorite elves will include a private evening to tour the Aquarium’s beautiful lighted grounds and exhibits. $25 per person. Make reservations by calling 541-867-3474 ext. 2312.
The Sea of Lights will afford visitors a last glimpse of Oddwater, an exhibit that showcases strange and wonderful marine life with odd adaptations. The exhibit, a colorful combination of marine biology and glass art inside the displays, will be dismantled in January to make way for the new exhibit, Swampland, opening Memorial Day Weekend 2010.
Ferry Slip Road, South Beach (Newport, Oregon). www.aquarium.org.
More About Newport, Oregon lodging.....