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Oregon Coast Attraction Brings Back an Old Friend: Sleepovers in Passages of the Deep

Published 12/19/23 at 5:25 p.m.

Oregon Coast Attraction Brings Back an Old Friend: Sleepovers in Passages of the Deep

(Newport, Oregon) – Like an old friend suddenly returning, Oregon Coast Aquarium brings back its highly popular Sleep in the Deep program, once again letting guests “sleep with the fishes” in the diverse, central Oregon coast attraction in Newport's famed South Beach district. (All photos courtesy Oregon Coast Aquarium)

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It's the ultimate of sleepovers for kids: setting up camp inside the awe-inspiring Passages of the Deep attraction, where sharks, stingrays, wolf eels and dozens of other denizens of the deep float around you. The giant glass and metal tube is directly inside the large tank full of marine life, a unique underwater habitat where the creatures swim all around your 360-degree view.

Sleep in the Deep was an extremely popular part of the aquarium, filled with kids activities as well as the splendor of its unusual perspective. The pandemic squashed that, with its need for health precautions and distancing. Now, this “fantastic program” will resume in 2024, said the aquarium's Education Manager Jeff Harms.

“For some, participating in a pelagic slumber party has been years in the planning - and waiting," said Hams.

He said guests absolutely love this program, and so do staff.

“There’s something special about seeing someone’s face light up when they enter Passages of the Deep,” he said.

Starting in January, the one-of-a-kind sleepovers will take place Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the first and third Friday of the month. Sleepovers require a minimum of 20 participants and are limited to a maximum of 60 participants total.

Anyone interested in spending the night surrounded by sharks and other sea life can find a full schedule, answers to frequently asked questions, and reservation forms online at aquarium.org/sleepovers.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is located at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. aquarium.org, 541-867-3474.

AQUARIUM FUN FACT

Amusing and Awesome Tales from Keiko the Killer Whale at Oregon Coast Aquarium - Behind-the-scenes anecdotes from those who knew him.

In the '90s, Keiko the killer whale put Newport, Oregon on the map when Oregon Coast Aquarium brought a famous, movie star whale (from Free Willy) to the facilities at Oregon Coast Aquarium to not only rehabilitate him after decades of varying mistreatment but to ready him for release back into the wild. It was the first large-scale effort of its kind that our kind – mankind – had attempted. Certainly, publicly. (Photo Oregon Coast Aquarium)

Brought into its tank in '96, he stayed about two years and was yet another media sensation, and possibly the single biggest longterm boost to the local tourism economy. Keiko was flown back to the waters he was stolen from in '98, eventually re-released back into the wild in a story that didn't end well...... full story Amusing and Awesome Tales from Keiko the Killer Whale at Oregon Coast Aquarium

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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