The evening started with a tour guide for a small group of us. Celine (I think that was her name?) was a fantastic guide, patient and asking the kids lots of great questions. She was also very knowledgable in marine life, and was able to provide some very interesting facts as well as some insight into how the aquarium an is run. We began our journey at the Typhoon Theatre. I have never seen the show before, so it was interesting and amazing at the same time!
After the typhoon theater, each group was led separately to different parts of the aquarium, so it really felt like we were the only group in the entire aquarium. Along the way, Celine introduced several exhibits, and also talked about their nocturnal habits – something you don’t often get to observe when you normally visit the aquarium. She pointed out that the clown fish exhibit had a blue tinge because it was night; that the mackerel were swimming slower because they were probably resting (and are usually more spritely in the mornings), that they have bred rays at the aquarium but keep expecting and baby rays in separate tanks not in the Open Ocean, that most sharks were more active at night, and most fish need to just keep swimming even when asleep, except for nurse sharks which have different kind of gills (we also got to see them snuggled up in a corner sleeping). And that they have no parrot fish otherwise it would be cool to see them sleeping in the sacks or cocoons they build at night. Interesting right??
There were also quizzes for the kids:
And set against this amazing backdrop:
We have been to the aquarium several times now, and in fact, I was just there with my 3.5YO a week prior to this, but learnt so much more from this programme! Looking at these beautiful creatures swimming up and down never really gets old, does it? I have long hung up my dive fins, but I have always loved learning about marine life, and it was great to have someone who was able to answer all of my, I mean the kids’ questions. I was impressed at how well organized and well-thought out the programme was. And having the entire Open Ocean to a small group of friends is certainly a VERY rare opportunity.
After the tour, we had the book reading by author David Seow, who thereafter with talented illustrator Soefara Jafney entertained the kids for a little while with their Q&A for prize giving. At the SEA Aquarium and Return to the SEA Aquarium are great for kids who love learning about marine life, especially those who have or will be visiting the SEA Aquarium. The illustrations are so lovely, and looking at the book cover against the backdrop of the ocean exhibit, the book almost looks like a part of it.
We headed home, reluctantly leaving the rest of the party at the Aquarium to sleep over to the next day when they going to be treated to a back-of-house experience, which I would have loved to follow!
My 8 YO had a really enjoyable time, I’m pretty sure every time he reads Return to the SEA Aquarium now he’s going to remember this wonderful occasion, and I hope he imparts some of his knowledge to his siblings too. And maybe we will need to celebrate one of their birthdays at the SEA Aquauirum too, just like in the book 🙂