Aquarium of the Pacific Celebrates 15 Years with Its Members

On Friday night, C, T, and I attended one of two scheduled member anniversary parties at the Aquarium of the Pacific. The Aquarium is celebrating its 15th year this year, and to acknowledge the occasion, they invited its members to one of two free nighttime events to join in on the celebration.

Outdoors at the Aquarium of the Pacific. It was a gorgeous evening for the Aquarium's 15th Anniversary Party Friday June 28, 2013.

It was a gorgeous evening for the Aquarium’s 15th Anniversary Member Party Friday June 28, 2013.

T takes a break to ook down from the second floor of the Aquarium to listen to the lively tunes of Ronny and the Classics.

We enjoyed live music (provided by Ronny and the Classics) at the Aquarium’s 15th Anniversary Member Party.

One of several playful and active sea otters on Friday evening at the Aquarium of the Pacific. I encourage anyone to check out the Aquarium at night as the activity levels of the animals can be quite different than other times of the day.

One of several playful sea otters on Friday evening at the Aquarium of the Pacific. I encourage anyone to check out the Aquarium at night as the activity levels of the animals can be quite different from other times of the day.

While we’d been to the aquarium at night once before for a kids’ member event, this was our first member event for all-ages, and it was really fun and exceeded our expectations. No, it wasn’t because of the cash bars spread throughout the venue (though they didn’t hurt!). Surprisingly, it wasn’t very crowded… at all. I am unsure why since it was a gorgeous Friday summer evening. Maybe staff limit attendance at these special events by design, I’m not really sure, but regardless of the reason for the light crowd it made the evening extremely enjoyable since we didn’t have to fight against a throng of people at every turn (this place can get very crowded very fast during usual hours year-round). We got to see pretty much everything and anything we wanted, including a lot of active animals, and T was able to participate in the hands-on activities throughout the venue. We stayed almost two hours, from about 7:15 until just after 9 p.m. (event hours were 7-to-10 p.m.).

You know we checked this out!

You know we checked this out!

Pre-show at the Aquarium of the Pacific's special event program "Critter on a Rope in a Bucket... Check it out!"

Pre-show at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s special event program “Critter on a Rope in a Bucket… Check it out!”

C helped T check out the critters on the ropes in the buckets (and trays) at a special educational event during last Friday's 15th Anniversary Member Party.

C helped T check out the critters on the ropes in the buckets (and trays) at a special educational event at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s 15th Anniversary Member Party last Friday evening.

T named a critter "Orangie"... I wish he'd sketched it because I tried to find it in the bucket but couldn't!

T named a critter “Orangie”… I wish he’d sketched it because I tried to find it in the bucket but couldn’t. Yes, of course I looked for an orange critter, RMT’ers, but there were several of them!

There were also a few special presentations and shows for the evening, including “Critter on a Rope in a Bucket… Check it out!” No, really, that was the name of the program. Of course, C was obsessed with repeating this over and over until we went to – what else – check it out. While it wasn’t really a show but an educational event at the outdoor amphitheater, we still enjoyed it. T and the other kids even got to take turns naming the critters on the ropes in the buckets. Glad we checked that out!

T talking with one of the Aquarium of the Pacific's younger volunteers, an eight-year-old boy who works alongside his brother and mother in the Aquarium's Family Volunteering Program.

T talking with one of the Aquarium of the Pacific’s youngest volunteers, an eight-year-old boy who works alongside his brother and mother under the Aquarium’s Family Volunteering Program.

T must have stayed at the Moon Jellies touch tank for 15 minutes all because of the children volunteers. This is located in the Aquarium's newly debuted Wonders of the Deep exhibit.

T must have stayed at the Moon Jellies touch tank for 15 minutes all because of the children volunteers. That was a-OK though as it allowed C and I to enjoy a cold beverage and walk through and explore the Aquarium’s Wonders of the Deep exhibit, which debuted earlier this year.

Moon Jellies are also local to Long Beach. Per the sign here, they can often be sighted in Spinnaker Bay in East Long Beach near Alamitos Bay.

Moon Jellies are also local to Long Beach. Per the sign pictured here, these jellies are often seen in Spinnaker Bay in East Long Beach (near the larger, better known Alamitos Bay).

Chambered Nautilus in the Wonders of the Deep exhibit at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

Chambered Nautilus in the Wonders of the Deep exhibit at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Because T was so occupied at the Moon Jellies I was able to stop and look at a lot of things that I normally don’t get a chance to see or hadn’t noticed before on my dozens of previous visits over the years!

Also we learned about the Aquarium’s wonderful family volunteering program from a mother and her two sons. I had no idea that kids as young as seven-years-old could volunteer alongside their parent(s) here as frequently as once-weekly (up to two kids at a time). I’d not ever heard of such a volunteer or service program for kids this young, so I am hoping that one of you out there can take advantage of this information. I know I plan to look into this program further once T turns seven in a few short years!

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Happy Anniversary to the Aquarium of the Pacific, and thank you for 15 solid years of education, conservation, and stewardship to Long Beach and its surrounding communities!

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The last of two 15th Anniversary Member Parties at the Aquarium of the Pacific is tomorrow evening, Tuesday July 2, 7-to-10 p.m. Please go to this link for party details and for information on how to reserve your spots (advance RSVP required). While the RSVP deadline of June 23 has passed, it can’t hurt to call (562) 437-FISH (3474) to ask if more spots opened up last-minute. Please note admission is free for all Aquarium member levels (no guests please).

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