By: Susan Erler | Category: Special Interest | Issue: October 2011
Kids will encounter plenty of pirates at HallowMarine.
Halloween has never been this fun, innovative and original! Just one step into the entry of the Oklahoma Aquarium, and you will think you have been transported to another world. Halloween “Oklahoma Aquarium-style” is called HallowMarine, and it is more fun and creative than your standard trick or treating. Where else can you trick or treat while walking through a shark tunnel, watching some of the largest bull sharks in captivity swim all around you, even right over your head?
HallowMarine has become one of the best-attended aquarium events since it began in 2003. Located in Jenks, the aquarium is one of Oklahoma’s greatest treasures, housing thousands of salt and fresh water fish and animals. For those who haven’t yet taken the time to visit, HallowMarine is the perfect opportunity. The event runs from Thursday, October 27 through Monday, October 31, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. each evening. “One of the things that makes this a real value is that the cost of admission is less than our normal general admission,” says Executive Director Teri Bowers. “And all eight of our exhibit galleries are open, so guests can not only trick or treat and enjoy all of the other activities, they get the chance to see the regular aquarium exhibits too. It is a great entertainment value.” Cost is $7 for children and $10 for adults. Aquarium members receive $1 off admission price.
It takes many long hours to transform the Oklahoma Aquarium into the pirate-themed fantasy land, but once the children enter, everyone knows it was all worthwhile. “The Great Hall has a real carnival atmosphere,” says Teri. “We take great pride in creating a one-of-a-kind Halloween experience, not only for the kids, but for adults as well.”
Huge inflatables will be placed throughout the area, along with arts and crafts and games for the kids. One of the most popular attractions of HallowMarine is the life-size pirate ship.
After the children have explored the Great Hall, it is time to get down to the serious business of trick or treating. The aquarium offers businesses the chance to set up booths along the gallery walls and let them hand out candy to all the trick or treaters. There is no cost to the businesses, other than the cost of the candy. It is a great way for local stores and business owners to meet and greet the public, and promote themselves in a fun and inexpensive way. Plus, they can connect with a different demographic than they may normally. It is a win-win for all involved.
Back by popular demand this year is the “Diving Mermaid and Pirate Show” located in the Coral Reef. The Coral Reef houses a dramatic collection of Caribbean fish including the colorful parrot fish, porcupine puffers, eels, and during this special event, mermaids!
“Probably the most important reason we are so successful each year is that our event is held entirely indoors,” explains Teri. “No one can predict what Oklahoma weather will be like during the end of October – it can be terribly hot or it can snow. But parents can rest easy if they make plans to attend HallowMarine. No matter the weather, their ghosts and goblins will be able to have a fun and safe Halloween experience.”
Why not do something different this year? Instead of traipsing around dark neighborhoods with few people at home, have a safe and educational Halloween experience at Oklahoma Aquarium’s HallowMarine.
Additional information can be found on the Oklahoma Aquarium website at www.okaquarium.org, or call (918) 296-FISH.