By: Deanna Rebro | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: March 2010
Oklahoma Aquarium’s Executive Director Teri Bowers coaxes inhabitants in the Reasor’s Shrimp Boat exhibit.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to wake up to a giant shark looking down at you? It could happen on March 5, as Oklahoma Aquarium kicks off its spring 2010 season of activities with “Sleeping with the Sharks.”
This semi-annual event is a favorite for whole families to enjoy. “They get to bring their air mattresses and sleeping bags and spend the night with their favorite creatures in the aquarium,” says Teri Bowers, executive director of the Oklahoma Aquarium. The evening begins at 6 p.m. and continues until morning, with a movie, snack and flashlight tour of the facility.
Once again, Spring Break SeaCamp will be offered the week of March 15-19. This special program is designed by the Education Department for children from kindergarten through fifth grade. Kids will have lots of hands-on and age-appropriate activities that involve fish, facts and fun. The topic of this year’s program is “Transformers.” A different presentation each day will focus on how certain creatures alter their characteristics in order to adapt to their changing environments.
SeaCamp ends the week with a Scout Day on March 19. The Oklahoma Aquarium honors all youth organizations such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire, 4-H and FFA by offering a discount to members in uniform or carrying a membership card with one accompanying adult.
Homeschool Day on April 6 offers discounted admission to homeschool families and groups who cannot meet the normal minimum number.
Spring activities come to a close on May 15, with the Aquarium Run. Billed as “a celebration of family fitness,” participants can choose the race that best suits their physical level. They can take it easy with a one-mile fun run, step it up with a 5K or go all the way in the half-marathon.
Since last spring, the Oklahoma Aquarium has opened several new attractions. “It’s surprising to people who haven’t been here in a while,” says Teri. The Reasor’s Shrimp Boat features live shrimp that guests can touch and feed, but not eat. Guests are invited to purchase special food that the shrimp love. They’ll immediately flock to the hand of their new best friend, while providing many a photo opportunity.
They have also added a shark tank dive cage that looks like one used in the oceans. Guests are welcome to step inside, where a water-illusion backdrop provides the setting for another memorable photo opportunity.
For those who want a closer inspection of a shark’s pearly whites, there is the six-foot Megalodon jaws. With a name that means “big tooth” in Greek, this prehistoric shark ruled the waters as far back as 1.5 million years ago. This super predator was by far the largest and most powerful fish of its time, with an approximate length of 67 feet and weight of 114 tons.
Registration for all activities can be done online at www.okaquarium.org. Discounts are available for members and groups. For pricing and more detailed information, call 296-3474 (FISH). The Oklahoma Aquarium is located at 300 Aquarium Drive in Jenks.
Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.