If you are looking for family-friendly activities over the Thanksgiving weekend, the Smithsonian Exhibit at the St. Lucie County Aquarium is the place to be! The popular Aquarium After Dark program will take place on Friday, November 25 from 6:00pm-8:00pm, followed by an opportunity to have some hands-on, feet-wet fun in the Indian River Lagoon with Saturday Seining in the Seagrasses on Saturday, November 26 from 9:00am-10:30am.
Aquarium After Dark gives visitors the opportunity to see what happens when the lights go out in the Aquarium. “The Aquarium is a completely different place at night,” said Jasmine Fox, Marine Biology Educator at the Smithsonian. “We see amazing nocturnal animals, like the waving tentacles of spaghetti worms and fluorescent green corals!” Doors open at 5:45pm and the program begins at 6:00pm, featuring a pizza dinner and a brief presentation on nocturnal ocean life. Guests will then venture into the Aquarium to explore the tanks with special flashlights! Aquarium After Dark is recommended for ages six and up. The cost is $12 for adults and $10 for children. Aquarium member discounts are available.
Saturday Seining in the Seagrasses invites families to discover life in seagrass beds in the Indian River Lagoon, such as juvenile fishes, crabs, and maybe even seahorses! The program begins with a brief presentation inside the Aquarium, followed by a seine-netting lesson before entering the water to collect animals! All participants must wear clothing that can get wet and water shoes with heel straps. This program is recommended for ages six and up. The cost is $6 for adults and $5 for children and includes Aquarium admission. Aquarium member discounts are available. Following the program, participants are welcome to join the 10:30am feeding tour inside the Aquarium.
Advance registration for both programs is required as space is limited. To register for either program, please call 772-465-3271 or email SMSEducation@si.edu.
The Smithsonian Exhibit, located in the St. Lucie County Aquarium at 420 Seaway Drive on South Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce, is open to the public Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-4pm, Sunday from 12pm-4pm and seasonally (January through March) on Monday from 10am-4pm. Admission is $4.00 for adults and $3.00 for children and seniors. Annual memberships are available, starting from $15.
The Smithsonian Marine Station has teamed with St. Lucie County and other community partners to create this unique educational facility. The Exhibit is an outreach effort of the Smithsonian Marine Station, a branch of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. A fixture in the Fort Pierce community for over 45 years, the Marine Station is dedicated to understanding the character and diversity of the marine and estuarine habitats of Florida. For more information about the Exhibit, or to learn about volunteering opportunities, call 772-465-3271.