October half-term activities at the National Marine Aquarium

This October half-term, the National Marine Aquarium (NMA) in Plymouth will be celebrating Deep Blue Spaces. Dedicated to wellbeing and art, activities will promote mindfulness and creativity, focusing on the positive effects of gazing into wide open Ocean spaces.

Taking place from 20th – 28th October, the NMA will be inviting families to join in the fun of its Deep Blue Spaces trail – a step-by-step origami challenge. Starting off with a square piece of origami paper, posters will give visitors instructions to help them create a mystery origami animal as they make their way around the Aquarium. Younger visitors will also receive a free sketchbook, while art stations around the Aquarium will allow visitors to unleash their inner artist. Each station will use a different media so visitors can explore several styles of colouring and sketching.

Visitors to the NMA this October half-term will also be among some of the first to see its three new Sandbar Sharks, the only sharks of this species to be on display in a UK aquarium. Taking residence in the Atlantic Ocean exhibit - the deepest in the UK and the largest single tank containing 2.5 million litres of water – the Sandbar Sharks have joined some of the NMA’s most iconic inhabitants, including a 2m Lemon Shark, 2.5m Sand Tiger Sharks, Nurse Sharks, and the only Ocellated Eagle Rays in the UK.

In addition to the art and wellbeing activities, the Aquarium will also be gearing up for Halloween, with a couple of tricks or treats up its sleeve.

For visitors feeling brave this October half-term, the NMA’s Halloween-themed Sleeping with Spooky Sharks is the perfect Spooktacular event to experience. This event offers visitors the chance to learn more about the marine environment whilst tucked up in a sleeping bags watching the sharks swim overhead.

The NMA is also encouraging visitors to put on their scariest Halloween fancy dress outfits and join in the fangtastic fun for Family Fright Night! During the evening, families can enjoy pumpkin carving, cupcake decorating, face painting, trick or treating around the Aquarium and a spooky Fright Night show. This special themed event will teach visitors of all ages about the ghosts, ghouls and myths living at the bottom of the Ocean.

Paul Botterill, Public Engagement Coordinator at the National Marine Aquarium, commented: “We are delighted to host Deep Blue Spaces this year. We know from our previous studies conducted by the NMA, in partnership with Plymouth University and the University of Exeter, that spending time viewing aquariums has a positive effect on physical and mental wellbeing, helping to reduce stress and boost mood. We hope our half term activities will provide our visitors with an opportunity to relax and let their creative juices flow.

“We’re also very excited that our new Sandbar Sharks will be on display in the Atlantic Ocean tank. The NMA is the now only aquarium in the UK to have this species of shark – they’ll make a great addition for our visitors to spot as they swim around in the largest tank in the UK!”

October half-term events at the National Marine Aquarium:
·         Deep Blue Spaces - 20th-28th October
·         Sleeping with Spooky Sharks - Saturday 20th October from 18:00 – 21:00. Tickets are £30.00 for children and £30.00 for adults
·         Family Fright Night – 26th October from 17:30 – 20:00. Tickets are £13.00 for children, £7.00 for adults and under 3’s go free

To book tickets and to find out more information for October half-term activity including, Deep Blue Spaces, Sleeping with Spooky Sharks and Family Fright Night, visit:  www.national-aquarium.co.uk

As an educational and marine conservation charity, the NMA relies on visitor funds and donations to continue its mission to connect us with our Oceans. For more information, to book tickets and learn more about how you can support the NMA, visit www.national-aquarium.com.