Join the National Marine Aquarium for its special 20th birthday events

In celebration of its 20th birthday, the National Marine Aquarium (NMA) in Plymouth will be holding a series of special events to commemorate its work and inspire new audiences about our oceans and their importance for a healthy planet.

It has been 20 years since the Duke of Edinburgh officially opened the NMA in 1988, since then, the NMA has been instrumental in connecting people with our oceans and promoting pro-ocean behaviour.

The birthday celebrations are already underway with 20 beach cleans taking place across Devon’s beaches, one for every year the Aquarium has been open. The NMA is inviting volunteers to join them to help complete the beach cleans, which are taking place every Saturday and Sunday until June.

To kick off the programme of events, on 8th May, the Aquarium will be offering special giveaways, complimentary behind the scenes tours and a birthday Toddler Tuesday event.

The NMA will also be hosting many special events over the next few months including, birthday boat trips to explore the Plymouth Sound, an extra special Sleeping with Sharks Sleepover event and a free family night, with celebrations culminating on 24th July – the NMA’s official birthday day.

The full list of birthday events are:

  • Monday 14th May: Pilates at the Aquarium - A special Nuffield Health wellbeing event
  • Saturday 19th May: 20th Birthday Boat Trip - Join the NMA’s experts for a special boat trip around Plymouth Sound and learn more about the marine life which calls it home
  • 26th May - 3rd June: 20 Years of the NMA – Over the May half term, the NMA will be looking back over the last 20 years and celebrating some of its key achievements
  • Friday 1st June: Big Birthday Sleeping with Sharks Sleepover – Join the team for an extra special birthday sleepover
  • Wednesday 30th June: Birthday Family Evening – The Aquarium will be open to the public for free to get involved with plenty of fun birthday activities
  • Friday 20th July: Friends of the NMA – Partners, sponsors and local businesses are invited to experience the Aquarium after dark
  • Tuesday 24th July: Official Birthday Day!

Roger Maslin, CEO of the National Marine Aquarium, commented: “We are extremely proud of the contribution we have made to raising awareness of ocean conversation and, as an educational charity, we're always striving to engage our visitors with marine life. We are delighted to be inviting visitors to join us to help celebrate our special year. We have lots of exciting activities for visitors to get involved with to learn more about the Aquarium and our work to protect our oceans – as well as having some fun!”

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: