Maui Ocean Center highlights the sharks of Hawaii

Maui Ocean Center celebrates Shark-tacular in July with exciting presentations and an exclusive tour package upgrade. Shark-tacular activities are designed to educate aquarium guests about sharks, separating fact from fiction about these amazing and often misunderstood animals while exploring their vital role in the ocean ecosystem and significance in Hawaiian culture.

Along with July’s shark-themed activities, guests will have the opportunity to explore Hawaii’s underwater world through up close turtle encounters, hands-on wet naturalist presentations, weekly children’s activities, the Fins & Flippers tour upgrade, and an informational booth on Hawaiian monk seals provided by the non-profit Monk Seal Foundation. In July the Aquarium also continues its annual photo contest, recognizes July 4th with Red, White, and Ocean Blue Day, hosts two (2) Sleep with the Sharks and kicks-off a new Night at the Reef event series with the theme of Incredible Corals. Most aquarium events are complimentary with paid admission; tour upgrades and special events not included.

More information on events and activities happening at Maui Ocean Center in July is available through the Aquarium’s special events hotline at (808) 270-7000 option 3 or at www.mauioceancenter.com.  Like the Aquarium on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates.

Shark Tour Package Upgrade
Tuesdays- July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30

Guests who seek the ultimate aquarium experience can upgrade to the Shark Tour Package on Tuesdays at 11:30am for $15 plus admission. Offered exclusively during Shark-tacular in July, this behind-the-scenes tour includes a choice of lunch, snack or dessert option from the Reef Café.

Due to limited availability, tour fees applicable to parents and guardians accompanying children on the tour. Fee does not include aquarium admission and reservations are highly recommended; call 808-270-7088.

“I Love Marine Life!” Photo Contest
Through August 15, 2013

Maui Ocean Center’s fourth annual “I Love Marine Life!” photo contest continues through August 15. Capture the beauty of Hawaii’s marine life in a photo for the chance to win a year membership to the Maui Ocean Center and a photo eco tour with Photo Safari Hawaii.  Photo contest is open to everyone. The last day to submit an entry is by 5:00pm on Thursday, August 15, 2013; winners will be announced the week of August 19 and be displayed at the Aquarium until Labor Day, September 2, 2013. Full press release to follow.

Hangin’ with Honu
Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Green sea turtles are called ‘honu’ in Hawaiian. On Wednesday, July 3 guests can enjoy the opportunity to hang out with a Hawaiian green sea turtle during casual talks with a special guest speaker at Turtle Lagoon from 11am to 2pm. The story behind the turtles at Maui Ocean Center along with interesting green sea turtle facts will be discussed.  This activity is complimentary with aquarium admission and appropriate for all ages.

During this special Hangin’ with Honu, join in as Maui Ocean Center celebrates the birthdays of the one (1) year old and two (2) year old juvenile green sea turtles at 1pm.  Activities include birthday cake for humans and turtles, while supplies last.

Red, White, and Ocean Blue Day
Thursday, July 4, 2013

On July 4th the Aquarium puts an ocean-friendly spin on the national holiday with special presentations and giveaways.  Ocean Naturalists will highlight ocean, land and energy conservation and share helpful hints with guests on how they can protect and promote healthy oceans.  Children ages 3-12 will receive a special prize; giveaways will be offered at the Aquarium’s Front Gate while supplies last.

Night at the Reef:  Incredible Corals
Thursday, July 11; 7:30-9:30pm

Maui Ocean Center announces a new series, Night at the Reef with the first evening on July 11 presenting the topic of Incredible Corals.  During this extraordinary evening, guests can take this rare opportunity to visit Aquarium exhibits after dark and interact with Maui Ocean Center’s own knowledgeable divers, aquarist, education staff and renowned experts in the field along with volunteers from local eco-organizations.  Complimentary coffee, juice, and tropical iced tea will be available.  Delectable heavy pupu, snack, and cash bar will be offered for purchase; including the Reef Zinger drink special. View exceptional footage from live coral spawning with the chance to witness live coral spawning.  Enjoy a presentation by Coral Reef Biologist Dave Gulko with the Department of Land and Natural Resources.  Full press release to follow.

Admission is $28 plus tax for adults with discounts for children ages three through 12, members and kama’aina. Reservations are recommended; the public may call 270-7088 or visit www.mauioceancenter.com for more information. 

Children’s Story Time & Craft Hour
Saturdays- July 6, 13, 20, 27

The Aquarium will offer a weekly story time and craft hour for children ages 3 through 12. This activity takes place in the Hawaiians & the Sea Exhibit at 11:30am on Saturday mornings. Children will enjoy an intriguing story told by an Ocean Naturalist followed with a fun, marine-themed craft to make and take home.

Wet Naturalist Presentations
Tuesdays-Saturdays in July

In July, Wet Naturalist presentations offer guests a hands-on experience with Hawaii’s marine invertebrates. Invertebrates are animals without backbones and include creatures such as urchins, sea stars, and sea cucumbers. With the help of a wet naturalist inside the exhibit, guests will have the chance to touch and feel a few of these spineless creatures! These exciting presentations take place every week at the Aquarium’s Discovery Pool starting at 12:30pm Tuesday-Saturday.  This activity is complimentary with aquarium admission and appropriate for all ages.

Fins & Flippers Tour Upgrade
Fridays- July 5, 12, 19, 26

Fascinating facts about sharks and sea turtles are revealed on the interactive Fins & Flippers tour.  This exclusive tour is led by a knowledgeable Ocean Naturalist guide and includes a sneak peek behind-the-scenes at the Aquarium and the chance to witness a supervised shark and turtle feed at Hammerhead Harbor and Turtle Lagoon. The tour is appropriate for all ages.

Due to limited availability, fees are applicable to parents and guardians accompanying children on the tour. Cost is $10.00 per person plus aquarium admission.  Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling (808) 270-7088.

Monk Seal Foundation Booth
Sundays- July 14 and 28

Guests can learn about the endemic Hawaiian monk seal, one of the world’s most critically endangered animals, at the educational info booth provided by the Monk Seal Foundation (MSF). MSF volunteers will share information about monk seals, the challenges they face, and how to help this endangered species. This activity is offered from 10am to 2pm in the Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Discovery Center. A fun children’s craft will also be provided. For more info on the Monk Seal Foundation, visit www.monksealfoundation.org. This activity is complimentary with aquarium admission and appropriate for all ages.

Sleep with the Sharks
Fridays- July 5 and 26

The Aquarium will hold public sleepovers for children ages 8-13 on July 5 and July 26 (Fridays). Participants will spend an exciting evening at the Aquarium discovering fascinating facts about Hawaiian marine life with hands-on activities, games, crafts and more. Sleepovers begin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 8:00 a.m. the next day (Saturday). Sleepover fee is $60 plus tax per child and includes a pizza dinner, continental breakfast, snacks and a souvenir. Aquarium members receive a 15 percent discount. Reservations are required by calling 808-270-7075. The deadline to sign up for a sleepover is by 12 noon on the Thursday before. Private sleepovers are offered year-round; for more information on private sleepovers call 808-270-7085 or visit www.mauioceancenter.com.

Turtle-rrific Thursday
Thursday, July 18; 2pm

Guests can learn about Hawaii’s beloved green sea turtles in an up close and personal setting during Turtle-rrific Thursday on July 18.  Beginning at 2pm, this interactive program is hosted by Maui Ocean Center’s curatorial team at Turtle Lagoon. Guests will learn about the biology, behavior and diet of green sea turtles from the team that cares for the animals on a daily basis. This activity is complimentary with aquarium admission and appropriate for all ages.

The mission of Maui Ocean Center is to foster understanding, wonder and respect for Hawaii’s marine life. This state-of-the-art aquarium was named “Top-Rated Attraction in Hawaii” by Zagat Survey US Family Travel Guide, “Leader In Responsible Tourism” on the Top 100 Blue List by Islands Magazine, and “Best Environmental Attraction” by the readers of The Maui News. Open daily from 9 to 5, and from 9 to 6 in July and August. For more information please contact the Maui Ocean Center: 192 Ma‘alaea Road; Ma‘alaea, HI 96793; telephone (808)270-7000, facsimile (808)270-7070, e-mail info@mauioceancenter.com or visit www.mauioceancenter.com.

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