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Two girls stand next to a seated Santa in Aquarium Santa with two of the many Aquarium visitors. Photo credit: Woods Hole Science Aquarium, NEFSC/NOAA
Santa takes ring from seal nose Santa with one of the Aquarium harbor seals during feeding and husbandry activities. Photo credit: Woods Hole Science Aquarium, NEFSC/NOAA

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December 19, 2016
Contact: Shelley Dawicki

Santa to Visit Woods Hole Science Aquarium December 24

Santa Claus will make his annual visit to the Woods Hole Science Aquarium on Saturday, December 24, 2016, from 12 to 2 p.m. The Aquarium, operated by NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, is located at 166 Water Street in Woods Hole and will be open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aquarium staff will feed the seals at 11 a.m. and again at 2 and 4 p.m. on December 24.

Everyone is welcome to chat and have their picture taken with Santa. Light snacks will be served.

The Aquarium's live collection includes species of marine fish and invertebrates that are found in waters off the Northeastern U.S. The facility is also home for two harbor seals, LuSeal and Bumper, who cannot be released to the wild. Seal feedings, are held at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. most days and are a popular and informative event.

Exhibits highlighting some of the Science Center’s research programs include the interactive “Sounds of the Sea” display featuring whale and other marine animal sounds. Other educational exhibits feature sea turtles, lobsters and sharks as well as information about endangered species and marine environments. A new addition to the exhibits is Voices from the Fisheries, which features oral histories from fishermen and others in the fishing industry talking about the work, families, communities and the marine environment.

Programs operated at the Aquarium in partnership with the Marine Biological Laboratory include those for marine animal health, summer internships for high school students, and special exhibits.

The Aquarium is open year-round Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed Sundays and Mondays, and all federal holidays. The public aquarium is a federal facility and will be closed December 25, December 26 and January 1. Admission is free; however, donations are accepted.

The Woods Hole Science Aquarium, the oldest public marine aquarium in the United States, has been part of the federal fisheries laboratory in Woods Hole since 1875, four years after Spencer Baird of the U.S Commission on Fish and Fisheries, who also served as assistant secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, established a summer research station on Little Harbor. A much larger, permanent marine science laboratory complex was completed in 1885 on Water Street, site of the current facilities on Great Harbor.

The Woods Hole fisheries laboratory was the first marine research station in the United States. The fisheries research vessel Albatross, the first of four ships to carry that name at the Woods Hole Laboratory, was the first vessel in the world designed specifically to conduct marine research.

Visit the Aquarium on the web at

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