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December 6, 2018
Contact: Shelley Dawicki

Santa To Arrive by Research Vessel December 15 for Woods Hole Science Aquarium’s Holiday Event

Special exhibits, conservation arts and crafts activities also offered

While Santa Claus may use a sleigh to get around, he will be arriving by research vessel this year for his annual visit to the Woods Hole Science Aquarium on Saturday, December 15, 2018. The special event provides an opportunity to visit on a Saturday, when the Aquarium is usually closed, and enjoy some special activities.

The Aquarium, operated by NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center, is located at 166 Water Street in Woods Hole and will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for this special event. Santa will arrive aboard the Center’s 72-foot research vessel Gloria Michelle at 11 a.m. and is hoping to see a large crowd on hand to greet him.

Everyone is welcome to enjoy the Aquarium on a Saturday and view some special exhibits arranged for this occasion, have their picture taken with Santa, and participate in arts and crafts activities. Among the special exhibits will be an octopus, part of the Marine Biological Laboratory’s Cephalopod Initiative.

Lots to See and Do

The Aquarium's live collection includes species of marine fish and invertebrates that are found in waters off the Northeastern U.S., including seahorses and some tropical species that are carried north by currents as well as invasive species.

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 science at sea, sea turtles and the history of fishing in New England as well as information about endangered species and marine environments. The Voices from the Fisheries exhibit features oral histories from fishermen and others in the fishing industry talking about their work, families, communities and the marine environment.

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

Open year-round except federal holidays

The Aquarium is open year-round Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is closed on all federal holidays. The public aquarium is a federal facility and will be closed December 25 and January 1 (which are both Tuesdays). Admission is free; however, donations are accepted.

The Woods Hole Science Aquarium is the oldest public marine aquarium in the United States. It 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 and will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2021.

Visit the Aquarium on the web at