Want to go?
WHAT: Greater Cleveland Aquarium’s Hauntaquarium
WHEN: 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 and Sunday, Oct. 26
WHERE: Greater Cleveland Aquarium, 2000 Sycamore St., Cleveland
COST: Ages 2 and up are $11 (including pass holders). Under 2 are free.
INFO: Call 216.862.8803 or visit greaterclevelandaquarium.com
When it comes to Halloween celebrations, aside from actual trick-or-treating, it’s easy to get tired of the same black-and-orange events you attend every season.
For those families seeking a different experience, this year there’s something unique and fishy happening at the brand-new Greater Cleveland Aquarium, which hosts its inaugural Hauntaquarium from 6 to 9 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday at the downtown Cleveland venue. Kids are encouraged to come in costume to enjoy the different Halloween attractions including flame swallowers, sword fights, face painting, craft making, a mechanical surfboard and mysterious treasure hunt. The adventure also features eerie tales from pirates.
Funcoast talked to Greater Cleveland Aquarium General Manager Tami Brown about the Hauntaquarium.
Funcoast: First of all, arrrr these pirates of the Capt. Jack Sparrow variety?
Tami Brown (TB): No, they’re more of a traditional pirate, not scary and also not a Capt. Jack off-the-wall type either.
Funcoast: What role does the Hauntaquarium play for the Greater Cleveland Aquarium?
TB: This is a good event for the community so they’re good for the aquarium. It’s an opportunity to present our exhibits in a new way with a new theme that will draw people in that maybe wouldn’t come on a daily basis. So we can spread our wings and try some new ways to bring people in. We’ve actually been planning this for many months. It makes sense for us for a couple of reasons – it’s a different way to visit the aquarium and it ties in a water theme in that we’ve got a bunch of the tanks lit up with red lights or carved Jack o’ lanterns into the exhibits with the fish. Some fish love them, they’re like little treats.
Funcoast: Wait, throughout the years we’ve learned putting foreign objects – such as beer cans and hot dogs (don’t ask) – into fish tanks isn’t always a good idea. Did you check with the aquarists to make sure putting a gourd in a salt-water fish tank wouldn’t have any negative consequences?
TB: Absolutely, and it was actually their idea so we knew we were in good shape.
Funcoast: Whew. So what’s your favorite aspect of the Hauntaquarium?
TB: My favorite is probably some of the smaller Jack o’ lanterns because the fish are able to swim in and out of them. It’s always surprising when you’re standing there looking at the Jack o’ lanterns and a fish comes popping out of an eye.
Funcoast: Finally, any chance we’ll see some of the fish wearing Halloween costumes? Like a shark wearing a Nemo outfit or a stingray dressed up as a carp?
TB: Well [laughs], they don’t hold still very well so no, probably not.