National Aquarium is About to Make Santa Very Jealous

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Once-in-a-lifetime contest kicks off an entire season of holiday special events.

National Aquarium Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes

You could win a once-in-a-lifetime experience through National Aquarium's Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes!

Ever dreamed of working alongside a dolphin trainer or going behind-the-scenes in National Aquarium’s rain forest? What about experiencing extreme adventures in Australia or having the opportunity to name the Aquarium’s baby loggerhead sea turtle? Better yet, what about getting up close and personal with the sharks of the Blacktip Reef exhibit, set to open in summer 2013? This holiday season, National Aquarium will give away these once-in-a-lifetime Amazing Experiences.

Cyber Monday through noon December 21, those who visit to purchase any full price ticket for a December visit, make a donation of at least $25, purchase or renew their membership, adopt an animal through Aquadopt, or buy a gift ticket will be automatically be entered to win.

Five lucky winners will be selected to win of these Amazing Experiences. One winner per day will be announced from December 17 - December 21 on and through the Aquarium’s e-newsletter, Aquamail. For complete rules, visit

Go Behind the Scenes with the Dolphins:
To get any closer, you would actually have to be an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin! The lucky winner of this amazing experience will go on a private meet and greet with the Aquarium’s dolphins, tour the dolphin area, see how National Aquarium staff prepare their food, check out the dolphin’s extensive toy collection, and learn behind the scenes secrets from the trainers. The winner will get to work with the trainer during a training session, learn how to communicate with the dolphins, and participate in enrichment and play activities, all while working alongside the Aquarium’s marine mammal specialists.

Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes - The Extreme Experience:
On this personal guided tour with the Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes curator, the winner and three guests will get the full behind-the-scenes tour of this incredible exhibit, up close encounters with National Aquarium’s most popular animals, participate in feedings, and see areas of Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes not usually seen by guests.

Meet the Animals of Blacktip Reef:
The winner and three guests will go on a “hard-hat tour” behind the scenes of the construction of Blacktip Reef, and be among the first to meet the Aquarium’s newest additions currently being cared for before the exhibit opens in summer 2013. This amazing experience includes a tour of the Aquarium’s off-site Animal Care Center, including a look at how the Aquarium’s salt water is made and tested and a visit to the exhibit fabrication shop, where coral for Blacktip Reef is currently being made.

Experience the Rainforest like Never Before:
There is only one rainforest in Maryland, and it is at National Aquarium, Baltimore. One lucky winner will help care for this unique habitat side-by-side with the Upland Tropical Rainforest staff for a morning. The winner will go behind the scenes and learn what it takes to care for the diverse and extraordinary animals and plant, prepare food and feed the exhibit’s 15 species of birds, learn about and tend to a wide range of tropical plants, including a cacao tree – where chocolate comes from, meet and feed the golden lion tamarin monkeys, and help care for poison dart frogs.

Name National Aquarium’s Baby Loggerhead Sea Turtle:
The baby loggerhead sea turtles that are a part of the National Aquarium, Washington, DC’s loggerhead sea turtle early rehabilitation program are adorable! Through this program, sea turtle hatchlings spend time in aquariums where they can safely grow before being released back to the ocean. The winner of this amazing experience will give the newest turtle, arriving in December 2012, a head start towards success with a name to carry him (or her) into the future! The winner and up to three guests will get to have a private meet and greet with the turtle, and once on display, the turtle tank will feature a sign with the turtle’s name and the winner’s name.

This holiday season, National Aquarium has something for everyone! On December 7, National Aquarium will celebrate World Holiday Traditions as part of the Cultural Series sponsored by Macys, between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. (exploring until 9:30 p.m.). In conjunction with the Fridays After Five series, guests can enjoy a low admission price of $12 along with Nutcracker Ballet vignettes performances, live holiday jazz and an exhibit of nativity scenes from around the world. Children can make holiday cards to send to service men and women and there will be an appearance by the Aquarium’s mascot, Puffin, the Polar Express train conductor, and the jolly bearded man in red himself, Santa Claus!

Then, on December 15 and 16, celebrate the holidays with an exciting weekend where guests can meet Diego from Nickelodeon Jr.’s—“Go Diego Go!” Watch Polar Express in the 4D movie theater and meet the conductor! More special activities included with admission.

All season long, enjoy “The Polar Express 4D Experience.” Featured in digital 3D and brought to life with 4D multi-sensory effects, this is an immersive experience for the whole family to enjoy. Guests can add on a 4D Immersion Film to their admission ticket for $5 a person.

And it wouldn’t be an Aquarium holiday without diving Santa! Come see St. Nick and his helpful reindeer and elves take a dive in the Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit throughout the month of December.

Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes Rules
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited by law. Open to legal US residents, except those residing in NY, RI, and FL who are 18 years of age or older. Sweepstakes begins 12:00 AM EST on 11/26/12 and ends 11:59 PM EST on 12/20/12. To enter, visit and make a qualifying purchase. To enter for free, send a 3x5 card with name, address, and email to National Aquarium, 501 East Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202, Attn: Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes. Five (5) Grand Prize Experiences (GPEs) will be awarded according to prize schedule in official rules. All participants in GPEs must be at least 8 years old (and older for certain GPEs); all children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Winners are responsible for providing their own transportation to the National Aquarium, and for taxes, tips or other charges not specifically included in the GPE. ARV of each GPE: $1,000; Total ARV of all GPEs: $5,000. Odds of winning are based on the number of eligible entries received. For complete rules visit

National Aquarium
National Aquarium inspires conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. It champions environmental initiatives by engaging with visitors, volunteers, education groups and schools to actively participate in the preservation of the world’s natural resources and living-systems. National Aquarium, in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, MD, delivers meaningful experiences through its engaging living collections; our science-based education programs and our hands-on experiences in the field from the Chesapeake Bay to Costa Rica; and partnerships and alliances with like-minded organizations around the world. For more information on National Aquarium, visit

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Kate Hendrickson

Amy Burke Friedman
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