Fishy Fest gets Fishy Friendly for Halloween Weekend

Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is gearing up for spooky family fun at Fishy Fest 2017 this weekend, Oct. 28-29. The Fishy Fest Halloween and Día de los Muertos celebration starts at 12:30 p.m., on Saturday and conclude at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is always free for kids under thirteen who are accompanied by an adult, and just $5 for everyone else.

This year’s event will include fan-favorite activities such as the Mad Scientist’s Glow-in-the-Dark Laboratory, Halloween and Día de los Muertos-themed craft projects, and a costume swap/parade. Guests can meanwhile learn about ways to protect the ocean while participating in Halloween activities at the aquarium and at the Santa Monica Pier itself.

Randi Parent, Outreach Manager for the Aquarium, believes any visit to the aquarium will be educational as well as lots of fun. “We work really hard and pride ourselves in having everyone who visits here walk back out having a little more knowledge about their neighbors right out in the Santa Monica Bay," Parent said.

Some activities the kids can enjoy will be a marine life graveyard and a Glow-in-the-Dark Laboratory. The graveyard will showcase tombstones with information about how a particular sea creature died. The Mad Scientist’s Glow-in-the-Dark Laboratory uses black lights and glow-in-the-dark materials to illuminate marine artifacts and transform them into bright treasures of the sea. The aquarium also brings in bioluminescent plankton to educate guests about the importance of plankton to our ecosystem. It is a spooky fun way for the whole family to learn about protecting the world’s marine life.

The information will teach event-goers about the type of pollutants and man-made materials that most often cause certain marine life to die off. Parent says that the graveyard shows the impact of society’s ‘throw away’ mentality in an informative, yet creative way, while reinforcing the importance of recycling and using eco-friendly materials.

If graveyards and mad scientists are not your thing, Halloween and Día de los Muertos-themed craft activities will take place as well. Fishy Fest attendees can make Halloween masks to use as part of their costumes. Or they can skip the mask and have their face painted for the Day of the Dead instead.

On Saturday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m., event-goers can settle in for Spooky Story Time, where a family friendly Halloween story will be read.

The Fishy festivities will conclude with a costume parade around the Pier at 3 p.m. Sunday that ends with watching sharks being fed back at the aquarium. The parade is in collaboration with Santa Monica’s Resource, Recovery, and Recycling Division, and hosts an annual costume swap.

Participants can bring their old costume and swap it for a new one. Any leftover costumes are brought to the parade for visitors who want to participate but did not bring their own. The parade gets bigger every year, according to Parent.

Parent believes, “Kids love to do costumes, it doesn’t matter what time of year, so the more days they have to put on that Halloween costume, the happier they are.” The parade goes along the Pier, where kids can trick-or-treat at participating businesses who give out candy.

Organizers are asking attendees to support recycling by donating any gently used costumes still hiding in your closet or swapping them instead of buying new ones. For more information, visit the organization's website at