RiverQuarium to host set of holiday events

ALBANY -- Through the Christmas Day holiday, a downtown Albany venue is hosting a series of holiday events as a means to instill Yuletide spirits amongst those in the Good Life City.

The Flint RiverQuarium will be conducting "'Tis the Season Saturdays" between now and Dec. 22.

On Saturday, the RiverQuarium is hosting a "Breakfast with Santa" program from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. At that event, officials are offering a breakfast of sausage and fruit from McDonalds, a picture with Santa and a tour of the RiverQuarium.

The cost will be $6 for RiverQuarium members, $8 for non-members. Reservations will be taken until the last minute. Advanced notice is strongly encouraged but not required since walk-in availability will be dependent on available supplies, officials say.

From 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. on Dec. 1, the "Holiday Tasting & Tour" will allow visitors the chance to drop in and sample some favorite holiday treats before a tour of the facility.

"There will be a lot of Christmas goodies to taste," said Wendy Bellacomo, marketing director for the RiverQuarium. "It will all be decorated for the holiday."

The cost for members of all ages is $3, or the regular admission plus $3 for non-members.

From 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Dec. 8, the series of events will continue with "Ornaments for the Birds." There, stations will be set up to give participants the opportunity to craft edible ornaments for the staff to decorate the aviary with as a treat to its feathered occupants.

The cost is free to members, and included with the cost of admission for non-members, officials say.

A week later, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Dec. 15, at "Handcrafted Christmas on the Plaza," people will have the chance to make progress on their holiday shopping efforts by purchasing items from a variety of artists and craftsmen.

The vendors will be set up in the plaza between the main RiverQuarium building and the Imagination Theater. The items expected to be available include pottery, home decor, glass beads, holiday wreaths and pop art, Bellacomo said.

The last event, "Breakfast with Santa & a Movie," is set for 9 a.m. on Dec. 22. For this breakfast, the food is being provided by Our Daily Bread. Aside from photos with Santa and a tour of the RiverQuarium, there will be a showing at 11 a.m. of the animated 1966 version of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" at the Imagination Theater.

The cost is $15 for both members and non-members. Reservations are strongly encouraged as walk-in availability will be dependent on the supplies available.

The RiverQuarium is located at 117 Pine Ave. For more information or to register, call (229) 639-2650.