ALBANY — For those who have yet to take advantage of the “Twelve Days of Fishmas” at the Flint RiverQuarium, there is still time.
Holiday events are ongoing at the RiverQuarium through Dec. 21 as a way to help spread holiday cheer, even for the animals staying there. One such event is taking place today called “Ornaments for the Birds,” during which participants will be able to make edible ornaments for the birds at the facility’s Cypress Pond Aviary. The next event after that will be “Gifts for the Animals” on Dec. 14 for people to make gifts that will be utilized for enrichment purposes by the RiverQuarium’s inhabitants.
This will be followed by “Discovery Days — Merry Fishmas” from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. on Dec. 15 and “Tadpole Time” from 10 a.m.-11 a.m. on Dec. 18. Both are regular events with a holiday twist, with “Discovery Days” including crafts and games for the whole family and “Tadpole Time” being an opportunity for preschoolers and their caregivers to enjoy a story, craft and snacks. Reservations are required for the latter.
The festivities will rap up with “Gingerbread Houses” on Dec. 21, where people will have the chance to construct a take-home gingerbread house from graham crackers.
Meanwhile, there is an “Elf on a Shelf” contest ongoing through Christmas Eve — which is among the new additions to the RiverQuarium’s holiday festivities this year.
“We have an elf named Flint who gets into things at the RiverQuarium. We post a photo everyday (on social media), and every time someone likes or shares it they are entered to win a 2014 family membership,” said Wendy Bellacomo, marketing manager at the RiverQuarium. “There is still plenty of time (to participate).”
Among the earlier festivities included “Fintastic Day Camp” just before Thanksgiving, “Breakfast with Santa” on Nov. 30 and a members open house — and they have been successful so far in getting people in the door.
“(The response so far) has been good,” Bellacomo said. ” … We got a good response from ‘Breakfast with Santa.’ We try to do favorites, but we try to add new things. I think it’s going well.”
Meanwhile, there is a Christmas tree in the RiverQuarium lobby along with a few of the Santas from the Thronateeska Heritage Center’s Santa exhibit, Bellacomo said.
Aside from the “Elf on a Shelf,” the gingerbread houses and the animal gifts are among the new events. The remaining weekend events this year are being held at no extra charge with admission to the RiverQuarium. Tadpole Time requires a small fee for non-members, Bellacomo said.
“Saturdays are the busier days for the general public,” she said. “We try to cluster events on those days (so they can add) to the festive air … It’s not necessarily a great big money maker, but it’s new and different and a reason to come back.”
Those seeking more information about a specific event can call the RiverQuarium at (229) 639-2650.