Star-Spangled Spectacular at the National Aquarium
This September there’s an even better reason than usual to celebrate both our nation and our city! It's the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Francis Scott Key’s poem that was inspired by the War of 1812 and eventually became the national anthem we all know today.
To celebrate this milestone and flaunt our city, state and national pride, the National Aquarium has loaded up its summer schedule with special offers and exciting events—so get your calendar out, and start making plans!
September 10-16, 2014
On a scale of apple pie to Uncle Sam, the patriotism surrounding Baltimore’s Star-Spangled Spectacular ranks higher than a bald eagle wearing an American flag and dancing to Willie Nelson while drinking a craft beer. That’s off the charts, my friend. And we’re joining in on the fun!
Free Entertainment and Activities
During the weeklong commemoration, we’ll be offering free outdoor entertainment and activities for all ages right on our own Pier 4.
Additionally, from Friday, September 12, through Sunday, September 14, more free outdoor entertainment and interactive activities, including live music and special appearances from Captain Barnacles Bear and Kwazzi Kitten of The Octonauts will be available under the Pier 4 tent from 12 pm to 4 pm.
The Inner Harbor is playing host to more than 30 ships this week during the city’s Star-Spangled Spectacular, and you can catch two of them right here from the National Aquarium’s Pier 4! Scientists have traveled the globe aboard NOAA’s research vessel, the Okeanos Explorer, uncovering deep-sea mysteries and mapping the ocean floor.
And you can’t miss the USNS Choctaw County docked between Piers 4 and 5—with a 20,000-square-foot bay, this vessel makes even the Aquarium look small. The ships will be docked and offering tours all week, so be sure to climb aboard and explore during your visit.
Special Offer, $18.12/ticket
Thanks to Francis Scott Key, you'll have full access to the National Aquarium on Friday evenings for $18.12 per ticket. In honor of his poem and the Baltimore pride that inspired it, we're offering this special admission every Friday between 5 pm and 7:30 pm through October 3. (You're free to roam the exhibits until 9:30 pm.)
Why $18.12, you ask? It's a subtle nod to the War of 1812 and the role it played in our nation's history. What better way to honor Baltimore's inspirational past than spending the evening in the heart of the Inner Harbor where it all happened? Refreshments will be available for purchase, and admission includes a free scavenger hunt.
Celebrate 1 Year of Blacktip Reef!
On August 8, 2014, the National Aquarium celebrated its 33rd birthday and the first anniversary of the Blacktip Reef exhibit! Since opening, Blacktip Reef has become home to 779 animals, representing 70 different species including blacktip reef sharks, clown triggerfish, tasseled wobbegongs, humphead wrasse, stingrays, a green sea turtle and more. The 270,000-gallon exhibit replicates Indo-Pacific reefs and offers an up close and unique way to experience an environment of sharks and an endangered coral ecosystem without traveling thousands of miles or getting wet.
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