If you have kids, or you recollect your own youth quite clearly, you know that sleepovers are the realm of the fantastic, and the tall tales later told may or may not hold water.
A ghost was seen, this one cat walked on two legs, someone at the party sang in their sleep, everyone ate pancakes at 3 in the morning. True? Fudged a little? Who can say?
We can say that the stories told after the Aquarium of the Pacific's upcoming sleepovers will hold water, though, and lots of it. When your child says they snoozed just feet away from a shark, or that they waved at an otter while wearing pajamas -- the child, not the otter -- you can count on those stories being very much grounded in reality.
The reality, though, is that the Long Beach ocean institute only opens its doors to overnighters a few times a year. Spots get booked, fast, as fast as a marlin cuts through surf.
The upcoming Winter Sleepovers at the aquarium fall into two categories -- one for teens ages 13 to 15, and one for families -- and the respective dates are Monday, Dec. 28 and Friday, Jan. 8.
You won't cuddle up with a crustacean when you go night-night, but families at the Jan. 8 event "will have an up-close encounter with one of the Aquarium's Magellanic Penguins, discover cold water habitats, and learn about plankton and bioluminescence." Likewise, fun 'n fishtastic learning is also the order of the night for the teen sleepover, too, with a flashlight tour on the schedule, on that's all about bioluminescent "treasure."
Every good sleepover needs its comestible component, and the chowing down portion of the nights and mornings will include snacks, cereal, and pizza. Did you think you'd be thrown some urchins and mussels as you barked and slapped your fins together, in excitement? Well, you're welcome to do the latter, if that's your jam, but know that pizza and cereal will be coming your way, and not cold-water, in-the-shell treats, the kind that the aquarium residents eat.
There's some stuff to know, like ages (5 and up for the Family Sleepover) and costs and what to bring and all that. But that's Sleepover 101, right? You'd never venture over to someone's house without asking a few questions first. Get updated on all the details here.
And dream of the tales you'll tell later, about how you blinked awake to find a grouper looking at you, or how you awoke to see a snoozing otter or two, tucked up in the otter area.
Do otters snooze, though? Of course they do, even though we usually see them twirling and gnawing and engaging in frenetic activity. An overnight at the Aquarium of the Pacific allows parents and kids to ponder what our ocean's denizens do after dark, and how the Big Water is alive with activity even as we landlubbers yawn and turn in.