Feeling a tad footloose and fancy-free when the typically slower days of the end of December arrive is a sensation many people know. Especially, of course, if they've traveled to see family or taken a few days off from work and have a few more spare hours to blithely shape.
But if you feel less footloose and more finloose, there is a way to address that particular sensory experience, too: By calling upon the water, or a watery place, to commune with the critters of the ocean.
And the weeks just after Christmas are particularly finloose around the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. The aquatic institution, which is home to frolicksome otters, straight-from-the-cosmos moon jellies, and touchable sharks, is lowering admission nearly every evening from Monday, Dec. 26 through Saturday, Jan. 7.
Note that there are a couple of nights that this doesn't apply — Dec. 31 and Jan. 2 — so start building your evening with the eels on the 27th, or 28th, or Jan. 4, or... you peruse the whole line-up of nights and see what fits best with your (fingers crossed) freer schedule.
What will you spy during the three-hour events, which last from 5 to 8 o'clock? You might gently graze your fingertips across the slick back of a shark, or keep a close eye on a crab, or practice saying "anemone" as you watch the resident anemones open and close.
So, what's the discounted admission for this three-hour, post-sundown, fish-focused jamboree? It's $14.95.
Do note that the beloved Lorikeets, those rainbow-hued, hand-sitting birds, are in beddie-bye during the Discounted Late Nights, so don't go bird-calling from them. Let them don their little caps and fly off the dreamland. (Note: Lorikeets don't really wear caps come evening, though we sort of wish they would.)
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It's a-ok, too, to feel finloose instead of footloose, no matter what the date on the calendar says (though holiday weeks do, as a rule, encourage the fine feeling).
After all, admitting you're finloose is simply to say you have an affection for the ocean, and its vast plethora of residents, and you'd spend an hour or two with them if you could find an hour or two to spend.
Find that hour or two over the next couple of weeks, in the evenings, and let loose at the Long Beach gem.