Sticking a Santa hat on a stingray is not advisable -- also, it might slide right off, what with the shape of the stingray and the shape of the Santa hat -- but you can still mark the merriment of the yuletide season at the Aquarium of the Pacific in a festive manner.
First up? Discounted late-night admission flaps its fins on Friday, Dec. 26, and for several more season-sweet nights, including Dec. 28, 29, 30, Jan. 2, and 3. But don't let the "late" in the late-night admission make you yawn: The deal actually starts at 5 p.m. and wraps up at 8:30 p.m.
Will people get in even if they pay the amount of a kid's admission, during those hours and on those dates? That's a shark-big yes. Will SoCalers show with their out-of-towners, people who may not live near massive oceans, meaning they'd enjoying seeing creatures of a crustacean, piscine nature?
You know this is so: The Pacific Ocean, and its denizens, is often the reason visitors alight in Southern California, even if we fib to ourselves and say we're the reason for their trip out. (Maybe they want to see us, too, in addition to jellyfish and otters.)
What to do, where to go and what to see
Is it neato being at the aquarium when darkness falls? Yes, and don't you dare counter us on "neato": Spying spindly beasties and critters that rock gills are made for nighttime viewing.
And speaking of nighttimes, the Long Beach institution is throwing an ever-popular, make the kidlets way, way excited with anticipation Family Sleepover. That's on Sunday, Dec. 28, there shall be pizza and snacks and cereal for breakfast, there shall be a chance to touch "sharks, sea stars, and sea jellies," there shall be a chance to join in the feeding of fish, there shall be learning (yay, learning!), and there shall be the knowledge that while you're busy dreaming, some underwater denizens are living La Vida H20 very close by.
Cool stuff, and a nifty way to round out the year. And please don't counter us on "nifty"; it is a word that nicely applies to interesting, idea-growing experiences such as sleeping inside an aquarium.
Whoa: Sleeping inside an aquarium. Will this be your young'un's first Show-and-Tell topic of 2015? Best take plenty of photos for the classroom presentation.