Aquarium of the Pacific

Riding the (Yule)tides: Santa Diver Visits the Aquarium

The Jolly Old Elf is visiting the Long Beach destination daily through Dec. 23.

Mauro_Scarone/Aquarium of the Pacific

What to Know

  • Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach; Santa Diver often appears in the Blue Honda Cavern but may appear in the Tropical Reef Habitat
  • Seeing Santa Diver is included with admission; the diver is appearing each day through Dec. 23, 2021 (between 12:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. weekdays and 2:45 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays)
  • Other holiday offerings around the aquarium include Kwanzaa decorations, a gingerbread display, and more

We're not exactly sure about the exact methods, practices, and procedures employed by Santa, given that the North Pole denizen likes to keep some of his sparklier secrets under velvet wraps, but one has to imagine that he has a few different outfits he favors.

There's the fancy, big-belt'd suit he dons when he delivers toys, and the kick-back-at-home flannel for nights by the fireplace, and there's the whimsical wetsuit he wears to the Aquarium of the Pacific, when he wants to savor a soggy plunge inside the institution's famous Honda Blue Cavern.

For the Jolly Old Elf isn't swinging by the Long Beach institution to deliver toys, but rather to colorfully commune with the critters that call the "142,000-gallon, three-story high exhibit" home.

And you can now wave at Santa Diver daily, for the famous figure is currently calling upon the massive, three-story tank, all to bring cheer to the humans watching on the dry side of the glass, and a bit of SCUBA-style companionship to the sea stars, moray eels, and fascinating fishies that live inside the cavern.

Those animals include giant sea bass, California sheephead, and a host of other oceanic icons, the sort of underwater beings that like to slurp on mussels, mollusks, and crustaceans.

Santa Diver, by the by, enters the water in a traditional red ensemble, and a hat, too, though we suspect that his suit may be rather more waterproof than the cozy outfit he rocks when circumnavigating the globe.

Something else you might see near Santa Diver? His trusty helpers, of course. If fishies will be fed during Santa Diver's appearance, his co-divers will often take the helm.

And, yes: There are no traditional velvet sacks to be seen under the waves, the kind that often hold toys, presents, and playthings, but rather the sort of pouches made for storing the slurpable foodstuffs fish like to eat.

Other ebullient doings are afoot at the Pacific-close destination, right through to Christmas Eve Eve 2021

So stop by, through Dec. 23, to see cute gingerbread-y sights, a display honoring Kwanzaa, places to snap seasonal pictures, and plenty of merry merch in the gift shop.

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