The Aquarium of the Pacific Summons a Subdued ‘Scarium'

The event isn't a festival this year, but guests are invited to show up in costume at the Long Beach destination over a few lighthearted days.

Robin Riggs

What to Know

  • Oct. 23-25, 2020
  • Limited capacity; advance reservations are required
  • Outdoor areas are open; interior spaces remain closed

Halloween 2020?

You can say, for certain, the holiday is looking different. Quite different, indeed.

But it doesn't have to feel different, and by that we simply mean that the joy found in donning a costume is still real, even if how, where, and when you'll rock that costume has temporarily changed.

One place you and your kids can wear your vampire capes, witches' hats, and ghost get-ups, though? The Aquarium of the Pacific, which is inviting guests to dress up on Oct. 23, 24, and 25.

And there's no age limit here, so, for sure, families can rock that group costume, if they like.

This is the return of the Long Beach destination's annual Scarium of the Pacific, but it will be a more muted happening in 2020.

The interior areas of the aquarium remain temporarily closed, and capacity around the outdoor sections, which includes the Lorikeet Forest and Shark Lagoon, is limited.

But while the traditional tropes of a big festival will return down the road, dressing up is still encouraged.


The playful lorikeets will have pumpkins to munch, a seasonal sight for sure. (Also, the birds are incredibly colorful, as are pumpkins, of course, so be sure to snap some pictures of any marvelously messy dining moments you might encounter.)

Pretty pumpkins will also show up around the mudskippers and penguins, adding more fall flair to your visit.

And here's something happy and not haunting: "Islands is providing Kids Free Meal certificates each day of Scarium to the first 200 children in costume as they enter the Aquarium," says the institution.

Just make sure your holiday outfits are "family friendly," asks the aquarium, and again, you'll need to reserve your spot in advance.

Face coverings? Also important. Review the safety policies on the aquarium's site now.

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