You can take a deep dive into the holiday magic at the Vancouver Aquarium

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The holidays have arrived with a splash at the Vancouver Aquarium, where their Sea of Lights festive programming is underway from now through January 6, 2019.

You and your loved ones can take a deep dive into the magic of the season thanks to some cheery additions to the venue, from an “electric eel” powering a sparkling tree to a new hands-on exhibit that’s all about Bubbles. Plus, you can help Scuba Claus on an underwater “naughty or nice” mission.

Photo courtesy Vancouver Aquarium

The Aquarium loves to decorate for the holidays, which means their tank of shimmering small white jellyfish turns into in a real-life snow globe–the perfect backdrop for fun seasonal snaps. Be on the lookout for the mischievous “Mistle Toad” hanging around the place, waiting for you to land beneath him and give your kiddo or honey a kiss.

Head downstairs to the Dolphin Gallery to find the new exhibit “Bubbles,” by Tanglible, where you can enjoy the interactive experience of playing with larger-than-life bubbles and their magical movements. Bubbles is the newest creation by the award-winning Vancouver-based design firm Tangible who, since 2006, has been creating public artworks and interactive light installations for audiences around the world. Canadian-born composer Adam Lastiwka created the soundscape for the installation.

Photo courtesy Vancouver Aquarium

Up in the 4-D theatre, sit back and enjoy the classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, complete with seat-shaking fun, gentle sprays of snow, and the whisking wind–definitely not how you might experience this holiday favourite at home! There are frequent showings throughout the day – every hour on weekdays, every half hour on weekends starting at 11:15 a.m. daily.

And of course, the jolly man in red himself trades his sledding suit for scuba gear. Scuba Claus takes the plunge and needs your help to figure out if his aquatic friends on his merry list have been naughty or nice. See Scuba Claus don his flippers and dive with the colourful cold-water creatures at 12:30 p.m. daily until Dec. 24 in the Strait of Georgia habitat.

Photo courtesy Vancouver Aquarium

Lastly, as you “exit through the gift shop,” take some time to do some holiday shopping from their thoughtful inventory of ocean-friendly items. Purchases here support the conservation of marine life, reduce single-use plastic consumption and ocean plastic pollution, and encourage sustainable seafood harvesting practices. Check out their new travel mugs or portable kids cutlery kids, as well as an array of colourful gear for kids and grown-ups alike.

Photo courtesy Vancouver Aquarium

Sea of Lights at the Vancouver Aquarium

When: Now through Jan. 6, 2019 (Scuba Claus is there through Dec. 24)
Where: Vancouver Aquarium – 845 Avison Way, Vancouver

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome. A fifth generation Vancouverite, she was previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of LAist.com. Lindsay grew up in Vancouver and Toronto, then spent over 20 years in Los Angeles, where ahe earned her Masters in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com