Dad's day special at the Aquarium, some new hours, programs planned

Daryl Johnson of Cainhoy and his 2-year-old daughter Annabelle spent a few hours Friday at the South Carolina Aquarium watching fish and other creatures. The aquarium is offering a Father's Day special and is announcing new hours and interactive exhibits.

The South Carolina Aquarium will begin new operating hours, new interactive exhibits and a Father's Day special on Sunday.

The aquarium will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, allowing for seven daily education programs, which are included with general admission.

Dads will get in free Sunday with a coupon available at scaquarium.org and with a paying guest or a child.

Beth Nathan, the aquarium's public relations manager, said the hours changed to better serve visitors, especially during tourist season.

Sunday is a popular day at the aquarium.

"Someone might have company in town looking for one more thing to do right before they leave and hopefully they'll stop in here," Nathan said.

Some of the new exhibits include:

--10 a.m. — Animal Encounters: A Great Hall live-animal program in which visitors will learn about a "creature of the day." (This program also is offered at noon and 4 p.m.)

--11 a.m. — Fish vs. Wild: A Great Ocean Tank interactive dive show that will show guests what's needed to survive in the underwater world.

--1:30 p.m.— What in the Ocean is This? An ocean tank dive game show.

--2 p.m. — It's Not All Black & White: A penguin feeding featuring four Magellanic penguins.

--3 p.m. — Come to School in the Great Ocean Tank: An interactive dive show in which visitors learn about the aquarium's largest exhibit, holding 385,000 gallons of water.

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