Happy Birthday to the UK’s largest aquarium! @NMAPlymouth

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NMA Outside

Did you know there has been a public aquarium in Plymouth since 1888?

Initially located at the British Marine Biological Association on Plymouth Hoe, in 1998 a new, much larger aquarium was built in the Barbican district. This of course is the National Marine Aquarium situated on the coast of Britain’s.

Ocean City. As they’re celebrating their 20th birthday in May with loads happening over the next few months, we thought it a great time to take a closer look at the charity and tourist attraction that we all know and love.

The National Marine Aquarium was the first aquarium in the UK to be opened as a charity solely dedicated to education and conservation of the marine environment. The Aquarium’s mission is to connect people with our Oceans and since opening its doors the NMA has been focused on this aim and this year is no different.

They are the largest public aquarium in the UK welcoming around 300,000 visitors to their charity each year. Above their public visitors they welcome 30,000 school students who engage with their innovative Schools Learning

Programme, not only in the Aquarium, but through their outstanding outreach programme around the South West. This year that Outreach programme has gone national with new hubs teaching in Newcastle and Cardiff.

Their awe-inspiring exhibits within the Aquarium showcase some impressive stand outs including the UK’s largest and deepest tank, the UK’s largest single viewing panel and the UK’s largest native exhibit.

From tiny jellyfish to massive sharks they’re home to marine life from all over the globe. They provide an environment that intrigues, inspires and motivates visitors to engage with their conservation messages and do their bit to help protect the marine environment.

Special events to celebrate their 20 Years

To celebrate their 20th birthday year the National Marine Aquarium are holding more events than ever before.

Not only are they holding their usual family holiday themes, school activities and VIP Behind the Scenes tours, this year they’re focusing on showcasing the fantastic work the charity does by involving and supporting their community as much as possible.


20 Birthday Beach Cleans

What better way to celebrate twenty years of Ocean conservation than with 20 extra beach cleans, one for each year they’ve been open. These birthday beach cleans take place each weekend starting back in March and happening all the way till June. All are welcome to join the Aquarium’s fantastic Host team and get involved on beaches all over the South West including Mount Batten, Bovisands, Bantham, Bigbury and of course Teats Hill right on the Aquarium’s doorstep. Not only will they tidy up rubbish found on the coast line but anyone who joins them can get involved in exploring the local area and ask the Hosts any questions.

As seen in the news and in such programmes as Blue Planet 2, plastic waste is currently a huge issue in our Oceans. Research suggests that there’ll be more plastic than fish in the Ocean by 2050 and because of this the NMA is doing its part to prevent this and cement its vision of a world supporting health Oceans to sustain all life.


NMA’s birthday Boat Trip

In case you’ve missed it, the National Marine Aquarium have launched their brand new NMA Boat Trips for 2018 and to celebrate their twentieth birthday they’re holding a special NMA Boat Trip on Saturday 19th May.

These new boat trips explore Plymouth Sound like never before. Guided by the Aquarium’s Marine Experts, these trips give families a chance to connect with our Oceans through engaging and interactive moments during the hour long tour. All are welcome to attend and explore the fascinating nature and history surrounding Plymouth’s local waters.

This extra special NMA birthday boat trip tour will take you from Sutton Harbour, home of Plymouth Fisheries, all the way out to the Breakwater and then back via Drake’s Island. You’ll learn about the fantastic history of Plymouth Sound whilst keeping an eye out for any incredible animals which might be encountered in the sky or sea. Learn about the amazing habitats in our local waters and discover what makes Plymouth Britain’s Ocean City.

May Half Term

This May Half Term the National Marine Aquarium will be focusing on what its achieved in its history with a 20th birthday celebratory theme! This is a massive event for the Aquarium – there can only be one 20th birthday after all.

The whole building will be decorated for a week-long party including a family trail telling the history of the NMA. They’ll have birthday crafts and shows throughout the day. Plus, their VIP Behind the Scenes Tours which give an insight into how they care for all 4000 animals, will be running every day at 11:00. It’s sure to be a blast!

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Sleeping with Sharks Birthday Sleepover

The Aquarium’s world-famous Sleeping with Sharks Sleepovers are getting even bigger and better in 2018. They’re holding a special Big Birthday Sleepover on June the 1st!

During these famous and award-winning sleepovers attendees discover what happens to the underwater world at night. It’s an unforgettable experience ideal for parties, group bookings and family memories.

This special birthday Sleepover will involve a VIP twilight tour of the Aquarium, birthday arts and crafts in their creative zone, special games, tasty snacks and no sleepover would be complete without watching a fi lm in front of their giant Eddystone exhibit! To fi nish up a tasty breakfast provided in their Waves Café. This one is bound to be an incredible night!

Big birthday bash!

There will be an extra special birthday night happening on Saturday 30th June. This ticketed event will be open to the public to visit the Aquarium with face painting, party games and more.

For more information on all the National Marine Aquarium’s birthday plans and events head to their website www.national-aquarium.co.uk



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