Posts Tagged 'national aquarium washington dc'

Thoughtful Thursdays: DIY Green Holiday Decorations

From the mesmerizing experience of watching “Polar Express” in 4D to staff celebrations and special holiday enrichment activities for the animals, the holiday season is always an exciting time for us at National Aquarium.

Part of that excitement includes decorating! As part of our conservation mission, we are always on the look out for ways to use recycled and eco-friendly materials to create one-of-a-kind holiday decorations!

We’ve included the steps for some of our DIY favorites below:

Recycled Magazine Holiday Tree 


Old magazines
Glue (optional)
Glitter (optional)


  1. Fold the page of the magazine down to create a triangular crease

  2. Fold the triangle down again and then fold the tip of that page up so that it’s even with the bottom of the magazine
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until every page of the magazine is folded in
  4. If desired, use glue and glitter to decorate your magazine trees!

Paper Bows


Recycled paper (printer paper and old magazine/newspaper works best)
Double-sided tape


  1. Cut your paper into eight approximately one-inch wide strips (leaving one to the side)
  2. Loop the top half of the strip and secure to the middle of the strip with tape, loop the bottom half of the strip so to complete the “figure eight” shape
  3. Repeat step two for the remainder your strips
  4. Arrange the “figure eights” into a bow shape and secure together with a stapler.
  5. Loop the final strip (set aside earlier) and tape it in the center of the bow to cover the staple

3D Paper Snowflake 


Recycled paper cut into six squares (again printer paper and old magazine/newspaper work best)
Old ribbon or string (optional, for hanging)


  1. Gather your six square sheets of paper and fold each diagonally into a triangle
  2. Cut three lines in the triangle by positioning the scissors along the bottom fold, these cuts should be parallel to the top edges of the triangle and should leave some distance in the middle of the triangle (do not cut the paper all the way through)
  3. Once you’ve cut lines into each piece of paper, unfold them so that one of the points of the square faces you
  4. Roll the first two innermost paper lines together to form a tube. Place these two pieces together. You should see triangle shapes on either side of the role
  5. Turn the diamond over, take the next two paper lines and pull them together on the opposite side of the tube and tape together as before. This will be a more rounded shape than the first tube.
  6. Completing that pattern, join all the paper lines together on alternating sides until every “arm” of the snowflake has been completed
  7. Staple together the tops of three of the completed snowflake “arms”
  8. Staple the other three tops together
  9. Join the two halves of the snowflake by stapling together the tops of the snowflake
  10. Staple together where the “arms” of the snowflake meet each other, ensuring that the snowflake shape will stay in place
  11. If desired, loop a piece of ribbon or string through one of the snowflake “arms” and hang your snowflakes on doors, banners or windows!

Want to learn some other exciting eco-friendly holiday crafts? Join us for our holiday events, including our World Holiday Traditions celebration next Friday, December 7. We’ll be using recycled holiday cards to make notes to send to service members! 

Do you have a favorite eco-friendly holiday craft or decoration? Share them with us in the comments! 

A Message of Thanks to Service Members and Their Families

Every day, we give thanks to members of the military that help to protect our Aquarium family and our precious community. On this day, it is especially poignant to recognize those that have and continue to risk their lives for our safety and freedom.

Our Aquariums, located in the nation’s capital and in Baltimore, give us the unique opportunity to interact with a diverse group of military families, including those of our own Veteran staff members. In the last year, we’ve been so honored to take part in the Maryland Center for Veteran Education and Training program, employing service members and helping families get back on their feet.

We would like to extend an invite to all service members and their families to come visit us any day in Washington, DC and Baltimore with special admission rates:

In Washington: Military personnel members can display their identification to receive a discounted admission of $8.95

In Baltimore: So that we can offer a deeper discount, the National Aquarium provides discounted tickets to military bases in the region through our consignment ticket program. If you are in the service, we encourage you to check with your local MWR for discounted tickets for you and your family.

In recognition of Veterans Day, this Sunday our Washington, DC venue will be presenting any service members visiting a small token of our gratitude.

From all of us here at National Aquarium, thank you for all that you do!

Animal Updates – June 22

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constant changes, additions, and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we’re bringing them to you in our weekly Animal Update posts!

Check our blog every Friday to find out what’s going on… here’s what’s new this week!

New BLUE Lobster

As of earlier this week, National Aquarium, Washington, DC became the new home for Toby, a rare blue lobster found off the coast of Maryland. Toby’s particular blue hue is said to be a 1-in-2-million exception to the reddish-brown shade of most lobsters!

Toby, our new rare blue lobster

The lobster was caught last week by John Gourley on his fishing boat, the Pot Luck, near Ocean City, MD. Gourley decided to donate the lobster to National Aquarium, Washington, DC.

Although Toby is already at the Aquarium, he will not immediately be placed on exhibit due to standard precautionary measures regarding the safety of a new species. He will eventually be placed in our Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuaries exhibit, which currently houses three black sea bass and one tautog. We hope to have Toby on display by July 4.

According to the University of Maine Lobster Institute, Toby is blue due to a genetic variation that causes the lobster to produce an excessive amount of a particular protein. This characteristic is estimated to be present in every 1-in-2-million lobsters born.

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!

#FreshThoughts Twitter Contest!

We have a very special surprise giveaway for you today!

To help kick off our Fresh Thoughts Sustainable Dining Series 2012 season,  the National Aquarium is giving our Twitter followers the chance to win a pair of tickets to tomorrow night’s Fresh Thoughts dinner at our Washington, DC location by participating in a special #FreshThoughts Twitter Contest! 

From 9am EST through 3:30pm EST today, Tuesday, February 28, post a tweet telling us why you want to join for tomorrow’s dining event. A random entry will win two tickets to our Fresh Thoughts event tomorrow night, Wednesday, February 29, featuring Guest Chef Xavier Deshayes and a Louisiana-inspired menu of sustainable seafood!

Here are the instructions:
1) Follow the National Aquarium on Twitter at @NatlAquarium
2) Tweet us your reason why you’d like to attend tomorrow night’s Fresh Thoughts dinner to @NatlAquarium and include the hashtag #FreshThoughts

Need some inspiration? Click here to check out what Chef Xavier has planned for the four course meal – there are at least four reasons why you’d want to attend right there!

Click here to find out more about our Fresh Thoughts Sustainable Dining Series at our Washington DC location!

Contest closes at 3:30pm EST on Tuesday, Feburary 28, 2012. A winner will be announced at 4:30pm EST on Tuesday, Feburary 28, 2012. Entrants must be 21 or older to win. Winner and guest MUST be able to attend event. If selected winner is unable to attend, the National Aquarium reserves the right to pick a new winner.  

National Aquarium Featured on FOX 5

This past week, FOX 5 featured our Reptile and Amphibian Day! Check out reporter Annie Yu as she joins us at our Washington, DC, location for some fun animal interactions!

Although the event was held this past Saturday, February 25, you can come see these interesting reptiles and amphibians (plus sharks!) every day!

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