Memorial Day Weekend Fun
at the Oregon Coast Aquarium

The weekend includes a birthday party for Max, the sea lion, a new “Ocean Today” exhibit and activities for the whole family

Newport, Oregon – The Oregon Coast Aquarium will offer something for the whole family Memorial Day weekend, including a 21st birthday celebration for Max, the sea lion, a new display called the Ocean Today Kiosk, and activities that make learning about the ocean and its inhabitants fascinating and fun. In addition, expanded summer hours begin Saturday, May 28, with the Aquarium opening at 9 am and closing at 6 pm.

Max the sea lion, who is celebrating his birthday in May, has been delighting Aquarium visitors for 21 years. A party will celebrate his birthday Saturday, May 28, a part of Memorial Day Weekend festivities at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. Photo by Cindy Hanson, Oregon Coast Aquarium.
The Ocean Today Kiosk, a dynamic and visitor-friendly display developed through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, will open Friday, May 27. The kiosk will promote ocean literacy through a multi-media experience to help visitors understand the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on the ocean. A dynamic interface comprised of ocean imagery, sounds and video clips, invites visitors to explore several content areas. When a visitor touches the screen, the content areas show the most recent information. Stories are developed and placed on a central server with daily updates on four topics; Ocean News, Ocean Life, Ocean Science & Technology and Recent Discoveries.

A birthday party for Max, the sea lion, will take place on Saturday, May 28 with live music, face painting, interpretive dives and special activities all day. Max, who is turning 21 years old, was born in May of 1990 at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. The only male in the pinniped exhibit, he is by far the largest. He is the darkest in color with a large thick neck. He is very vocal, often barking throughout the day and night. He spends time with all of the females, and can be seen laying his head on their backs and rubbing his nose on their necks.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium has taken steps to stabilize its financial status due to recent reduced tourism and attendance numbers. Because the Aquarium generates the vast majority of its income between May and August, it must maintain strong attendance each summer. However, last summer the Aquarium experienced weaker than expected attendance figures. “We believe the proactive measures we have taken will sustain us through the current economy and ensure that we will continue to give our animals the best possible care and offer our visitors the best possible experience,” said Aquarium President, Carrie Lewis. “We are looking forward to a great, energized summer full of activities, events and educational opportunities to inspire our visitors to care about the marine environment,” said Lewis.

In March the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) granted the Aquarium accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission. “Not all aquariums are the same. The Oregon Coast Aquarium is one of the best in the world because it has met the highest standards in the world,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “It takes hard work and dedication to meet Association of Zoos and Aquariums Accreditation Standards.”

Named one of the top 10 aquariums in the nation by a number of leading publications, the Aquarium receives no state taxpayer dollars and only a small amount of its budget from Lincoln County lodging taxes. Nearly all of its operating income is from admissions, memberships, donations, gift shop and restaurant profits.

Check out other things to do on the Oregon Coast and Oregon Coast Attractions

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