“Ghosts Of The Forest” Will Welcome Guests To AquaScarium

Thursday, October 19, 2017 - by Thom Benson

As they wander through Lemur Forest on Oct. 27, guests to the AquaScarium Halloween party at the Tennessee Aquarium will find their steps watched from above by creatures with a cute-but-eerie appearance. The new exhibit’s namesake residents have eyes that seem to glow in the dark and furry faces that appear to be wearing masks.

In their native Madagascar, Red-ruffed, Ring-tailed and other lemur species are frequently referred to as “Ghosts of the Forest” courtesy of their eerie vocalizations, which fill the island nation’s wildlands with unusual — sometimes spooky — echoes.

“The first time our guests hear our Red-ruffed Lemurs barking and howling, they’re a bit shocked,” says Chelsea Feast, one of the Aquarium’s lemur experts. Feast, who recently visited Madagascar, says even the Ring-tails make sounds that could be a bit unsettling if you heard them in the dark. “They make a sound that’s a bit like a cat mewing. It probably sounds pretty strange to most people the first time they hear it.”

AquaScarium will get off to a howling good start at 4 p.m. this year. There will be trick-or-treat stations throughout both buildings with activities like the Monster Mash dance floor spilling out onto the Aquarium Plaza. Face-painters, costumed SCUBA divers, pirates, mermaids and special animal encounters await families during this night of fun.

AquaScarium continues until 8:30 p.m., well past the Aquarium’s normal 6 p.m. closing time. Exploring the Aquarium after hours is always a treat, but it’s especially exciting when you have the opportunity to meet a mad scientist or pose for pictures with a costumed Aquarium mascot along the way.

Families are encouraged to come dressed for the season. A large part of the fun is seeing the creative costumes that others are sporting.

The Tennessee Aquarium’s AquaScarium is a spirited, safe Halloween party for all ages, but younger guests must be accompanied by an adult. Aquarium members and their children can attend at a discounted rate of $8. Non-member tickets are $40 for adults and $30 for ages 3-18. All tickets include admission to both Aquarium buildings and includes AquaScarium activities like face painting.

Aquarium family memberships are available for $175 and include year-long unlimited daily admission for two specified adults and five unspecified children ages 18 and under. Aquarium members also enjoy reduced admission to special events, such as AquaScarium, fall color cruises, and IMAX films. Some special events, such as Caroling with the Fishes on Dec. 3, are free for Aquarium members. www.tnaqua.org/members

To pre-purchase AquaScarium tickets online, visit https://community.tnaqua.org/events/member-programs/fall/2017/aquascarium. Tickets also will be available at the door.

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