The New England Aquarium’s Fish, Fun, & Fright Night (or, how museum-type memberships are a way better investment than some crappy old IRA)


Fish Fun and Fright Sign

Whenever we visit the New England Aquarium, I always tell Wendy and the kids that my favorite fish are the ugliest, scariest looking ones.  I know I say this every time because every time we go to the aquarium Wendy sighs and says, “I know.  You say that every time we’re here.”  Now that I think about it, she says that in more places than just the aquarium…

Piranha.  The deadliest fish in this picture.
Piranha. The deadliest fish in this picture.

Water creatures are like monsters.  There’s a reason something as innocuous as dead, floating oarfish were confused with monstrous sea serpents by the sailors of ye olden times.  We’ve got horrifying movies about giant sharks, piranhas, airborne sharks, barracuda, swamp sharks, angry whales, mako sharks, giant octopi, and, um, more sharks.  So it makes perfect sense for the aquarium to team up with Halloween.  Hell, I’m scared right now just thinking about fish – all slimy and cold and bitey and such.

Lionfish.  The deadlist fish you've seen since you saw that piranha a second ago.
Lionfish. The deadlist fish you’ve seen since you saw that piranha a second ago.

Anyway, the aquarium had a cool event last Friday night called Fish, Fun, & Fright and we went.  The whole place was decked out in Halloween-y splendor.  The staff and almost all the visitors were in costume.  They had trick or treating set up at stations where staff handed out candy from cauldrons to the kids.  There was a costume contest.  It was a blast.

Someone came dressed like a jellyfish.  And jellyfish are the deadliest kind of jelly in this whole picture.
Someone came dressed like a jellyfish. And jellyfish are the deadliest kind of jelly in this whole picture.
The Giant Ocean Tank was full of jack-o-lanterns.  For the fish to maim.
The Giant Ocean Tank was full of jack-o-lanterns. The fish in this picture was eating the jack-o-lantern’s brains out through the hole it had bitten through the back.  That’s some serious Halloween there.

See?  Doesn’t that look like scary, scary fun?

Anyway, the thing was only open to aquarium members.  The aquarium isn’t the only place around that gives members steep discounts, first dibs, or exclusive admission to cool events.  The Museum of Science has events like the museum overnights and the Museum of Fine Arts has special member events, too.  The point here being that, in addition to saving serious money on admission (and reciprocal admissions when you travel – we got into the Pink Palace museum in Memphis, Tennessee for free last month), there’s a lot of fun to be had by getting yearly memberships to places.  For a family of 4, they usually pay for themselves after just a couple of visits and they open up the door to being able to just stop in for an hour whenever you happen to be in the area, which is nice.

Takeaways:

– If you’re about to drop 100 bucks to get your family into a place, go ahead and pony up the extra 75 and get in as often as you want.

– Fish are cold-blooded, pumpkin-brain-eating, creepy-awesome monsters.

Question:

Any ideas of other places that are worth getting memberships?  I’ll vouch for the New England Aquarium, Zoo New England, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum of Science, but I’m always on the lookout for new deals.

Disclaimer:

In the interests of fairness to fish, I’d like to add that marine life is a vital part of the Earth’s ecosystem and should be treasured, not feared.  So don’t go trying to drive a wooden stake through any of their cold, slimy fish hearts.