If you think marine animals are entertaining by day, just wait until you see them when the lights go out.
We visited the S.E.A. Aquarium at Resorts World Sentosa's Marine Life Park back in March this year - you can read our review HERE by the way - and monkies thoroughly enjoyed their time with the marine animals there. So when the chance came along for us to sleep alongside sharks, manta rays and loads of other colourful fishes, it was a no-brainer.
Ocean Dreams is the S.E.A. Aquarium's overnight immersive programme that allows families to stay over to learn more about marine life and other fun facts about the sea. Of course, the icing on the cake has got to be spending a night right inside the aquarium, bedding down with all the marine creatures in front of the Open Ocean Habitat.
Although the boys had previously visited the Museum, they were still intrigued by some of the exhibits thanks to the various game stations that the camp facilitators had set up.
All the games certainly worked up an appetite as we grabbed a quick dinner at the Fish & Crab Shack at the Museum.
We then went on a nail-biting adventure in the 360° multimedia Typhoon Theatre - a must-go if you are down at the museum. The show tells the story of a Chinese junk which runs into a nasty storm while delivering some cargo. Expect plenty of roaring thunder, flashes of lightning, and experience the full wrath of the storm which came complete with the occasional rain that came peppering down on us.
As we, together with the Chinese junk, sank to the bottom of the ocean, this was where our Ocean Dreams experience truly began. And if there is one thing I love about sleeping over at the S.E.A. Aquarium, it is because it allowed us to see the entire Aquarium without the crowds! Now that is a slice of heaven.
The Aquarium closes its doors to the public at 7pm (9pm on selected Fridays and Saturdays) so by the time we entered the premise, it was completely free of crowds. It certainly felt as if we had booked the entire place for our own pleasure!
For once, the boys could take their own sweet time to savour the various exhibits especially at the Discovery Touch Pool where they got to prod and feel Sea Cucumbers, Baby Sharks and Sea Stars. The latter is otherwise known as Starfishes. But we learnt that Starfish is actually the wrong term for them as they are essentially not fishes. So yes, even I learnt something new.
And that interesting tidbit was only one of the many things that all of us learnt during the 1.5 hour tour of the Aquarium with our Camp Facilitator.
I liked how the tour was a hands-on one, with various activity stations along the way. One had the kids learning more about learning more about dolphins while another had the them being tasked to match various foods to their respective marine creatures.
By 9.30pm, it was time for the coolest part: actually sleeping with the marine creatures.
We throw down our sleeping bags - those, along with blankets and towels are provided - in the Open Ocean Habitat, and get ready for a night with the fishes.
Only problem was - how on earth were we going to fall asleep with such an awesome view right in front of the World's Largest Aquarium?
Luckily for the boys, the perfect excuse to delay their bedtime a teeny weeny bit longer came in the form of a tiny night snack.
Erm, okay... so the night snack was not entirely small.
There are limited shower facilities should one chooses to smell good for the fishes. And after our chomping and washing up, I reckoned we were all good to snuggle in our sleeping bags and drift off to sleep.
Apparently, the boys had other ideas.
The boys had a ball of a time goofing away in front of the gigantic tank.
I attribute it to the alluring blue hue of our bedroom, together with its ever-changing wallpaper.
Come 11pm, it was lights out and all antics had to come to an end.
I, for one, couldn't complain as I finally had the chance to lay down, gaze at the shimmering schools of fish right in front of my sleepy eyes and fall blissfully asleep, surrounded by swirls of curious fishes.
Before I knew it, morning came.
And somebody definitely woke up on the right side of the
bed sleeping bag.
We washed up, had a quick morning snack and some surprise visitors!
Perhaps it was early in the morning, but the dolphins were in an extremely friendly mood!
A hearty breakfast at The Bay Restaurant at Adventure Cove Waterpark duly followed, which the boys devoured with great relish.
But we were not done yet. We got the chance to go onto the top portion of the Open Ocean Habitat aquarium tank and watch the manta rays feed! Unfortunately, no photos of our experience as the area is restricted access and no photography is allowed.
I have to say the boys (and me) thoroughly enjoyed the sleepover experience! Granted sleeping on the carpeted floor in sleeping bags was a first for the boys - and they admitted that they missed their comfy beds - but the overall experience of spending a night in an Aquarium definitely was an eye-opener. Considering a staycation nowadays cost about $350 and up, a family of 4 staying over at the S.E.A. Aquarium with full-board meals to boot, will be something out of the ordinary and will leave the kids talking about it for quite some time.
Ocean Dreams at RWS S.E.A. Aquarium
Next Available Dates: 6-7 Dec & 14-15 Dec
Time: 5pm - 11am (Following Day)
Adult (13 – 59 years old) - Non-members $158 | Members* $138
Child (6 – 12 years old) - Non-members $138 | Members* $118
Senior (60 years old & above) - Non-members $138 | Members* $118
Family Package (2 Adults + 2 Children) - Non-members $548 | Members* $468
*Only applicable to S.E.A. Aquarium and Adventure Cove Waterpark Annual Pass holders as well as RWS Invites® members. RWS Invites members will enjoy 3% rebate on the purchase.
Price includes: Admission to S.E.A. Aquarium within the stipulated hours of the programme, dinner, evening snack, morning snack, breakfast and GST. Sleeping bags, blankets and towels will be provided to all participants.
Participants can purchase discounted tickets to Adventure Cove Waterpark if they wish to continue their visit in the park after the Ocean Dreams programme.
Reservation Period: Reservations must be confirmed two weeks prior to scheduled event.
Reservations: Call +65 6577 7515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Terms & Conditions:
▸ Minimum age of participation is 6 years old.
▸ Participants below 21 years old must be accompanied by at least one adult.
▸ Bookings for participation in S.E.A Aquarium Ocean Dreams (“Programme”) are to be made at least 2 weeks in advance with full payment.
▸ Other terms and conditions apply.