Join us as we celebrate the wonderful world of cephalopods. Squid, octopus, cuttlefish, and their cousins have been around since before the dinosaurs and have shaped the oceans we know and love today. Dive into the world of cephalopods with hands-on activities, crafts, scientists, authors and more!
October 20 and 21, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
During Cephalopod Celebration, guests will learn how these amazing creatures have shaped the oceans we know and love today. The event includes hands-on activities, a scavenger hunt, crafts, and encounters with live and preserved creatures, as well as readings by guest authors.
And for the first time ever, Birch Aquarium is offering a Behind-the-Scenes Octopus Encounter where guests will have the opportunity to engage with the aquarium’s charismatic Giant Pacific Octopus. Each one-hour encounter is limited to six guests and includes personal interaction with members of the aquarium’s Education and Husbandry teams as well as with the Giant Pacific Octopus. This activity is now waitlist only.
Scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography will display rare cephalopod specimens from the Scripps Oceanographic Collections, and cephalopod scientists will be ready to answer questions about their multi-armed and tentacled subjects.
Henry Herz, children’s fantasy and science fiction author, will present an interactive storytime with his break-out hit Little Red Cuttlefish and upcoming release How The Squid Got Two Long Arms. Herz will hold storytime at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Saturday October 20 and will also be available for signings. His books will be available for purchase at the Gift Shop.
Children's book illustrator Diana Schoenbrun will have an interactive story time on Sunday presenting her brand new book Take Your Octopus to School Day. Diana Schoenbrun will hold storytime at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Saturday October 20 and will also be available for signings. Her book will be available for purchase at the Gift Shop.
October 22 at 7 p.m.
Acclaimed author and PhD Danna Staaf rounds out the celebration with a Monday evening lecture and signing. Her popular book, Squid Empire, is an epic cephalopod adventure spanning hundreds of millions of years, from the marine life of the primordial ocean to the calamari on tonight’s menu. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and guests are encouraged to explore the aquarium and engage with the aquarists who help care for our cephalopods every day.
Books by all guest authors are available in the Birch Aquarium Gift Shop. Those who purchase Squid Empire at the Gift Shop (in person or by phone) receive priority seating during the event.
Most Cephalopod Celebration events are included in Birch Aquarium admission. The Behind-the-Scenes Octopus Encounter and Squid Empire lecture require separate tickets.