Halloween is just around the corner, and while the St. Lucie County Aquarium has been known for pulling off haunted décor in celebration of the fall holiday, that won’t be the plan this year.
“We wanted to try something a little different,” said Erin Lomax, the aquarium’s education specialist.
This year, the aquarium is being turned into a large escape room for one evening between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. for a handful of lucky participants – those who registered early enough to get one of 10 spots in each of the three-hour blocks.
Olivia Magee, a recent hire at the aquarium, is responsible for the escape room. Having been an escape room manager previously, she’s been tapped to create the unique experience.
Escape rooms are meant to be challenging experiences where a group of people have a specific amount of time to find clues and solve puzzles in order to unlock the door and escape. While many escape rooms are designed in a way to really challenge participants and operators live for stumping the customers, the aquarium’s escape room is much less intense.
“This is just for fun,” Lomax said, adding that the escape room aquarium could serve as an introduction for those who are intrigued by escape rooms but not quite ready for a more elaborate challenge.
“Our goal is not to stump anybody,” she said. In fact, her hope is that everyone will escape.
There is an environmental lesson to be learned during the event. Once learned … escape is possible.
Without giving too much away, Magee said visitors should pay particular attention to the various tanks.
“This is a really fun family activity,” Magee said, noting that guests ages 7 and up are welcomed and encouraged.
Lomax said the younger guests should be able solve most of the challenges, perhaps with just a little bit of help from the adults in the group.
“We don’t know exactly what to expect,” Lomax said of the overall escape room experience. “We just want to make sure everyone has fun.”
If it’s the success Magee and Lomax hope it will be, the aquarium could be converted into another escape room next year, perhaps with more hours or days to offer. This being the first time out, they didn’t want to overtax the staff and volunteers.
Spaces are limited and early registration is strongly recommended. A maximum of 10 people per hour-block will be allowed into the aquarium.
Ticket prices are $6 for adults and $5 for children (aquarium members pay just $5 for adults and $4 for children) and the program lasts for approximately 45 minutes. To reserve a spot, call 772-465-3271. The aquarium is located at 420 Seaway Dr., Fort Pierce.
From the St. Lucie County Aquarium:
The best way to keep up with what’s happening at the aquarium, including being the first to know about new programs, is to follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SmithsonianSMS.
The Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit is located in the St. Lucie County Aquarium at 420 Seaway Drive on South Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce. The Smithsonian Marine Station has teamed with St. Lucie County and other community partners to create this unique educational facility. The Exhibit is an outreach effort of the Smithsonian Marine Station, a branch of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. A fixture in the Fort Pierce community for more than 45 years, the Marine Station is dedicated to understanding the character and diversity of the marine and estuarine habitats of Florida. For more information, visit www.stlucieco.gov/Aquarium or call 772-462-3474.
The Smithsonian Marine Station teamed up with St. Lucie County and other community partners to open this unique educational facility in 2001. The Smithsonian Exhibit is an outreach effort of the Smithsonian Marine Station, a branch of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. A fixture in the Fort Pierce community for more than 40 years, the Marine Station is dedicated to understanding the character and diversity of the marine and estuarine habitats of Florida.