Ascarium: A Pirate Adventure at the New York Aquarium!

We are SO into Halloween festivities this fall- I am hoping we are able to make it down to New York City again for the Ascarium event!  Just enough spook to delight our littlest goblins without too much fright!! ascariumAscarium: A Pirate Adventure, brings a new thematic to the NY Aquarium as a part of this season’s Halloween celebration. A range of pirate themed, kid-friendly, not so scary experiences will be part of this year’s festivities to continue the tradition of providing Brooklyn and area families with a great destination for their Halloween celebration.


Ascarium combines the fun of this iconic holiday with the NY Aquarium’s mission of connecting people to wildlife. Ascarium will run the last three weekends in October (October 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28).

seals at ascarium

Haunted Seafari; The Tragic Tale of Captain Paul Looter

o   This year’s seafari adventure takes guests into the sunken ship of Captain Paul Looter, an awful pirate captain and a deep-sea criminal.  Guests will enter the quarters of Captain Looter, where he still guards his gold coins, gold objects and scores of treasures from beyond his watery grave. 

o   Our ship explorers then head into the Briny Brig, where our deteriorating devil crew are paying the cost for their pirating as well as their overfishing the waters and poaching some of the seas most magnificent, and endangered species.  They are egged on to exit the ship and have a few choices…will they WALK THE PLANK to their doom  Or will they head ON DECK?

o   Walking thru the Brig Portal…our treasure hunters will find the deck of the ship. Finally finding their way, our explorers are dumped onto the seashore, where all is NOT well.  The effects of Looter & his slimy crew have polluted this craggy-rocked landscape. But it seems that Captain Looter has learned his lesson. His ghostly image speaks to us to let us know that he realizes now – that treasures are not in gems or gold, but the greatest treasure of all is the marine life and clean water that support our planet and it inhabitants.

kids at ascarium

Location: Explore the Shore

Timing: 11:30am – 4:30pm

Pirate School!

Pirate School! is a madcap, swashbuckling one-man family vaudeville show created and performed by veteran New York physical comedian and actor David Engel. During Pirate School! the bumbling professor Billy Bones teaches youngsters how to be good pirates with zany lessons on how to stand, talk, sing and laugh like Buccaneers, skulls talk, cutlasses drop and pets run amok. And there’s marine conservation information incorporate as part of the programming. Ultimately Pirate School! aims to satisfy children’s universal curiosity about the briny Buccaneers of yore while subtly boosting their self-esteem and pro-social skills by prompting them to be more empathetic, responsible, courageous Corsairs.

Location; Seaside Pavilion

Timing; October 13,14,27,28

11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm


Musical Performance

The Brigands, a four piece musical group performing period pirate and nautical related music, will be the featured musicians. Their performances will include songs, ballads and fiddle tunes from roughly 1680 onwards, from the Golden Age of Piracy, thru the Tall Ships era right up to modern day with songs from virtually every Pirate movie ever made.  Program will be screened to assure that the Aquarium’s message of conservation is maintained, and any songs from the whaling period will not mention harvesting of marine life. The program will include many audience participation songs, suitable for general audiences and families. Dancing Pirate Gypsies will accompany through dance and encourage audience participation.

Location;   Seaside Pavilion

Timing; 11:30am, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm


The Sea Gypsies: Dancing Pirate Gypsies

There is a long history of gypsies dancing for pirates when they came to shore. Gypsy women would often marry pirates and chose a life at sea. Our gypsy dancers will not only dance while the Brigands play but will perform independently. The Dancing Pirate Gypsies will perform a number of different dances –  each have a different theme and prop relevant to the pirate gypsy theme, example: pirates swords and fans, Romani gypsy festival dance. Audience participation is encouraged.

Location: Plaza

Timing: 11:00am, 12:30pm, 4:30pm



Spooky Pirate Storytelling, Mindreading and Juggling

Astounding Pirate Feats

Join Pirate “Mad” Dudley McMudd as he uses audience suggestions to create a percussive, chilling, ear-shattering sea shanty about piracy, the high seas and the marine life that inhabits it. Then watch him risk life, limbs and his reputation with amazing feats of juggling, mind-reading and balancing a dangerously dirt-ridden Mud Pie!

Location: Plaza

Timing: October 13, 14, (no performance 10/20, 21) 27,28  12:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm

Pirate Tales

Join Pirate “Mad” Dudley McMudd as he uses audience suggestions to create a frighteningly spooky,  fun-filled tale about piracy, the high seas and the marine life that inhabits it.  Then watch him risk life, limbs and his reputation with amazing feats of juggling, mind-reading and balancing a dangerously dirt-ridden Mud Pie!

Location;  Seaside Pavilion

Timing; October 20,21  Only –11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm

Pirate Games of Skill

2 Pirate Games of Skill will be available for guests to test their pirating abilities. They include the Sink the Armada Cannonball Toss and a Pirate Ring Toss.

Location: Ocean View Room

Timing: 11:30pm – 4:30pm

Discover Creatures of the Deep

Get under the microscope and learn about SKELETON shrimp, discover the facts about VAMPIRE squids, GOBLIN sharks and more.

Location: Ocean View Room

Timing: 11:30am – 4:30pm

Pirate Crafts

Guests will be able to create their own unique Haunted Pirate Ship Wall Hanging Collage. Using their imagination they can create the ship and the sails along with cut out marine animals such as a sea jelly, a shark, along with decorations of the season.

Location: Seaside Pavilion

Timing: 11:30am – 4:30pm

4-D Theater –  Curse of Skull Rock

Location: 4-D Theater

Times; As scheduled

Treat Stations (11:00am – 4:00pm)

Location: Ocean View Room

Kids can engage in safe trick-or-treating activities in the park.

Information provided to me by PR as part of my Ambassadorship with the Bronx Zoo. 

About the author: I’m a 30-something mom to three, brand ambassador. content creator, social media maven, blogger extraordinaire, earth lover, butcher, baker, candlestick maker (or something along those lines) – love word games, crafting, cake decorating or shooting pictures.

12 comments… add one
  • I love the Halloween Happening in NYC!! I just wish they were a little more affordable!
  • Gypsies & sunken treasure ships!!!! Those are wonderfully unique things any young boy would love!!!!Loving this!!!!
  • It sounds like so much fun, I will have to use some means of teleportation, to get to New York.
  • That does sound fun and educational. I've always loved the aquarium.
  • I have been to many aquariums-- and if anyone is coming to CA. The Long Beach Aquarium is the BEST I have ever been to!
  • Very Interesting And Wallet Friendly .!!! Hopefully It Opens Kids Minds.
    • Wow I am planning to take my granddaughter and she just loves Aquarius I add no Idea New your add this Thank you for sharing.
  • I haven't gone to the Ny Aquarium in so many years. This make me want to return.
  • Oh how my kids would have loved this. Too bad I didn't live closer to the exhibit.
  • Aw man such cool events, we gotta move to NY! The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is pretty nice but didn't have anything like the Ascarium event :(
  • This looks like a really fun day trip! I'm going to plan on going next year, for sure!!
  • Sounds like loads of fun for the kiddos.

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