Scuba Santa

When I saw that Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium had a scuba-diving Santa Claus in their shark tank on select days as a part of their annual Zoolights display… guess what I said!

Now, we are lucky that we saw this at all.  The dive began at 6:30 pm.  We left our house at 4:20 pm.  In good traffic, it would take us 45-50 minutes to get to Tacoma and the zoo.  In bad traffic, 90 minutes.

We finally arrived at the gates of the zoo at 6:45 pm, only to learn that off-site parking was required (thanks for the notice, zoo!  There is NOTHING about this on your website!), and then we were going to have to wait in a very very very VERY long line to get on a school bus being used as a shuttle through the park to the zoo entrance.

My heart sank, and we decided to walk the half mile or so through the park (in the dark, with the Webmaster’s high-intensity flashlight for safety) instead of waiting another half hour (easily) for the bus ride.

When we arrived at the zoo entrance itself, it was 6:55 pm.  We went straight to the line to get into the South Pacific Aquarium to see the sharks.  Tad was more than happy to walk straight there, but was completely confused about the line.  He’s never had to wait to see sharks before!

But as I heard Santa saying “ho ho ho” over the speaker system, my spirits were renewed.  It was a Christmas miracle for Tad!

Santa swam about, an elf nearby, giving high-fives to kids through the glass.  Rerun was fascinated by the whole event.

The sharks were pretty nonchalant about the whole thing.

When Tad and I went back to the shark tank right before we left the zoo, we heard one of the zoo employees telling some guests that Santa’s dive is usually only 40 minutes long, but because of the crowds that were coming through, the dive lasted an hour and 20 minutes.  Merry Christmas to us!

Tad was thrilled to see his old friends again.

But the lights are the real stars of the show at the zoo.

It is beautiful to see, but hard to photograph.  The landscape is decorated with lights, and accented with animal shapes done up in lights – some of them animated.  We saw an orangutan swinging across a building, a bald eagle swooping down to catch a fish, and beluga whales waving at passersby.

And just because it’s cold and dark doesn’t mean you can’t sneak in a family photo!

It was pretty cold out.  We did have Auntie and her boyfriend JW with us to help with the crowd control, which was a BIG help.

The Webmaster likes the picture, but says we’re going to have to photoshop the sweatshirt.

Tad, my Christmas elf, loved the lights… but this was his favorite one of all.

I don’t think we’ll do this again – at least, if we do, we will be well prepared for what they DON’T tell you – but it was an experience the kids will remember!

2 Responses to “Scuba Santa”

  1. Aunt Lynda
    December 22nd, 2011 08:02

    I have seen so many people from Morton, even, that were going to Zoo Lights. Glad you made it!

  2. Nana
    December 22nd, 2011 08:05

    A Merry Christmas indeed!!