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White tip reef shark
Whitetip reef shark

The Waikīkī Aquarium celebrates its 118th birthday on Saturday, March 19, and the public is invited to make a splash. Festivities will include presentations, arts and crafts, a beach cleanup and more. The Waikīkī Aquarium will also celebrate its birthday by planting 118 native coastal plants with Protect and Preserve Hawaii to raise awareness for coastal erosion.

“Since 1904, the Waikīkī Aquarium has worked to inspire and promote understanding, appreciation and conservation of Pacific marine life,” said Andrew Rossiter, director of the Waikīkī Aquarium. “We’re delighted to be able to gather safely to celebrate this incredible milestone with family-friendly activities.”

Waikiki Aquarium 118 birthday gold medal

Celebration schedule

  • 9 a.m.–1 p.m.—Leaf printing, shark crafts and educational presentations
  • 10 a.m.–2 p.m.—Beach Cleanup: registered participants can check in anytime between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in front of the aquarium to pick up a bucket and tools for cleaning up the surrounding parks and beaches. Register online.
  • 2–4 p.m.—Paint for Your Soul: guests can paint the aquarium’s two new whitetip sharks, Mozzarella and Pepper Jack

Late last month, the aquarium welcomed two new whitetip reef sharks to its Hunters on the Reef exhibit. Named for the distinctive white tips on their dorsal fins and upper tips of their caudal fins, whitetip reef sharks are not aggressive toward humans. Their slender bodies are specialized for wriggling into narrow crevices in the reef and extracting prey inaccessible to other reef sharks.

Limited-edition 118th anniversary shirts, an Adopt-An-Animal Tiger Shark package, and a new 118th medallion will also be available to purchase at the gift shop.

Aquarium admission is $12 for non-members; $8 for Kamaʻāina and military with ID; $5 for senior citizens and juniors ages 4 to 12, and free for children three and under and Friends of the Waikīkī Aquarium. Register for the beach cleanup. For more information, call (808) 923-9741 or visit

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