The National Aquarium in Baltimore celebrates the holidays with the opening of the Marine Mammal Pavilion Wednesday.
A week of activities are planned for the opening. Events taking place outside at Pier 3 are free to the public. All entertainment inside the Pavilion is included in new Aquarium admission prices that go into effect Wednesday. The new prices are $10.75 for adults and $6.50 for kids 3 to 11; kids younger than 3 are admitted for free. To ring in the New Year, admission will be free for the first 1,991 visitors on Jan. 1. Hours on Jan. 1 are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; regular hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, except for Friday, when the Aquarium will be open until 8 p.m.
* At 10 a.m. Wednesday, Mayor Kurt Schmoke will cut the ribbon outside the new Marine Mammal Pavilion. The Potomac Brass Ensemble, choirs, church bells and a jingle bell chorus will provide music. The comedy team Disorderly Conduct will entertain outside the Aquarium from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pier 3.
* Dec. 27, the roving clown General Foolishness will perform from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. outdoors. Also outside, the Saints Philip & James Choir will sing from noon to 1 p.m. and Baltimore's Handel Choir will perform from 1 to 2 p.m. Inside, Billy B., "the Natural Science Song & Dance Man," will perform at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
* Dec. 28, Always Entertaining will present dancing, magic, fire-eating and face-painting outdoors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pier 3. Also outside, will be Ceanannas Mor, a children's Irish dance troupe, performing at 11 a.m. and noon. At 2 p.m. Jazz Text will perform. Indoors, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer will sing songs from their children's albums at 1 and 3 p.m.
* Dec. 29, Always Entertaining will perform from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. outdoors, along with the Metropolitan Men & Boys Choir at 10 a.m., and the Bethel A.M.E. Imani Messenger Choir at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. There will also be an ice sculpting exhibit from noon to 3 p.m. outside. Indoor entertainer will be Kevin Roth, playing dulcimer and singing at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.
* Dec. 30, the Aquarium's mascot Puffin and other costumed characters will be outside with Always Entertaining from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Sweet Adelines will follow with a performance at 11 a.m., and the Interfaith Community Choir will sing at 2:30 p.m.
* Dec. 31, a stilt-walker, Puffin and other costumed characters will roam Pier 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Be at the harbor at midnight for fireworks and a laser show of animated dolphins and whales on the side of the Aquarium choreographed to music.
* Jan. 1 is free admission day. There will be outdoor entertainment, featuring Disorderly Conduct, Puffin and clowns, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. On the more serious side, representatives from the Nature Conservancy and Maryland recycling centers will be present to offer tips on conservation resolutions.
Every day inside the Pavilion, 15-minute auditorium programs about fish and marine mammals will be offered from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Wednesday, when the shows begin at 11 a.m., and Dec. 28., when the shows close at 8 p.m.
The Aquarium's learning stations will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, except Dec. 26., when opening time for the stations is 11 a.m., and Dec. 28, when the stations close at 8 p.m.
Because the schedule of events is subject to change, please call the Aquarium at 576-3860 for more information.