Fancy dress fun planned as pirates set sail for town

JPNS-29-06-12 DAYS OUT Pirates weekend rep jj
JPNS-29-06-12 DAYS OUT Pirates weekend rep jj
Picture: Shutterstock

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Ahoy there, matey! If you’re down by Southsea seafront this weekend you may get a shock as there will be buccaneering pirates and seafaring mutineers – if you’re lucky you may even catch sight of Captain Hook.

Taking time out from their swashbuckling adventures at sea, the pirates are taking over the Blue Reef Aquarium as part of Pirates’ Weekend.

Running tomorrow and Sunday, the staff at the aquarium will dress up in pirate costumes and any child who arrives in appropriate fancy dress will gain free entry, when accompanied by an adult.

Across the weekend there will be a range of activities on offer so that visitors can really get into the pirate spirit.

Across the two days there will be pirate-themed workshops, which includes activities for the children on how to make their own flag and learn how to tie a pirate’s knot.

There will also be the chance to learn about some of the real-life pirates of the ocean with a story telling session.

Afterwards, visitors can go on their very own special treasure tour of the aquarium.

The aquarium’s general manager, Lindsay Holloway, says: ‘Pirates’ Weekend is always one of the most popular events that we hold here – particularly with our younger visitors but also among the staff.

‘For most people the prospect of having to dress up would fill them with dread but our staff can’t wait to get out of their uniforms and into their pirates’ gear – they look forward to it all year round.’

The aquarium puts on the swashbuckling weekend twice a year.

Lindsay adds: ‘It’s always been great fun dressing up in the costumes and there’s a lot of scope as to what we can do with it.

‘It’s marine related too, so that links-in the aquarium and the seafront.’

The Blue Reef Aquarium has more than 40 living displays, including the giant tropical ocean tank, the predators tank and the spectacular living coral reef display. The displays include animals such as the giant octopus, jellyfish to sea horses, and otters.

At the aquarium’s heart is a giant ocean tank where an underwater walk-through tunnel offers close encounters with a tropical coral reef – home to hundreds of colourful fish.

Tickets for children (three-14 years) cost £7.50 (children dressed as pirates go free) and adults cost £9.75.

Senior and student tickets cost £8.75, a family of four costs £32.50, while a ticket for a family of five costs £39.25.

For more information on the event contact the Blue Reef Aquarium on (023) 9287 5222 or go to