The Sleeping with the Sharks program lets your kid sleep overnight in front of a huge glass aquarium while watching the nocturnal beings at night in Aquaria KLCC.
Have you ever had a sleepover with your friends? It’s fun, right? But have you ever had a sleepover with sharks? Bet you haven’t!
Imagine, sleeping soundly under the blue ocean, with a plethora of underwater creatures flapping their fins and doing their bedtime routine while watching you.
Honestly, it’s a majestic feeling.
Aquaria KLCC brought back Sleeping With The Sharks in conjunction with their Shark Awareness Day on 14 July with pre-school students from Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Permaisuri, Cheras. The launch was officiated by Aquaria’s Managing Director Datuk Simon Foong and celebrated with skits from Ocean Man and Upin & Ipin.
Shark Awareness Day is aimed to dispel the fear and misinformation surrounding sharks, raise awareness of the threats these awe-inspiring predators face, and their importance in maintaining a healthy ocean.
During the underwater show, the Ocean Man performed some skits underwater, narrated by Upin & Ipin, explaining informative commentary on man-made threats to sharks such as plastics and loss of habitat, and highlighting Ocean Man’s efforts to save sharks from these threats.
I had the chance to experience the sleepover with 20 kids from the school and here’s how it went down.
Yes, you sleep with the sharks, literally
Sleeping With The Sharks is a one-night sleepover program for kids from the age of 5 to 15 to experience. And as the name entails, you sleep beside the sharks, with a sturdy glass wall separating you and the apex predator.
There are around 30 sharks of 6 species in their big ocean tank but no worries, the sharks there are well-fed with premium food already, so they don’t see your kids like walking little fish fingers.
The Sleeping With The Sharks program was so popular previously that Aquaria KLCC hosts them every two weeks or so before the pandemic hit. They had to stop the program for a few years due to COVID-19 and now, they’re resuming the sought-after educational activity again.
Usually, schools or pre-schools would send a minimum of 20 kids or a maximum of 30 kids to the program, along with their teachers to observe them. Sleeping bags and food are provided and they will all receive exclusive Sleeping With Sharks Merchandise too. The kids each had a little fluffy shark dangling from their bags while they walk in straight lines, which was adorable.
Exciting educational activities
For the sleeping arrangement, they’ll spread out a big mat in front of the Aquatheatre at night and provide each person with a fluffy sleeping bag. Most sharks and other creatures love the spot at the Aquatheatre so you’re not missing out on much if you didn’t go through the tunnel.
But for the explorers out there, the kids can go and explore the tunnel for themselves too at night but they wouldn’t recommend sleeping there for safety reasons (conveyer belt and no ventilation at night).
But rest assured, the kids would always be in the care of the Aquaria’s facilitators and they wouldn’t let a single kid out of sight.
In the tunnel, you can witness the stingrays racing past each other, the eels ‘snoring’ with half of their bodies hidden under the rocks, a shoal of colourful fishes ‘dancing’ in unison, and turtles just finding a good spot to relax. Most of the underwater creatures there are nocturnal, so kids can actually see how they behave and play at night. We also saw two Tawny Nurse Sharks being too cuddly with each other, each trying to impress their mate.
The activities can be customised according to the ages of the kids. At the time, 6-year-olds from SK Seri Permaisuri had activities like Freshwater Fish Night Feeding, Guess the Animal in the Box, Tote Bag Making, Whale Insulation Experiment and many more.
There was even a surprise visit by Malaysia’s astronaut Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, as he brought along some of his kids to experience the program.
Most of the kids enjoyed the night feeding activity as they can feed the fish directly above the tank. Some also loved the Guess The Animal game as they could touch quirky animals such as the Salamander, Kermit crabs, Jungle Nymph and more.
The view was enigmatic
What I love the most about the whole experience was waking up and immediately seeing the big creatures right beside you. It was breathtaking.
When in your life have you ever had the chance to see a giant Green Turtle swimming towards you, Stingrays doing backflips, and Tawny Nurse Sharks wooing each other right in front of you aside from watching the Discovery Channel?
In the end, it was either you watching the sharks or the sharks watching you. Either way, it will be a magical feeling for those young explorers.
That’s my first and most meaningful aquatic experience ever and if your kids love oceanic animals, I think you should let them give this experience a try.
The package is priced at RM220 per head and if you want to bring the kids there at night with you, you can also make a special request for it and they’ll try their best to accommodate you in a group. Besides that, if you wanna experience the magical night yourselves, you can also gather 20 people regardless of age for a team-building event too.
If you wanna book a slot or ask more about the program, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact them at 603-23331888 (1978).