Aquarium.Australia.pignose.turtleWThere is a chance to check out the National Aquarium’s new Living Seashore exhibit before it even opens to the public.

The new Living Seashore exhibit is scheduled to open in May and will allow visitors to touch a jellyfish or see a stingray up close among other things. In advance of the opening, however, a select number of guests will have the chance to see the exhibit come to life before it opens through two of the Aquarium’s Immersion Tours.

Beginning Feb. 28, participants of the National Aquarium’s daily Behind-the-Scenes Tour and weekend Insider’s Tour will become the first visitors to step inside the Living Seashore exhibit before the construction walls come down and the exhibit opens.

“Seeing an exhibit as it is coming together is a perspective that very few get to experience,” said Steve Skobel, Immersion Program Manager for the National Aquarium. “We’re thrilled that guests will now be able to see just how much is happening behind the scenes,”

During the daily Behind-the-Scenes Tour, visitors learn how the Aquarium team cares for more than 17,000 animals and their habitatsAquariumLivingSeashoreRenderingW. From life-support systems and water quality to animal care and research, guests explore the building in a new way and understand what it takes to run an aquarium. And now, with the addition of Living Seashore, guests can discover what it takes to design and build a realistic habitat for the Aquarium’s newest residents and an immersive, interactive experience. The 45-minute tour is available to guests ages 8 and up daily for $15 per person not including admission.

The Insider’s Tour is available to guests ages 8 and up on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Small groups will explore the exhibits with an Aquarium expert who will share stories about the Aquarium’s animals and the habitats, lead guests to exclusive staff-only areas, take guests up-close with one of the animal residents and much more. The 2 ½ hour tour is $50 for members and $60 for nonmembers and includes Aquarium admission.

When it opens, Living Seashore will be an interactive exhibit featuring two touch pools and a variety of hands-on experiences. Living Seashore will take guests beyond the boardwalk to the crashing waves, sandy beaches and shifting dunes of the ever-changing Mid-Atlantic seashore, where they will encounter a variety of marine life.

Once the exhibit is open, visitors can gently touch the prickly pointed spines of a purple sea urchin; graze their hand over the sleek, muscular wing of an Atlantic stingray; and feel the firm bell of a pulsing moon jelly. As they explore the sandy shore, guests will have the opportunity to learn about some of the beach’s hidden treasures, such as horseshoe crabs, sand dollars and egg cases on a tactile discovery wall that brings a “slice of the beach” to eye level. Visitors will also have the opportunity to look for clues on a digital multi-touch table, learning about objects that wash up on the beach.

For more information on Living Seashore and the Immersion Tours visit