Looking for Unique Gifts with Meaning? South Carolina Aquarium Has Something for Everyone

The South Carolina Aquarium's new, limited-edition shirts truly sum up so much of what we love about Charleston: The sunrise behind the Ravenel Bridge, waves rippling across the harbor, and of course, sea turtles.

Give a holiday gift that's full of meaning while supporting one of Charleston's most integral attractions. From T-shirts to face masks to memberships, even specially brewed beer, the South Carolina Aquarium offers several unique gift ideas that support the facility’s conservation efforts and its ability to provide medical care to sea turtles and other marine life.


Foremost among those gift ideas is the Aquarium’s new line of T-shirts, which come in men’s, women’s and children’s sizes and feature the Ravenel bridge and Charleston harbor montage on the front, and the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center™ logo on the upper back.

“The shirt depicts a sea turtle and bridge, but it stands for so much more,” says Aquarium president and CEO Kevin Mills. “It embodies our pride in the Charleston community.”

Also available is an adjustable face mask representing a sea turtle swimming behind a school of fish on a striking dark blue background. Proceeds from the T-shirt and mask sales support the Sea Turtle Care Center. The products are made by a Denver company that utilizes sustainable material and practices to reduce its environmental footprint. 


A Six-Pack of Holiday Cheer

The gift ideas go well beyond apparel. Brewed in partnership with the Aquarium is Stingray IPA, a craft beer from Mount Pleasant-based Westbrook Brewing Company. The refreshing New England-style IPA features Citra, Amarillo and Idaho 7 hops with enticing flavors of orange zest and lychee fruit, and a portion of proceeds go toward supporting Aquarium conservation programs.

The easiest way to carry a four-pack to a socially distant holiday gathering? A canvas Sea Turtle Tote Bag, emblazoned with a design symbolizing the mission to rescue, rehabilitate and release sea turtles. Those visiting the Aquarium — which is open at a limited capacity, with timed tickets available online — can also browse items in the gift shop, which during the holiday season includes favorites such as sea turtle art and ornaments painted by animals. 

Additionally, Santa Claus will be at the Aquarium on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in each of the first three full weeks in December, beginning December 6. To ensure a safe visit, guests can join a virtual “line” when they arrive and be notified via text message when it’s their turn. The Jolly Old Elf himself will be located in the Great Hall near the Carolina Seas tank to hear Christmas wishes from morning until early afternoon.


Memberships and Much More

Of course, the best gift may be the one that keeps on giving. An Aquarium membership includes unlimited visits for one full year plus exclusive benefits and invitations to exciting programs and events year-round. Not to mention, membership pays for itself in just two visits! Whether used by an individual or family, there's a membership to fit your needs. For those who wish to truly be involved, a Conservation Steward membership opens the door to experiences that show the connection between the Aquarium and the natural treasures it conserves and protects.

As the No. 1 family attraction in Charleston, many who love the South Carolina Aquarium do not call the Lowcountry home. One gift idea for those faraway family members is a Sea Turtle Guardianship, which allows an individual to specifically support the mission of sea turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release. It comes with exclusive content such as newsletters and Zoom calls with sea turtle biologists. There’s also Pillars of Support, which allows for a family name or tribute to be placed on a fish plaque in the Great Hall.

Guests near and far can take a more direct role in aiding the care of the Aquarium’s most critical patients by symbolically adopting a sea turtle, which helps provide food, vitamins and the expert medical attention that is a hallmark of the facility. Adoptions at the $100 level are now half off and come with a personalized certificate, decal and fact sheet — as well as a plush turtle to place under the tree.

Interested in learning more about the T-shirts, memberships and other gift ideas the South Carolina Aquarium has to offer this holiday season? Contact the Aquarium by telephone at (843) 577-FISH (3474), by email at information@scaquarium.org or visit scaquarium.org/holidaygifts for more information.