JShoppers can Imagine More this July as Cresta Shopping Centre has officially opened the first of its kind, in-centre Aquarium with the new CrestAquarium – a modest exploration and showcase of life under the sea. Located within the three level Food and Entertainment Court, the oceanic experience introduces the beauty and magic of marine life to shoppers and the surrounding community. The vision of the new instalment is to provide shoppers with the unusual opportunity to see, learn and appreciate this unique environment. Come nose-to-nose with some of the ocean’s most iridescent little creatures, corals and underwater plants. Introducing over 30 species, shoppers will be able to enjoy the tranquillity of underwater moments –  right here in the middle of bustling Jo’burg.

“The CrestAquarium was envisioned to entertain, educate and inspire behaviour change by showing families that live inland the magic of life under water and how we can work to protect it,” said Virginia Bester,  General Manager of Cresta Shopping Centre. “Our vision was to give the community the opportunity to form a connection with an otherwise distant world, so they can benefit from its beauty and learn how to help protect it,” added Bester. The interactive and educational displays around the tank will allow children and families to touch, discover, explore and learn.

The iconic Centre partnered with the best in the business in aquarium construction and with expert marine consultants to ensure the project and construction was a detailed and flawless success – as well as ensuring the safety and happiness of the ocean life introduced. The certified and regulated aquaria specialists ensure the selected ocean fish are cared for 24/7. Each fish was hand-selected according to compatibility and natural distribution.

Passionate about the power of the young imagination and with a desire to include the community in centre activities, Cresta challenged high school children in the Cresta area to create and design a mascot that would represent the CrestAquarium which would be a mouthpiece for ocean conversation messages. The competition rolled out in May and a design by grade 10 student, Rebecca Byker of Northcliff High School, was selected out of many talented entries. Byker won R10 000 for her vision and design as well as winning R10 000 for her school. “I was inspired by the colours of ocean life to create her outfit, her hair is inspired by an anemone. She has adapted to her oceanic life, as can be seen by her gills, webbed fingers and anemone-like hair,” describes Byker.

One of the key purposes of the CrestAquarium is to provide shoppers and guests to the Centre the unique opportunity to explore an underwater world that they may never have the opportunity to see or engage with otherwise, and Cresta’s hope is to spark a love for these creatures and a desire to protect them. A key vision is to educate shoppers and especially the youth on how they can act now to protect the future of the oceans – such as recycling and being conscious of the sustainable fish list. As part of this vision Cresta Shopping Centre has brought the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) onboard to help drive education about marine conservation and to provide a way for shoppers to ‘act’ in support for the protection of our oceans. The DICT Wave of Change will be a feature at the CrestAquarium to drive the educational message to consumers about plastic recycling and to provide them an opportunity to donate to the Trust via Snapscan to support their conservation efforts.

When you are next visiting the centre be sure to explore the CrestAquarium, situated at the Food and Entertainment Court with the interactive activities on the basement level. Visit Cresta Shopping Centre and explore, learn and wonder at life underwater.

To see the making of the CrestAquarium please click on the links below

Teaser video:

Full length video:

Activities to look for out for at Cresta this July:

12 July – Friday Movie Night* (Mugg & Bean court)

13-14 July – Finding Crestal Competition at Cresta Shopping Centre, colouring in stations and underwater photo sets (Visit CrestAquarium)

19 July – Friday Movie Night* (Mugg & Bean court)

20 – 21 July – Meet & Greet with Crestal

*Friday Movie nights will take place at the Mugg n Bean court, bring your family and your favourite blankie for a cosy night filled with fun. To book for the Movie Night please visit Cresta’s Facebook page to secure your spot. Tickets cost R20 and includes popcorn and drink but hurry as limited tickets are available.

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