Maui Ocean Center’s holiday event benefits local nonprofits

James Beard Award nominee Chef Henry Tariga and server Alisha “Bubbles” Constantino will be onboard at Seascape Maalaea Restaurant for the special event tonight from 6 to 9 at Maalaea Harbor. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Maui Ocean Center, The Aquarium of Hawaii invites the community to enjoy a fun-filled holiday shopping and charity event from 6 to 9 tonight to raise funds for  select nonprofit organizations.

Event attendees will have the unique opportunity to explore the aquarium exhibits at night, shop, dine and meet local vendors and nonprofit organizations.

The evening features live performances by the cast and crew of Maui OnStage’s “Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical” and King Kekaulike Jazz Band, underwater dive presentations and photo opportunities with Santa Claus.

Door prizes will be awarded throughout the evening while supplies last.

Shoppers at Maui Ocean Treasures will receive 30 percent off all items excluding Alex and Ani and Pandora jewelry as well as existing sale items. The gift store will donate 15 percent of Alex and Ani jewelry sales to the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Maui.

Locally made products and samples will be available to purchase from Maui vendors including the Olinda Olive Orchard, Maui Olive Company, Kula Coffee Estate, Grandpa Joe’s Candy Company, Waikapu Pickles, Moku Pua and more.

Seascape Maalaea Restaurant will be open from 5 to 8:30 p.m. with a select menu. Additional food and refreshments will be available to purchase at the aquarium’s Reef Cafe.

Event-goers will be able to meet several Maui nonprofit organizations benefiting from the evening festivities including the Friends of the Children’s Justice Center of Maui, NOAA Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, Maui School Garden Network, Hale Makua Health Services,  Imua Family Services, Maui Nui Botanical Gardens and Na Aikane ‘O Maui.

Event admission is $5 with the donation of two canned food items to the Maui Food Bank (to be collected at the park entrance). Full admission price is $7. Children younger than 3 enter for free.

Reservations are not necessary, just go to the park entrance to pay.

Seascape Maalaea also features pau hana from 5 to 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays with half-price appetizers, $2.50 draft beer and $4 glasses of wine. For more details, call Seascape at 270-7068.