Latest News from Pine Knoll Shores

Dinosaurs! Back from extinction this summer

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Sunday, July 6th, 2014

nca-pks allosaurus wDinosaurs extinct? Says who? See them up close and hear them roar at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores this summer. Dinosaur Adventure turns the Aquarium’s marsh boardwalk into a time machine. Step outside and travel back millions of years to meet these strange creatures that roamed the Earth during the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

The fierce allosaurus, the long-necked apatosaurus, the fast and agile coelophysis and other bygone beasts seemingly come to life. Watch out for the dilophosauruses –they spit. Dinosaur Adventure features 11 realistic, large-scale animatronic creatures representing seven species that move and call. Also look for the tyrannasaurus rex photo-op out front, a baby t. rex near the waterfall and a dinosaur nest with eggs just before you enter Dinosaur Adventure.

Also enjoy Way-back Wednesdays throughout the summer. Programs, crafts, animal encounters, a stingray feeding and even a quiz game feature animals we see today, such as alligators and sea turtles, that are living links to counterparts of the prehistoric past. The new Ancient Seas exhibit expands on the same theme. The Wednesday activities and the exhibit also free with admission or membership.

Dinosaur Adventure is open the same hours as the Aquarium – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily – throughout the summer. The dinosaurs go extinct again after Labor Day. Dinosaur Adventure features creations by Billings Productions. The exhibit is sponsored in part by Mary Katherine Lawrence.

Enjoy Winging It: Birds in Flight for just $2

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Wise up about owls and other birds!

Bring the flock for family fun with Winging It – Birds in Flight. This ticketed program stars native raptors and water birds, some of which soar overhead in Big Rock Theater in response to commands. The show highlights the unique features of various owls, hawks, pelicans, vultures and other species. The audience enjoys extraordinary close encounters with these engaging creatures. Tickets are just $2 in addition to admission for ages 3 and up.

The 2014 program uses the fun premise of a field trip with a wildlife biologist and an absent-minded intern to illuminate environmental issues that trouble these species, and solutions that can be incorporated into everyday life. All the birds in the show have injuries or conditions that prevent their release into the wild. Like all the Aquarium’s activities, the birds also deliver family-friendly entertainment.

Winging It – Birds in Flight runs daily at 1 p.m. in Big Rock Theater. Purchase tickets at admissions. There is no charge for “infants-in-arms” ages 2 and under.


Watts Up with power at the Aquarium

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Friday, July 4th, 2014

w nca-pks diver recDo a good deed for the Aquarium and the Earth at the same time – invest in a REC. That stands for Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). One REC represents 1000 kilowatt hours of power generated from a renewable source such as wind turbines. By buying RECs in the voluntary market, purchasers can support renewable energy projects even if they do not directly use the energy themselves.

Through a program funded by The Ocean Project, the Aquarium is on a quest to acquire 4,000 RECs in 2014. That’s equal to 100 percent of its electricity consumption. Reducing the need for electricity produced by traditional power-producing sources by that amount has the same impact as removing 588 cars from our roadways every year.

Here’s how you can help: Each time you purchase a certified REC through the Aquarium’s Watts Up campaign for yourself, the impact is doubled, as the program matches the purchase with a REC for the Aquarium. Text 4000 to 67076. See more information online and look for the Watts Up display at the Aquarium to find out more.


Stand-up paddle boarding joins summer fun line-up

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

w nca-pks SUP boyNew this year! Try out a great way to enjoy Bogue Sound waters and wildlife – stand-up paddle boarding. The Aquarium provides the boards, expert instruction and five opportunities a week to get your feet wet on this fun sport:  Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4-6 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday, 9-11 a.m. Sign up now to be sure you get a spot.

Another fun, get-wet program – surfing - returns to the schedule on Mondays and Wednesdays, 8-11 a.m. Again, the Aquarium takes care of equipment and instruction. Also enjoy fishing, a paddle trip in a kayak or canoe through the Roosevelt Natural Area waters, night treks to look for sea turtle nests, exploring the marshes, or catching crabs and clams – see the registration page for more.

Indoors on hot or rainy days, choose from a selection of behind-the-scenes tours, including one that spotlights shark feedings. The 90-minute Aquarium Close Encounters tour has a minimum age of 6; the other tours are limited to ages 5 and up. If you want to see what it’s like to work with Aquarium animals, try the afternoon apprenticeship for ages 14 and up. Small fry can enjoy their own program, Aquarium ABCs (ages 2-5). Check the indoor programs page for more information or to sign up for these programs. These programs require advance registration and fees in addition to admission.


Way-back Wednesdays take a look at ancient animals

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

w NCA-PKS breakfast-with-rays print

After you’ve seen the dinosaurs at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, come inside for another peek at the prehistoric past with Way-back Wednesdays, themed around ancient animals. Activities every Wednesday through Aug. 6 focus on living links to the distant past.

Enjoy a stingray feeding at 10 a.m. The Creature Connection live animal program at 11 a.m. and an animal encounter at 2 p.m. also highlight creatures  — alligators and sea turtles, for example — with ties to early times. At 3:30 p.m., show off your knowledge in an Aquarium jeopardy game focused on ancient animals. The little ones can enjoy crafts on dinosaurs, horseshoe crabs and other critters fitting the day’s theme. Watch for  “dinosaur eggs” hidden around the Aquarium that reveal clues to solve the Prehistoric Puzzler. Activities are free with admission or membership.

Shark Week July 27-Aug. 2 brings toothy times to NC Aquarium

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Sink your teeth into fun and facts all about sharks during Shark Week July 27-Aug. 2 at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Family-friendly programs, activities, crafts and displays portray the truth about these often misunderstood creatures, their essential role in the ocean ecosystem and the threats they face.

“The popularity of Shark Week and the immense interest the public has in these fascinating animals gives us an opportunity to tell the real story of what is happening to sharks,” said Education Curator Windy Arey Kent. “Finning, over-fishing, pollution and other factors have caused shark populations to plummet worldwide. That can indicate big problems for ocean ecosystems.”

Shark Week activities, free with admission, include information on solutions. “We want to use this opportunity to let people know that while sharks face overwhelming obstacles, people have the power to help the ocean’s top predators each and every day,” she said. Scheduled programs include an auditorium Creature Connection that reveals the inside story on shark anatomy, a chance to sharpen your wits and win prizes in a shark jeopardy quiz game, divers swimming with sharks in the Living Shipwreck, and shark and stingray feedings.

Meet a young nurse shark in the Skate and Ray Encounters touch pool. Bring the small fry for shark-themed crafts and hands-on activities in Discovery Classroom 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. For funny photos, show your toothy grin inside the replicated jaws of a huge, now-extinct megalodon, shake fins with shark mascot Friendly Finley or pose close to the snout of a great white shark – a life-size inflatable replica, that is.

About 50 of the more than 400 shark species worldwide frequent North Carolina waters. Look for three species of sharks at the Aquarium. The fierce-looking sand tiger sharks, the fast-moving sandbar sharks and the curiously named nurse sharks all inhabit the Living Shipwreck.

For an overhead look at an shark feeding, sign up for the Shark Snack Behind-the-Scenes Tour on Tuesday and Friday – advance registration and additional fees are required for this special program. For a take-home treasure, stop by the Shark Tooth Creek fossil-finding adventure and see what sorts of shark teeth turn up when you run your bucket of sand through the sluice. Shark Tooth Creek requires an additional fee.


Kids get in free 5-8 PM Aug. 5 – National Night Out

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

w nca-pks national night out 2013Celebrate National Night Out on Aug. 5, 2014, with the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores and the Town Pine Knoll Shores. The Aquarium stays open late and offers free admission for kids 12 and under, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Find more FREE family fun outdoors in the Aquarium’s upper parking lot, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Enjoy pizza and sodas at no charge. Watch kids jump for joy in bouncy houses. Get into harmony with jazz tunes by Naked Knees. Meet the Aquarium’s shark mascot, Friendly Finley, and shake paws with safety celebrities, McGruff the Crime Dog and Sparky, the fire department dalmatian.

Speaking of dogs, the K-9 demo team from U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point is among the public safety organizations providing displays and activities outdoors. Also look for the Carteret County Sheriff’s Dept. Crime Scene Unit, Carteret County Special Response Team, the U.S. Coast Guard, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, and the police departments from Pine Knoll Shores,  Emerald Isle and Indian Beach. The Wounded Warriors Association will be on hand.

A national crime prevention movement, National Night Out is celebrating its 31th anniversary of promoting neighborhood unity and a strong police-community partnership. The Town of Pine Knoll Shores police department organized the local celebration. The Aquarium volunteered to be the host site. For more information, contact Pine Knoll Shores police department 252 – 247 – 2474.

Salute to Nimbus and Celebrate Sea Turtles Aug. 12

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

w nca-pks nimbus 2014Nimbus, the Aquarium’s rare white sea turtle, turns four this month! Enjoy a daylong Sea Turtle Celebration on Aug. 12 that honors the unusual loggerhead. It also highlights the troubles sea turtles face, and how you can help them.

Some activities include:

• Sign a super-sized birthday card for Nimbus and pledge to help sea turtles.
• See last season’s youngsters and check for new hatchlings in the sea turtle nursery exhibit.
• Meet sea turtles in a Creature Connection program or animal encounter.
• Test your sea turtle savvy with hands-on activities and games.
• Pose next to an inflatable giant leatherback turtle, and enjoy other displays and crafts.

The celebration coincides with sea turtle hatching season on area beaches. Because of sea turtles’ imperiled status, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and trained volunteers monitor how many eggs hatch from each nest and check for hatchlings left behind. For many years, the Aquarium has provided temporary care for some of these little turtles until they can be released.

Nimbus turned up in a nest excavation on a Pine Knoll Shores beach in August 2010. Expert care has helped it overcome mouth and nasal deformities and vision problems. Nimbus, meaning a radiant light or shining cloud, was the name chosen out of hundreds suggested by the public. A genetic deviation similar to that of albino animals causes the pale coloring. Nimbus’ sex is not known.

Nimbus is the star of the new Ancient Seas Gallery, just past the lionfish exhibit, and can be seen any day you visit. Sea Turtle Celebration activities are free with admission or membership.


Have you dodged a dilophosaurus yet?

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Thursday, June 12th, 2014

nca-pks dilo spits wnca-pks little dino wHave you been drenched by a dilophosaurus yet at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores? It’s the hottest trend at the beach this summer. An adult and a juvenile specimen both spray water at visitors on the Marsh Boardwalk in imitation of a famous scene from a famous movie.

As the graphic panel points out, there is no scientific evidence that this species spewed toxin or inflated a head frill when attacking. The others don’t spit, but other creatures of Dinosaur Adventure move, call and otherwise take your imagination back to when such creatures walked the Earth.

Dinosaur Adventure is free with admission or membership. It is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Extinction occurs after Labor Day.

Support our Living Treasures

News Article From: Fort Fisher,Pine Knoll Shores,Roanoke Island on Friday, May 9th, 2014
NC Aquarium Offers New Business Memberships

Just in time for a busy, fun-filled summer, the NC Aquarium is offering a new Business Membership program that’s great for small business owners, their employees and customers. Starting at $300 per year, Business Members receive premium membership benefits, free admission tickets, discounts for their employees, recognition at the Aquarium, and more.

This program is just one part of the Aquarium’s new Living Treasures campaign, designed to expand community partnerships and grow private support. In addition to Business Memberships, the campaign offers donors a variety of options—including a new annual fund, sponsorship opportunities and planned giving. Proceeds from the campaign will help the Aquarium prosper by funding new animals, exhibits, programs and conservation priorities.

For almost thirty years, the private, nonprofit NC Aquarium Society has worked alongside the NC Aquariums to help fund major renovations and new exhibits at all four Aquarium locations—Roanoke Island, Jennette’s Pier, Fort Fisher and Pine Knoll Shores. Today, they’re highly-rated and popular attractions, with a combined annual visitation of 1.5 million.

Memberships are now available online at There you can also read about the Aquarium Society’s top ranking by Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest evaluator of nonprofits. In 2013, the Society was rated the #1 zoo and aquarium nonprofit in the nation.

Join online at

For more information, contact .