Latest News from Pine Knoll Shores

Enjoy big Dino Discount Nov. 1-7!

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Thursday, October 30th, 2014

w nca-pks adult chasmosaurus 2The dinosaurs at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores have delayed their destiny – extinction – through Nov. 11! See them up close and hear them roar any day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. From Nov. 1 through Nov. 7, bring a little person with you for Dino Discount Days. Pay for one adult admission and an accompanying child ages 3-12 gets in free. Also watch for dino-mite deals on dinosaur gear in the Gift Shop through Nov. 11.

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, the ostrich-like citipati and other bygone beasts seemingly come to life among the trees and plants surrounding them. Watch out for the dilophosauruses –they spit. Dinosaur Adventure features 11 realistic, large-scale animatronic creatures representing seven species that move and call. Don’t miss the photo ops: a Tyrannosaurus rex out front, a baby T. rex near the waterfall and a dinosaur nest with eggs just before you enter Dinosaur Adventure.

The dinosaur exhibit has been enormously popular with summer visitors at the Aquarium. The fall extension gives more local and regional residents a chance to enjoy the experience.

Dinosaur Adventure is open the same hours as the Aquarium – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Dinosaur Adventure features creations by Billings Productions. The exhibit is sponsored in part by Mary Katherine Lawrence.

Free admission and food drive Nov. 11 – Veterans Day

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

All visitors are admitted to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores free of charge on Veterans Day – Tuesday, Nov. 11. As it has in the past, the Aquarium offers an opportunity to return the favor by contributing to a food drive for Martha’s Mission Cupboard.

The local food pantry helps many families through hard times all year long, and is especially busy during the approaching holiday season. Cereal, peanut butter, powdered milk, canned fruits and vegetables, dried beans, rice, saltines and other staples are particularly in demand. Please check the expiration dates to assure food items can be used. Aquarium staff will collect the donations and deliver them to the food pantry. Food donations are accepted during operating hours, 9 a.m-5 p.m.

Donations are not required for admission on Veterans Day. The Aquarium is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and dive presentations, live animal programs and feeding demonstrations are scheduled as usual throughout the day.

Succulent Seafood dishes up cooking savvy

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Thursday, October 9th, 2014

The Aquarium teams up with top restaurants to dish up recipes and tips on selecting and preparing fresh, seasonal, local seafood. Succulent Seafood sessions are scheduled for selected Mondays at 2 p.m. Aquarium staff members share information on the life cycles and habitats of featured seafood species. Chefs provide favorite recipes and personal insights on preparing finfish, shellfish and crustaceans. A taste test of the featured dish tops off each gathering. Succulent Seafood is for ages 12 and up; $15 per person, per session. Advance registration is required. Call 252-247-4003 for more information. The current line-up includes:

Nov.  3-  Crabs Claw, Atlantic Beach

Nov. 10 – Saltwater Grill, Swansboro

Nov. 17 – Island Grille, Atlantic Beach

Dec. 8 – White Oak Bistro, Swansboro

Dec. 15 – Crabs Claw, Atlantic Beach

Jan. 13- Riverside Steak & Seafood, Swansboro

Jan. 26- Island Grille, Atlantic Beach

Feb. 2- Ruddy Ducks, Morehead City



Aquarium’s Trick or Treat Under the Sea Oct. 29 & 30

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

w nca-pks TOTUS shark w bag 500pThe North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores offers a bewitching evening of sweets and treats with the annual Trick or Treat Under the Sea, aka TOTUS, on the evenings of Wednesday, Oct. 29 and Thursday, Oct. 30.

Trick-or-treating headlines each night, as little ghosts, goblins, creatures and characters load up on goodies at decorated booths sponsored by local businesses. Also on the fun agenda: underwater pumpkin carving demonstrations, otters playing with jack o’ lanterns, face-painting and other Halloween hi-jinks with an aquatic twist. For the bolder bunch: See the dinosaurs after dark – if you dare.

Ticket sales at the door are 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. each night; $11 per person; $9.90 for members; ages 2 and under are admitted free.

Daily admission tickets, receipts and passes do not apply for this special event. Regular admission ends at 1 p.m. each day of the event.


NC Aquarium fall fest for preschoolers Oct. 29

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Monday, October 6th, 2014

w nca-pks toddler pumpkinpatchEnjoy a pumpkin photo-op and other fall fun and games with your young children at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores Oct. 29. The new Preschool Pumpkin Patch for ages 5 and under features a pint-sized helping of Halloween and other seasonal activities between 9 a.m. and noon – no worries about nighttime travel or late bedtimes for the little ones. But they still get to wear their cute costumes for photos in the pumpkin patch on the deck of Soundside Hall, or inside if the weather is unpleasant. Also enjoy the dinosaurs on the Marsh Boardwalk, festooned for Halloween.

Carnival-style games, sweets and face-painting, plus stories, songs and other activities with an autumn theme are available throughout the morning. This event takes the place of the usual Wednesday morning Toddler Time. Activities are free with admission or membership.


NC Aquarium offers fun fall activities

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Friday, September 5th, 2014

nca-pks-live-dive-girl-by-larry-nc-aquariums-photoThe North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is open year-round, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas days. The Aquarium also closes early on Oct. 29 and 30 and Dec. 12 to prepare for evening holiday special events. Free programs are offered daily throughout fall and winter:

10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. – Dive program in the Living Shipwreck
11 a.m. Monday-Friday – Feeding programs at various exhibits
11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday – Otter enrichment at the River Otter exhibit
11:30 a.m. – Creature Connection live animal program in Big Rock Theater; also at 1:30 p.m. beginning Sept. 8
3:15 p.m. – Feeding program at the Living Shipwreck

The Aquarium also offers additional indoor programs and outdoor activities throughout fall and winter. Enjoy the glorious fall scenery at the coast with stand-up paddle boarding, a new and popular summer program. It is available Tuesday and Thursday mornings through fall, as long as the weather holds. A Friday morning surf fishing session and a Saturday canoe or kayak exploration of area waters also get you outside and moving.

Indoors, see what goes on behind the scenes five days a week. Enjoy 45-minute At a Glance guided tours on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, or opt for the more thorough, 90-minute Close Encounters program on Saturdays. The popular seafood cooking series, Succulent Seafood, returns in October. All these programs require advance registration and fees, and have minimum age requirements. Call or see the registration pages for times and details.

Bring the tots to NC Aquarium Toddler Time

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores,Uncategorized on Monday, August 25th, 2014

Bring your little ones for a special time together enjoying stories, crafts, songs,  puppets and animal encounters in Toddler Time. New this year - choose from two time slots every Wednesday: 9:30  – 10:20 a.m.  or 10:30 – 11:20 a.m. Toddler Time runs through March 25. The activities in Clearwater Classroom focus on a different animal each week. Toddler Time is free with admission and registration is not required. The program runs every week except for Nov. 26, Dec. 24 and Dec. 31. A special Halloween-themed program for the same age group, Preschool Pumpkin Patch, takes its place on Oct. 29.

Oct. 1:  Box Turtle
Oct. 8: Octopusw NCA-PKS-Toddler-Time-Turtle-Puppet
Oct. 15:  Fish
Oct. 22:  Salamanders
Oct. 29:  Preschool Pumpkin Patch, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Nov. 5:   Seahorses
Nov. 12:  Alligators
Nov. 19:  Sea stars and sea urchins
Nov. 26:  No Toddler Time

Dec. 3:  Owls
Dec. 10:  Sea turtles
Dec. 17:  Hermit crabs
Dec. 24:  No Toddler Time
Dec. 31:  No Toddler Time

Jan. 7:  Jellies
Jan. 14:  Dolphins
Jan. 21:  Crabs and horseshoe crabs
Jan. 28:  Snakes

Feb. 4:  Clownfish
Feb. 11:  Frogs
Feb. 18:  Eels
Feb. 25:  Stingrays

March 4:  Sharks
March 11:  Lizards
March 18:  Otters
March 25:  End of year celebration


Holiday wishes, aquarium fishes & Santa by the Sea Dec. 12

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Saturday, August 16th, 2014

NCA-PKS santa by the seaSanta by the Sea brings a bit of the North Pole to the Aquarium on Friday, Dec. 12, for a memorable family evening. Children share their hopes with Santa in front of the Living Shipwreck exhibit, decorated for the occasion. A 6” x 8” professional photo of the encounter or of the family comes with the ticket for each child 12 and under, courtesy of FOTO FX.

The little ones also make holiday crafts and participate in other activities, visit with Mrs. Claus and enjoy two fantastic performances. Bryan Sanders Comic Illusionist presents his hocus-pocus in a new magic show. Santa by the Sea also soars to new heights in entertainment with aerial acrobatics by Down to Earth Aerials. The activities and performances are included in admission.

Admission is $15 per person. Tickets will be sold at the door from 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Space is limited – advance purchase is encouraged. Please note that this is a special event, and membership discounts and daily admission tickets or passes do not apply. The Aquarium closes for regular admission at 1 p.m. on Dec. 12.

Aquarium winter camps offer cold-weather fun

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Friday, August 15th, 2014

nca -pks winter camperHoliday camps at the Aquarium combine fun and learning into wintertime adventures for children in grades 2-6 during the December holiday break. Participants enjoy outdoor activities, animal interactions, discovery labs and behind-the-scenes action.

Dec. 29 – Grades 1-2
Dec. 30 – Grades 3-4
Dec. 31 – Grades 5-6

Camps in early 2015 keep kids active on school holidays.

Jan. 19 – Senses in the Sea Camp, grades 2-4. Campers participate in activities, games and crafts to discover how animals use hearing, touch, sight, smell, taste and means such as echolocation to find food and avoid predators.

Jan. 20 – Animal Enrichment Camp, grades 4-6. Participants learn about the science of animal enrichment as they help aquarists prepare items for various creatures and see how they react. Other behind-the-scenes action, crafts and animal encounters add to the excitement.

Feb. 16 – Sea Turtle Rescue Camp, grades 3-6. Campers enjoy hands-on opportunities to work with the Aquarium’s sea turtle rescue team. Campers learn how the aquarium cares for weak baby sea turtles that hatch along the coast every summer and fall, and also for cold-stunned sea turtles that strand in winter.

All camps meet 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the fee is $40 per camper, per camp; $36 for members. Advance registration and payment are required, and space is limited.




Enjoy the art of recycling at NC Aquarium Dec. 29

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Friday, August 15th, 2014

w nca-pks scrap exchange 12-2013 boyGive 2014 a great send-off with a fun family activity that artfully blends creativity with environmental awareness Dec. 29 at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. The Aquarium hosts the traveling Scrap Exchange art project from noon to 4 p.m. Make a masterpiece from paper, plastic, packaging, containers, corks, candles, beads, fabric bits and more stuff that otherwise would go to a landfill.

The Aquarium hosts the non-profit Scrap Exchange as part of the Crystal Coast Countdown’s repertoire of fun holiday activities in the area.
The Scrap Exchange, based in Durham, describes itself as a creative re-use center promoting creativity, conservation and community. Its Events by the Truckload program coming to the Aquarium brings a variety of potential media from a vast store of goods diverted from disposal. All the stuff is clean and safe to handle.

The Scrap Exchange also provides the scissors, tape and other tools to make a masterpiece. Two experienced Scrap Exchange staff members will be on hand for assistance and guidance, but choices and decisions on materials and theme are up to the participants.

he activity is open to all ages. The NC Arts Council, under the NC Dept. of Cultural Resources, and the National Endowment for the Arts provided support for the project.

Admission to participate in the Scrap Exchange project is free – just let the Aquarium admissions staff know and you will be directed to the project room. Regular admission fees apply for visiting the rest of the Aquarium.