Latest News from Pine Knoll Shores

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.

Dinosaurs staying two more months!

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

w nca-pks adult chasmosaurus 2The dinosaurs at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores have delayed their destiny – extinction – for two months! See them up close and hear them roar through Nov. 1. 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.

nca-pks dino after dark scarierThe 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. The dinosaurs also will add a new element to the Aquarium’s Halloween event for kids, Trick Or Treat Under the Sea, this year on Oct. 29 and 30.

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.

24th Annual Surf Fishing Workshop Oct. 17-19

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Register now! Make your fishing wishes come true with the annual Surf Fishing Workshop weekend, Oct. 17-19, 2014. Expert instruction and hands-on experience are the trademarks of this popular seminar, now in its 24th year. Instruction covers rods, reels, weights, line, tackle, knots, bait, fish identification, catch and release, cast netting, reading the surf, locating fish from the beach and caring for your catch.

The course gets beginners off to a great start and is an excellent refresher for all skill levels. The action culminates with a fishing trip to Cape Lookout National Seashore, or another location if the Cape is inaccessible. See the full schedule. The cost is $150 per person, discounted 10 percent for Aquarium members. Advance registration is required and can be accomplished by phone or register online.

If you want a head-start, Fishing Fanatics, a short course on surf fishing, is offered on Friday mornings. Advance registration for the weekly programs also is a must.

Aquarium hosts volunteer program information session Oct. 12

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

NCA-pks touch tankFind out how you can share your love of the ocean and waterways with visitors at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores at a volunteer informational meeting, Sunday, Oct. 12. Drop by  between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and talk to the Aquarium’s volunteer staff, and volunteers at various stations around the Aquarium.

Volunteer interpreters work at the stingray and invertebrate touch pools, discovery carts, river otter and sea turtle exhibits and the marsh boardwalk overlook. Volunteers also offer help at the information desk and assist with events. No experience is necessary – training is provided.

“Aquarium volunteers are conservation ambassadors who share with our visitors a message of animal and habitat preservation,” said Volunteer Coordinator Chris Carlin. “Thanks to the dedication of our volunteers, guests enjoy a ‘hands-on’ learning experience.”

Volunteers enjoy discounts on programs and at the Aquarium gift shop, and free memberships. Anyone with an interest in North Carolina’s aquatic habitats and animals is encouraged to apply.

For more information, call Volunteer Coordinator Chris Carlin at 252-247-4003, ext. 286.


Sponsor a BOO-th at Trick or Treat Under the Sea

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Monday, September 1st, 2014

The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores invites businesses and organizations to sponsor booths atbooth this year’s Trick or Treat Under the Sea. The popular Halloween event, also known as TOTUS, runs two nights – Wednesday, Oct. 29, and Thursday, Oct. 30. TOTUS features indoor trick-or-treating for children and other seasonal activities. Doors open at 4 p.m. and booths close at 8:30 p.m.

Booth space is available for $70 for one night or $130 for both nights. Sponsorship provides positive exposure and an opportunity to offer promotional materials at this well-attended and family-friendly community event. Booth sponsors agree to provide treats for the several hundred children expected. Sponsors also compete in a booth decorating competition each night.

Booth sponsorships are available first-come, first-served. Oct. 1 is the deadline to register. Download the registration form and guidelines or call Special Events Coordinator Becky Davis at 247-4003, ext. 291.

NC Aquarium embraces octopus awareness Oct. 8

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores,Uncategorized on Monday, September 1st, 2014

NCA-PKS Octopus 2The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores honors the octopus and other tentacled creatures of its class on Cephalopod Awareness Day, Oct. 8. The celebration features crafts, games, displays, creature connection programs and other activities focused on these intelligent invertebrates.

Celphalopods, related to snails, slugs and clams, are  characterized by well-developed eyes and arms or tentacles with suckers. This group of marine mollusks includes squid, octopus and nautilus. The word cephalopod is from the combination of the Greek kefale and pous, roughly meaning head feet.

The Octopus News Magazine Online established Cephalopod Awareness Day in 2007. Though the event isn’t backed by any official governing body, Cephalopod Awareness Day is celebrated by many organizations as a way to draw attention to the diversity, conservation and biology of the world’s cephalopods. Oct. 8 was chosen to highlight the emphasis on animals with 8 or 10 appendages.

At the Aquarium, an Atlantic octopus lives in the Cave Dwellers exhibit, across from the Living Shipwreck. Cephalopod Awareness Day activities are free with admission or membership.

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

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Monday, September 1st, 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.


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, every Wednesday from 9:30  – 10:20 a.m.  Toddler Time begins Oct. 1 and 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 and Dec. 24 and a special, expanded Halloween edition 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:  Penguins

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:  TBA
March 11:  TBA
March 18:  Otters
March 25:  End of year celebration


NC Aquarium fall fest for preschoolers Oct. 29

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Tuesday, August 19th, 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.


Free admission and food drive Nov. 11 – Veterans Day

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Sunday, August 17th, 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.