Latest News from Pine Knoll Shores

Make merry with marine life at the Aquarium

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Sunday, December 21st, 2014

w NCA-PKS santa diver with 5x4childThe weather outside might be frightful – or not — but the Aquarium is especially delightful this time of year.If you expect children or grandchildren out of school for a few days, consider holiday day camps as a means of keeping them active and learning, Dec. 29-30. Each of the three days is specified for an age group. Advance registration is required.

On Dec. 30, the Crystal Coast Countdown brings an opportunity for imagination. The Scrap Exchange art project combines conservation, community and creativity by offering barrels and boxes of reclaimed material of all types to be fashioned into personal masterpieces. Tools and supplies also are provided. Participation in the Scrap Exchange is free; admission is required to tour the Aquarium.

Guests in town? Enjoy a few hours with the animals and exhibits any day between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. with the exception of Dec. 25, when the Aquarium is closed all day.

The Aquarium is open normal hours on New Year’s Day. Check the schedule for daily programs free with admission, or for an extra treat, enjoy one of the behind-the-scenes tours offered several times weekly.

As December progresses, watch as the Aquarium is transformed by natural greenery and other seasonal decor, indoors and out. Holiday elves will being to appear during the daily dive presentations, and rumor has it St. Nick himself may jump into the action as Dec. 25 approaches.


Aquarium winter camps offer cold-weather fun

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Saturday, December 20th, 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. 30

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Saturday, December 20th, 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. 30 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.

The 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.


NC Aquarium open New Year’s Day

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Friday, December 19th, 2014

web nca-pks otterMake the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores part of your New Year’s Day celebration. Visit river otters Pungo, Neuse and Eno, the white sea turtle, Nimbus, and other animal friends anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Jan. 1. Programs and activities free with admission are scheduled throughout the day as usual.

Outdoors, enjoy a family hike to start off 2015. Choose from two great nature trails that meander through maritime forests and coastal marshes bordering Bogue Sound. The Theodore Roosevelt trail is accessible from the parking lot. Aquarium admission is not required. The Alice Hoffman trail picks up at the end of the Marsh Boardwalk behind the Aquarium, and admission is required.



Free admission and food drive Jan. 19

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Sunday, November 30th, 2014

All visitors are admitted to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores free of charge on Jan. 19, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. 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 in need after the busy 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 Jan. 19. 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.

Cold sea turtles get warm welcome at Aquarium

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores gave a warm welcome to eight sea turtles recovering from the effects of icy New England waters. The turtles are all Kemp’s ridleys, the smallest sea turtle species and considered endangered. They were among hundreds of sea turtles recently rescued off Cape Cod after water temperatures dipped dangerously low for the cold-blooded reptiles.

NCA-PKS Michele Lamping with Kemp's ridley 2The New England Aquarium and its sea turtle hospital has been taking in rescued turtles by the dozen. As the numbers kept climbing, other aquariums were called upon to shelter animals stable enough for transport. The North Carolina Aquariums at Fort Fisher and on Roanoke Island also expected to receive some of the stricken turtles.

Because these marine reptiles can’t tolerate winter weather, most head to warmer waters when the seasons change. Lingering turtles caught in a sudden chill suffer a potentially deadly condition called “cold-stunning,” similar to hypothermia in humans. Their heart rates and other functions slow, leaving them lethargic and unable to swim. Prolonged exposure can cause paralysis, and the turtles float on the surface or wash up on beaches. Eventually they go into shock, and many die.

The turtles were examined by veterinarians in New England and in North Carolina. They are behind the scenes at the Aquarium. They will be released w nca-pks kemp's in handoffshore as soon as they recover and transportation can be arranged, which could be days, weeks or months. Cold-stunning occurs in North Carolina waters also. A cold-stunned green sea turtle recently found near Cape Lookout is recovering at the Aquarium. The numbers vary widely according to weather patterns, but some cold-stunned turtles are brought to the Aquarium for care almost every winter. See a video  on how the Aquarium helps these creatures.

Sea turtles are protected by federal law. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission monitors sea turtle rescues, rehabilitation,  releases and nesting and hatching activity in the state. If you come across a stranded sea turtle, dead or alive, call the NCWRC at 252-241-7367 or 252-728-1528.




Now TWO sessions of NC Aquarium Toddler Time

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores,Uncategorized on Monday, November 10th, 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.
w NCA-PKS-Toddler-Time-Turtle-Puppet
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


Succulent Seafood dishes up cooking savvy

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Sunday, November 9th, 2014

The Aquarium teams up with top restaurants to dish up recipes and tips on selecting and preparing fresh,seafood 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:

Jan. 13 — Riverside Steak & Seafood, Swansboro

Jan. 19 — Boro Cafe and Bakery, Swansboro

Jan. 26 — Island Grille, Atlantic Beach

Feb. 2 — Ruddy Ducks, Morehead City

Feb. 9 — Channel Marker, Atlantic Beach

Feb. 23 — Amos Mosquito’s, Atlantic Beach

Bring the Aquarium to you

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Saturday, November 8th, 2014

nca-pks outreach 1Brighten up a winter day for your class or group with an aquatic adventure to-go from the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Even better – book a January or February visit before Dec. 31 for a 10 percent discount.

Outreach Educators bring live animals, props, costumes and hands-on activities to schools, daycare centers, community groups and festivals.

Presentations can be adapted for all ages and for an array of different groups. Choose from programs featuring sea turtles, alligators, freshwater turtles, snakes, horseshoe crabs and other critters. Classroom programs meet the state’s standard course of study requirements. Custom programs can be designed to meet the needs of any group or class.

See the Outreach pages for a complete list of options and information on booking.


Sign up now for NC Aquarium Get Hooked Fishing School March 21

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Wayne Justice with cobiaBe ready for spring angling — sign up for Get Hooked Fishing School at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, Saturday, March 21. The day-long course is packed with presentations from the pros on many topics and types of fishing. The day is filled with activity from registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. to the final wrap-up at 4:30 p.m.  Participants enjoy up to four instructional sessions, a catered lunch, drawings for fishing gear and fishing giveaways. Agencies and businesses of interest to fishermen and boaters will be on hand also.

All sessions are at the Aquarium. Advance registration is required and space is limited so sign up early. Registration is $60; for Aquarium Society members, $54 – register online. Call 252-247-4003, ext. 257, for more information.