Latest News from Pine Knoll Shores

Bring the Aquarium to you

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Monday, November 16th, 2015

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. Book an Outreach visit for January or February by the end of December 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.


Free admission and food drive Veterans Day – Nov. 11

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Friday, October 30th, 2015

nca-pks food driveAll visitors are admitted to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores free of charge on Veterans Day – Wednesday, Nov. 11. The day is sponsored by Transportation Impact. No military affiliation, past or present, is required for free admission.

Visitors have 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.

In addition, the American Red Cross is conducting a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Soundside Hall. Donations to either drive are not required for free 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.

Why wait for summer break? Holiday camps are here!

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Thursday, October 29th, 2015

Holiday 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 explorations such as hikes on the nature trail. Indoors, the action continues as campers tour the Aquarium, go behind the scenes for animal encounters and feedings, talk with aquarists about animal care, and join in other fun and educational activities.

Camps are geared for one age group per day — Dec. 28 is for grades 1–2, Dec. 29 for grades 3–4 and Dec. 30 for grades 5–6.

Camps run from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Advance registration and payment of the $40 fee are required. Aquarium members pay $36. Register by phone, at the Aquarium or online. Space is limited so early registration is advised.

More camps are scheduled for school holidays in early 2015.

Holiday wishes, aquarium fishes & Santa by the Sea Dec. 11

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Thursday, October 29th, 2015

NCA-PKS santa by the seaSanta by the Sea brings a bit of the North Pole to the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores on Friday, Dec. 11, for a memorable and magical evening event. The highlight of the night is when children, one by one, tell Santa their wishes among the fishes. Outdoors, there’s a localized snowstorm with plenty of flakes for making snowballs and snow angels.

In addition to these activities plus holiday crafts, treats and stories, entertaining performances are scheduled at intervals throughout the evening. Enjoy jolly laughs and incredible acts as Bryan Sanders Comic Illusionist returns to present a new magic show. The activities and performances are included in admission. Also included is a 6″ x 8″ FotoFX professional photo of the encounter with Santa. Additional copies may be purchased the day after the event.

Admission is $15 per person, all ages. Space is limited — advance purchase is advised. Tickets are available at the Aquarium and online now, and will be sold at the door from 5:30 p.m.–8 p.m. the night of the event. Santa and his sleigh depart at 9 p.m. Please note that this is a special event, and memberships, discounts, daily admission tickets, coupons and passes do not apply. The Aquarium closes for regular admission at 1 p.m. on Dec. 11.

Preschool Pumpkin Patch Oct. 28 a treat for little ones

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Sunday, October 25th, 2015

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. 28. 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.

Carnival-style games, sweets and face-painting, plus stories, songs and other activities with an autumn theme are available throughout the morning. In addition to membership or general admission, the event is $3 per person for all ages.

Thrills and gills at NC Aquarium Trick or Treating Oct. 28-29

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Sunday, October 25th, 2015

pumpkin logoThe 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. 28 and Thursday, Oct. 29.

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.

Ticket sales at the door are 4:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are $11 per person, 10% discount for members.  Ages 2 and under are 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 for Toddler Time

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Bring your little ones to theNCA-PKS toddler time with shark puppet Aquarium for a special time together enjoying stories, crafts, songs, puppets and animal encounters.

Toddler Time begins Oct. 7, and runs on Wednesdays from 9:30–10:20 a.m. and 10:30–11:20 a.m. Activities in Clearwater Classroom focus on a different animal each week. October’s celebrities include box turtles, fish, octopuses and salamanders.

Toddler Time runs weekly through March 30, except no program Nov. 25 and Dec. 23. A Halloween event for ages 5 and under takes its place the morning of Oct. 28.

Toddler Time is free with admission and registration is not required.

25th Annual Surf Fishing Workshop Oct. 16-18

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Monday, August 24th, 2015

Register now! Make your fishing wishes come true with the annual Surf Fishing Workshop weekend, Oct. 16–18, 2015. Expert instruction and hands-on experience are the trademarks of this popular seminar, now in its 25th 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. 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.

The workshop and Fishing Fanatics are sponsored by the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.

NC Aquarium embraces octopus awareness Oct. 8

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores,Uncategorized on Thursday, August 20th, 2015

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.

Venom – See Beyond the Danger exhibit open

News Article From: Pine Knoll Shores on Monday, August 17th, 2015

w NCA-PKS Asian forest scorpionVenom — See Beyond the Danger offers a different perspective on some of nature’s feared creatures. The world is full of species that defend themselves through toxins delivered by bite, sting or touch. Some of these substances hold promise for medical treatments of human ailments.

Look for a dozen new displays of venomous and poisonous insects, reptiles, fish and other creatures interspersed throughout the Aquarium under this theme. Some of the unlikely stars are native to North Carolina. Others, such as the formidable Asian forest scorpion, are distant cousins to variations found in the state.

Venom also incorporates the outdoor walk-through Hidden Inhabitants snake exhibit on the Marsh Boardwalk that is expanding to showcase all but one of North Carolina’s native venomous snakes. Beautiful Invaders, the lionfish display in the Ocean Gallery, is in the Venom lineup, too, as well as the stingray touch pool.

Learn more about the difference between poisonous and venomous, the research underway on using toxins to human advantage, the value of these creatures to their ecosystems and how to live in harmony with them by understanding their habits and habitats. Venom — See Beyond the Danger is free with admission or membership.