Outdoor Exploration

Outdoor explorations are available seasonally and are a great way to explore North Carolina’s natural environment with an experienced naturalist.

Salt Marsh and Crabbing

Join us for a hands-on program that introduces participants to the challenge of catching blue crabs. Lessons in crab biology and crabbing equipment prepare participants for an exciting expedition through the salt marsh to catch (and release) crabs. All bait and equipment is provided.

Group Size: 60 people maximum
Grades: 2nd – University
Fee: $8.00 per student
Program Length: 2 hours
Available: April 1st – September 30th

Salt Marsh Exploration

North Carolina has over 3,000 acres of salt marsh. Hike the salt marsh and discover animals and plants unique to this rich environment.

Group Size: 60 people maximum
Grades: 2nd – University
Fee: $7.00 per student
Program Length: 1 ½ hours
Availability: March 1st – November 30th

Surf Fishing

Learn the art and practice of saltwater fishing from the beach. Program includes a one hour workshop learning knot-tying, rod and reel maintenance, bait tips, and general knowledge about North Carolina fishing. After the workshop, take your skills out to the beach to put your knowledge of hands-on fishing techniques to the test.

Group Size: 15 people maximum
Grades: 6th – University
Fee: $12.00 per student
Program Length: 3 hours
Availability: March 1st – November 30th

Fort Fisher Hermit School of Common Sense

Want to take a step back into the history of Please Island? Come learn all about the Fort Fisher Hermit, Robert E. Harrill. Join the aquarium staff to watch an award winning documentary, entitled “The Fort Fisher Hermit: The Life & Death of Robert E. Harrill.” Then take a walk in the Hermit’s footsteps out through the marsh to the bunker where he lived. Learn how the Hermit lived in the marsh surviving largely on plants and animals. Test your own skills catching and releasing food from the marsh. Activities outdoors will include crabbing, seining, and hiking.

Group Size: 60 people maximum
Grades: 7th – University
Fee: $10.00 per student
Program Length: 2 ½ hours
Availability: March 1st – November 30th

Canoeing the Salt Marsh

Paddle over by canoe to explore Zeke’s Island Estuarine Research Reserve an uninhabited island abundant in native plants and animals. Participants should be able to swim and be capable of sustained physical exertion.

Group Size: 15 people maximum
Grades: 7th – University
Fee: $20.00 per student
Program Length: 3 hours
Availability: June 1st – October 31st

Rocky Outcrop Exploration

Explore the only natural rock outcrop on the North Carolina coast and discover the marvelous marine invertebrates that live in this dynamic habitat. This program must be scheduled at low tide. Dates and times may vary.

Group Size: 20 people maximum
Grades: 4th – University
Fee: $10.00 per student
Program Length: 1 ½ hours

All outdoor programs are subject to cancellation due to inclement weather at the aquarium’s discretion. We recommend bringing a snack, water, and sunscreen on any outdoor activity. All participants must wear closed-toe shoes. Please review our outdoor guidelines so your group will be prepared for the adventure.

Click here to fill out a registration form.

For more information please call 910-458-7468 Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm or e-mail ncaff.registrar@ncmail.net.