Special Activities Programs

Join us for a variety of fun and interactive programs. Some programs are scheduled year-round, others are seasonal. Please visit our calendar for a schedule of current programs, or call to schedule a private group program.

Advance registration and fees are required for all Special Activity Programs. Special Activities also require a minimum number of participants and are subject to cancellation due to low enrollment or inclement weather. For registration information, please call the Aquarium at 252-473-3494, extension 232, or toll free at 800-832-3474, ext. 4, followed by ext. 232.

Aqua Tales for Tots - Children ages 3-5 have fun during these 45-minute sessions on different aquatic and marine topics. Costumes, craft activities and live animals may be used to focus on a different animal for each class.

Behind the Scenes Tour – Accompany an Aquarium educator for a sneak peek  behind the scenes of the Aquarium. Visitors get an inside look at exhibits and systems that keep the Aquarium operating. Closed-toe shoes are required. For ages 8 and up.

Breakfast with the Rays - Get an exciting start to your day by assisting Aquarium staff with a morning feeding of stingrays in the touch tank and discover fascinating facts about these graceful gliders. The program begins promptly at 8:30 a.m. Closed-toe shoes are required. For ages 6 and up.

Catch a Crab! - Try you luck crabbing from a nearby dock! Learn a bit of basic blue crab biology and cook up your legal catch and sample the finished fare. Closed-toe shoes are required. For ages 6 and up.

Gyotaku (Fish Printing) - Experience this Japanese art technique by painting real and replicated fish to create original prints on an assortment of mediums. A t-shirt is provided for each aspiring artist. For ages 6 and up.

Hook, Line & Sinker Basics – This beginner program provides basic fishing, handling of tackle, fish identification and catch & release techniques at a local fishing pier. Closed-toe shoes are required. For ages 8 and up.

Nautical Wreaths – Learn about mollusks and their egg cases, along with other natural finds, by incorporating castoffs from the sea into a grapevine wreath. Use your original creation as a year-round decoration. All necessary materials are provided. For ages 8 and up.

Nocturnal Beach Creatures – What animals are most active on Outer Banks beaches when the sun goes down? The sea turtle is the animal of focus, but nocturnal behaviors of other marine animals are also discussed. The program includes a trip to the beach for a leisurely walk in hopes of spying animal activity during the evening hours. For ages 6 and up.

Peaceful Pilates - Wake up with the sharks and fish with a basic Pilates class to strengthen your mind and body.  This 45-minute session features invigorating stretches and exercises that focus on abdominal and back endurance. Bring a mat or towel to enjoy the privacy and serenity of the 285,000-gallon Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit. For ages 10 and up.

Sea Turtle Egg Hunt – Attention young “turtlers!” Visit the Aquarium Easter weekend to learn about endangered sea turtles. Discover fun facts during a turtle program, make a craft to take home and search for eggs on Aquarium grounds! Event held rain or shine. For ages 4-7.

Seaweed Marbling – Practice this fun craft technique using seaweed extract to produce beautiful marbleized designs. Crafters can create a cool assortment of papers with original colored swirls, and bring a t-shirt to design and print your own wearable art. For ages 6 and up.

Snack with the Sharks – Venture behind the scenes of the Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit to observe one of the weekly shark feedings. Get an up-close look as animals feast on their favorite foods. Aquarium staff dispel many myths and reveal fascinating facts about sharks during a light snack in the Aquarium classroom. Closed-toe shoes are required. For ages 8 and up.

Surf Fishing for Beginners – Join us for a day-long introductory session on surf fishing. Instructions begin in the classroom with fish identification, knot tying, tackle and how to read the beach. Spend the afternoon on the beach practicing casting techniques and fishing. All fishing gear is provided. Participants should bring a bag lunch, sunscreen and a cooler for their catch. For ages 12 and up.

Wetlands Walk - Join an aquarium instructor for a fun-filled learning experience in this catch-and-release program in a nearby salt marsh. Travel to Oregon Inlet with nets and buckets to search for and collect some of the many marsh animals. Animals collectedwill be identified and released. Learn about the estuary, sound, tides and the marsh’s dynamic ecosystem. Closed-toe shoes are required. For ages 8 and up.