Pine Knoll Shores Special Events

Pine Knoll Shores Special Events

International Sawfish Day

October 17

Join the Aquarium and other AZA accredited zoos and aquariums across the nation as we celebrate the mighty yet endangered sawfish! Learn about sawfish with activities and crafts. Children can learn different ways that they can help not only sawfish but other animals found in North Carolina and across the globe.
Activities and crafts are included with admission and Aquarium membership. 






Preschool Pumpkin Patch

Oct. 27 (9 a.m. - Noon) 

$5 per person in addition to regular admission or membership

You and your little ones can scare up some Halloween fun at our Preschool Pumpkin Patch event! Dress up your preschool-age children and visit the aquarium in spooky style on October 27 from 9 a.m. to noon, for a ghoulishly good time. The event is $5 per person in addition to regular admission prices or membership. The event ticket includes all of the Preschool Pumpkin Patch activities, crafts, special treats, and photo opportunities. 

Included is a mini-pumpkin, stickers, sweet treats, crafts, a treasure from the sea, and participation in all the Halloween activities and photo opportunities.

Regular admission tickets are online reservations and spaces for Preschool Pumpkin Patch are limited, so register now. If you will be participating in Preschool Pumpkin Patch, be sure to select the $5 Event Fee in addition to your regular admission ticket or membership reservation at the link below.

Preschool Pumpkin Patch Event LInk








Toddler Time

Wednesdays 9:30-10:15 a.m. 
One Session Per Week, Max 15 children per session

Stories, crafts, songs, puppets, and animal encounters, oh, my! Enjoy a special morning with your young children during Toddler Time, most Wednesdays. We'll be holding only one session each Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. There is limited seating for each session (15 children per session) and the program is specially designed for children 18 months to 3 years of age. Toddler Time is super popular and fills quickly, so be sure to get here early!    

Our activities feature a different animal each week! Learn about otters one week and amphibians the next. Some of the celebrity creatures include box turtles, hermit crabs, otters, sea turtles, lobsters, sea stars, and seashells. Toddler Time is free with admission or membership, registration is required. The program runs every week until March. This program is very popular and fills up quickly, so be sure to arrive a few minutes before the start of the program.

The Aquarium’s indoor play area, “Imagination Bay,” is another fun space for active little ones to experience the Aquarium.  Located near the Aquarium gift shop, there’s seating for adults and plenty of fun for little ones. Free with admission or membership. And, don't forget to let loose outside at the Tree-mendous Playground.

Toddler Time and Themes will be held on these dates

Nov 3- Into ABC’s 
Nov 10 – Alligator
Nov 17 – Box turtle
Dec 1 – Crabs 
Dec 8- Diamondback Terrapin
Dec 15 – Eagles 
Dec 22 – Fish 
Dec 29- Horseshoe crab
Jan 5 - Jellyfish 
Jan 12 Lionfish 
Jan 19 – Mermaids
Jan 26 - Nurse shark 
Feb 2 - Otter 
Feb 9 - Pine snake 
Feb 16 – Stingrays 
Feb 23 - Vulture 
March 2 - Whelk 

Santa by the Sea

Saturday Dec. 11 (9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)

Whispered wishes among the fishes bring holiday magic to the Aquarium’s Santa by the Sea on Dec. 11. Make holiday cards and an ornament, enjoy special treats and games at the Aquarium all decorated for the season.  Tickets include a take-home photo of each child with Santa, plus crafts, holiday treat, activities, and other seasonal fun.

Event tickets are $9.95 per participant in addition to the Aquarium admission fee or membership.  Event tickets will be sold online as will general admission tickets. Tickets are required only for children participating in the event. Last ticket is sold online for 4:30 p.m. Adults are not required to pay for an event ticket, regular admission or membership gives them entry to observe event activities.  If an adult would like to participate in the activities, an event ticket is required.


Check Back for Santa By The Sea Event Link  

Spadefish ART Gallery

The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores regularly exhibits unique art in a hallway gallery. Shows change quarterly. Currently, the aquarium is showcasing an exhibit by fiber artist Eileen Williams. The show features her ocean-themed works of quilted art and is named Art of the Sea.

Artists find inspiration in countless ways. For fiber artist Eileen Williams, inspiration is sourced by her delight in coastal environments, which can be viewed at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores until Labor Day.  

Her artistic process begins with documenting oceanic and sound side scenes with photography. She uses dynamic imagery of marine wildlife in action. Williams then interprets her photographs using ordinary textile notions — colorful fabrics and thread, vintage lace, beads, and embellishments — to create intricate, ocean-themed works of quilted art. This variety of work, named Art of the Sea, features local coastal scenes, as well as some from her travels. Originally from Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Williams studied nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and later served in the US Navy. She and her husband both retired from the military and currently reside on the Crystal Coast. Williams is now joyfully engaged in her second career as a quilt artist. Williams has won numerous awards for her arts both locally and nationally. Her pieces have been published in quilting magazines and books. She has been filmed in her home studio for the and her work has displayed her pieces of expositions nationally and internationally. Her fiber creations can be found in private collections and in public settings including the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, Duke’s University School of Nursing, and a permanent collection of the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky.

Winter Camps

Dec 28-30 and Jan 17 for Grades 2-6

Holiday camps for grades 2-6 at the Aquarium merge fun and learning into wintertime adventures for children during the holiday break. Participants enjoy outdoor activities, animal interactions, discovery labs, and behind-the-scenes action. Participants must bring their own lunch and bottled water and wear closed-toe shoes. Remember to dress appropriately for the weather. Camps are held 8:30am - 2:30pmPrice $40 or $36 for members.
Camp payment is due in full once registration is confirmed. The following dates are camps and themes.

Dec. 28- Fur and Feathers camp theme

Dec. 29- Cold-Blooded Critters camp theme

Dec. 30- Scaly Skins camp theme

Jan. 17, 2022 - Sea Turtle Camp

VIrtual Programs


Virtual Behind-the-scenes tours, private animal encounters, moving with animals workout program! So many online programs to choose from. 

Join staff for an interactive virtual behind-the-scenes tour. Choose between two virtual behind-the-scenes tours: Avian ambassadors and sea turtle conservation.

Private Virtual Animal Cameos are a casual and fun way to learn about our animal ambassadors at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Private 20-minute virtual cameos are available 7 days a week from 8:00 - 12:00 & 1:00 -4:00. 

Looking for a way to learn while working off some of that extra energy? Our virtual workout program is offered Tuesdays at 3 p.m.




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