A woman hods an owl on her hand while wearing a glove. A group of school children look on in eh background



The Aquarium’s traveling Outreach programs bring fun, hands-on, educational activities to your classroom or event. Presentations can be adapted for all ages and an array of different groups. Costumes, props, and live animals make these programs entertaining, enriching, and exciting for all ages! Outreach programs can put freshwater turtles, snakes, amphibians, and other critters at your fingertips. Programs can be designed to meet the needs of any group or class.

The Aquarium can provide both small-group, hands-on programs and interactive large-group programs for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. We incorporate engaging demonstrations, dramatizations, experiments, and live animal encounters designed to inspire appreciation and conservation of North Carolina's aquatic environments. 

Be sure to fill out the outreach form at the bottom of this page.
An educator on the left in a blue shirt holds a box turtle as some children and adults on he right sitting in chairs look at the turtle


SMALL GROUPS: For 30 participants or fewer. $100 for the first small-group program, $50 for each repeated small-group program. 
MEDIUM GROUPS: For 31 to 60 participants. $150 for the first medium-group program, $75 for each repeated medium-group program.
LARGE GROUPS: For 61 to 150 participants. $200 for the first large-group program, $100 for each repeated large-group program.
AQUARIUM DISPLAY: $250 for four hours. (Additional staff may be applied)
TRAVELING TOUCH TANK: $475 for four hours.
TRAVEL: .75¢ per mile, round trip.

Outreach Programs


Join a sea turtle hatchling on its journey from a bitty baby to a fully grown adult. Students will enjoy a reading of the book “Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out!” by April Pulley Sayre. During the reading, students will learn the long journey a sea turtle takes from the time the egg is laid in its nest until adulthood. Your students will discover the many predators a sea turtle has, things humans do that affect or harm sea turtles, and, of course, ways we can all help save sea turtles! The program will end with an up-close look at one of our sea turtles. This program is perfect for children ages 2-7. Grades preschool-1, no maximum participants.  (45 minutes)


It’s more than just a glass of water; it’s a precious limited resource! Explore the water cycle and learn the differences between fresh, saline, and brackish water through scientific investigation. Participants test the pH and salinity of Aquarium exhibits and their school drinking fountain to determine what types of aquatic life can survive in each environment. Grades 3-7, a maximum of 30 participants. (1 Hour)


What do squid, snails, and scallops have in common? Find out as students explore the amazing world of mollusks! Participants examine the anatomy and adaptations of these cephalopods through scientific investigation and squid dissection. Grades 3-12, a maximum of 30 participants. (1 Hour)


Learn how to classify our local marine invertebrates after a hands-on experience with mollusks, crustaceans, and echinoderms. Participants work in small groups to observe live whelks, crabs, sea stars, and other boneless sea creatures. Grades 2-12, a maximum of 30 participants.  (1- 1.5 hours)


Join a hermit crab on its journey to turn its “plain shell” into a beautiful home. Students enjoy a lively, interactive reading of Eric Carle’s book, "A House for Hermit Crab."  Throughout the story, participants learn about friendship and a variety of undersea invertebrates, before getting hands-on, up-close encounters with the same creatures. The program, perfect for children ages 3 to 6, encourages plenty of imagination and participation. Small group presentation only. (45 minutes)


How does a sea star eat if they don’t have teeth? How do owls sneak up to their prey? Through adaptations! Learn about the amazing adaptations many of our Aquarium residents have that help them survive in their environment. Choose 3 or 4 of the following animals: eastern screech owl, snake, box turtle, sea turtle, river otter, salamander, sea star, horseshoe crab, hermit crab, sea urchin, stingray, or shark. The program includes a live animal of some of the animals mentioned above. (1 hour)


This program will focus on owls, sea turtles, alligators, and amphibians and ways we can all be a habitat hero. Learn how humans affect these animals' homes and the small changes we can all make to help create a better habitat for them Great for all ages.   (1 hour)


Take a virtual journey through the great state of North Carolina. Starting with the mountains, participants explore 4 different river basins of the state, eventually ending at the sea. Learn about their ecosystems, the animals that occupy them, how humans are negatively influencing them, and what steps we can take to solve those problems! Great for ages 11 and up. (1-1.5 hours)


Take a virtual journey through the great state of North Carolina. Starting with the mountains, explore the different habitats and ecosystems of the state, eventually ending at the sea. The program includes live animals and educational props from these habitats. Great for all ages. (1-1.5 hours)


Sea turtles are some of the oldest, most intriguing, and fascinating reptiles on the planet. Explore the life history and adaptations of these threatened and endangered species. Find out where hatchlings go during their time at sea, and what brings turtles back to the same North Carolina beaches where they hatched. See a loggerhead sea turtle, as well as examine sea turtle shells, skulls, and other bones. Adaptable for all ages. (1 hour)


Explore the similarities and differences between reptiles and amphibians, and then examine the life cycles and adaptations of the two classifications. After an encounter with our ectothermic friends, transform your space into a swamp with interactive props and live frogs, toads, and turtles. Grades: K–6 (1 hour)


Have a close encounter with native reptiles of North Carolina’s land and sea. Learn about the characteristics of this amazing group of slithering, sliding, swimming, and crawling creatures. Discover where they live, what they eat, and which ones may be hiding in your own backyard. See and touch the scales and scutes of live turtles, snake, and an alligator! Great for all ages.   (1 hour)

Community Events & Festivals


Looking for something to liven up your next festival or community event? The staff sets up a fun, hands-on display to showcase some of the reptiles of North Carolina. Depending on the season and venue, a number of live animals come along. Education games, crafts and other activities can be part of your event upon request. Duration 4 hours.


Bring the Aquarium to your next community event. The staff sets up a fun display that showcases different birds of North Carolina. You will get the chance to see and feel the wings of different native birds. Learn about why birds are so important and how we can be helpful to our fine feathered friends! Depending on the season and venue, a number of live animals come along. Educational games, crafts and other activities can be part of your event (upon request). Let us know what we can do for you! Duration 4 hours.


Looking for something extra special for your event? You provide the event and the Aquarium provides an assortment of local marine invertebrates in our new traveling touch tank. The selection of touch tank animals depends on seasonal availability, but may include whelks, urchins, sea stars, hermit crabs, spider crabs, sea squirts, clams and tulip snails. The traveling touch tank exhibit includes a display of assorted biofacts, beachcomber finds and more! Duration 4 hours. 

Virtual Programs


Whale of a Workout- Looking for a way to learn while working off some of that extra energy? Join us to learn how some of the Aquarium's awesome animals use their body to move, capture prey, avoid a predator, or defend themselves. Break a sweat by mimicking their actions and discover what it takes to move like an ocean dweller, land-lover, or feathered friend. Cooldown and relax by meeting one of the Aquarium's Animal Ambassadors! Perfect for ages 4 and up. Duration: 30 minutes



Join the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores in learning about the amazing journey a sea turtle must take and all the obstacles they may encounter. Explore the life history and adaptations of these threatened and endangered species. This program includes an encounter with a live sea turtle. Great for all ages. Duration 45 hours.