Wands and Wings
FOREST FAIRIES TO Forest Fairies to Sea Serpents on March 5 combines education and imagination into a magical day of activities, free with admission or membership. Be on the lookout for fairies, elves, imps, gnomes, wizards, sea monsters, storybook creatures and other mythical characters. Costumes are optional but encouraged and add to the fun.
Children’s activities for girls and boys are available 9am-5pm and include opportunities to build fairy houses from pine cones, shells and other natural materials outdoors, find fairy and mermaid doors around the exhibits, leave messages for the imaginary inhabitants of these structures, discover your fairy or elf name and decorate your own fanciful wand to take home.
Also enjoy a pretend sea serpent in the Living Shipwreck during the daily dive shows. The daily Creature Features turn into theatrical fairy tales starring live animals in whimsical, Aquarium-style interpretations of favorite fables.
Though Forest Fairies to Sea Serpents focuses on make-believe beings, it inspires a closer look at real animals and their environments.
Tune up your fishing skills and learn some new ones in time for the spring season with the annual Get Hooked Fishing School on Saturday, March 19. The day-long seminar features in-depth presentations by experienced anglers on fishing techniques and species-specific methods. The session line-up includes:
o Capt. Mark Henderson of Liquid Fire Fishing Team – King Mackerel
o Capt. Jeff Cronk of Fish’n $ Life Charters – Red Drum
o Capt. Noah Lynk of Noah’s Ark Fishing Charters – Flounder
o Dr. Bogus – Surf Fishing Bogue Banks
o Capt. Gary Dubiel of Spec Fever Guide Service – Speckled Trout
o Capt. John Mauser of Tailing Tide Guide Service – Saltwater Fly Fishing
o Capt. Stuart Merritt of Salt Air Ventures Charters – Offshore Trolling & Offshore Bottom Fishing
Mini sessions will be offered by Capt. Mark Henderson of Liquid Fire Fishing Team on Saltwater Reel Selection and Maintenance, and by Tim “the Troutman” Rudder of Chasin’ Tails Outdoors Bait & Tackle on Inshore Bottom Fishing.
Enjoy additional presentations and demonstrations while dining on a catered lunch. The action-packed event also includes giveaways and drawings for great fishing gear in addition to attendance at up to five sessions.
Get Hooked is from 8am-4:30pm, and all sessions are at the aquarium. Advance registration is required and space is limited. The fee is $60 per person; $54 for members. Sign up online, by phone or at the aquarium. See the aquarium website for the full schedule. The Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament sponsors Get Hooked.
A day out of school is good, and spending it at Aquarium Spring Break camps makes it great. Sessions will be offered March 28-30 and April 25-27. From 8:30am-2:30pm, campers enjoy hands-on opportunities, behind-the-scenes action, discovery labs, outdoor activities and more. Advance registration is required and Spring Break Camps fill quickly, so sign up soon.
Winter is on the way out, which means outdoor fun is on its way in. Fishing lessons and kayaking and canoeing programs will resume as weather permits – watch the aquarium website for dates and details on how to register.
Meanwhile, behind-the-scenes tours of the aquarium are available five days a week throughout the month. See the food preparation process, the view from above the Living Shipwreck exhibit and sea turtles and other animals in the holding areas.
Dive programs, live animal programs and animal feeding programs are offered daily, free with admission.
Share those great photos and videos you take of aquarium creatures or your kids entranced at the touch pools. Enter your images in the aquarium’s social media Fan Photo Friday competition. Find the Aquarium on Facebook plus Instagram, Twitter and other outlets the easy way – click on the direct links from the aquarium’s homepage.
The NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is 5 miles west of Atlantic Beach at 1 Roosevelt Blvd., Pine Knoll Shores, NC 28512. Hours are 9am-5pm daily. Admission is $10.95 for ages 13-61; $9.95 for age 62 and up and military; $8.95 for ages 3-12; no charge for age 2 and under and NC Aquarium Society members. State taxes apply to admission fees. For more information, see www.ncaquariums.com/pine-knoll-shores or call 252-247-4003.