Santa Claus is Coming!
SANTA BY THE Sea on Dec. 11 brings holiday wonder for the whole family. The highlight of the night: each child confides wishes to St. Nick in front of the Living Shipwreck. A professional photo of the encounter is included for each child 12 and under.
To make the event truly magical, Bryan Sanders, comic illusionist, conjures up incredible acts in a new show. Performances are repeated throughout the evening.
Also adding sparkle – a localized snow play area on the front deck. In addition, children make keepsake crafts, dish out snacks for Santa’s reindeer, listen to Mrs. Claus read stories and enjoy special appearances by the most famous reindeer of all, Rudolph. New this year, the Carteret Community Theater will perform skits throughout the evening.
Tickets are $15 plus state sales tax per person for all ages. Members receive a 10% discount. Space is limited, and advance ticket purchases are recommended online or at the aquarium. Tickets are sold at the door 5:30-8:30pm, with a 9pm scheduled departure of Santa and his sleigh. Please note that daily admission passes, receipts and discounts do not apply for this special event.
Keep a lookout for St. Nick and his diving elves in the Living Shipwreck when you bring holiday guests for a visit. The Aquarium and the Gift Shop operate on the regular schedule – 9am to 5pm daily – throughout the holiday season, except for a 1pm closing Dec. 11 and closed Christmas Day. The aquarium is open during normal operating hours on Jan. 1.
Give the kids a winter treat on their school break with post-holiday camps. All camps meet 8:30am -2:30pm; grades 1-2 on Dec. 29, grades 3-4 on Dec. 30 and grades 5-6 on Dec. 31.
Camp keeps students thinking, moving and learning with outdoor explorations, discovery labs and behind-the-scenes action. Advance registration is required. The fee is $45 per camper.
Toddler Time Twice as Nice
Toddler Time can keep the tots in touch with the natural world when it’s cold outside. Parents and young children enjoy stories, songs, crafts and puppets about a different animal every Wednesday morning. It has been expanded to two time slots: 9:30-10:20am and 10:30-11:20am, except for Nov. 26 and Dec. 23. The program is free with admission or membership and no registration is required.
A Reel Deal
For tips on how to bring home the catch, sign up for the Get Hooked Fishing School sponsored by Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament. Need a holiday gift idea? Register an aspiring angler in your family. This one-day comprehensive course on March 19 features presentations on various aspects and specialties of the sport. All sessions are at the aquarium. Advance registration is required. See the website or call for information and to get in on the fun.
The NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is 5 miles west of Atlantic Beach at 1 Roosevelt Blvd., Pine Knoll Shores, NC 28512. The aquarium is open 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 are additional to fees. For more information, see www.ncaquariums.com/pine-knoll-shores or call 252-247-4003.