Free Admission and Food Drive
Start the new year off with good deeds! The aquarium offers free admission for all visitors and conducts a food drive on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, Jan. 18. Free admission is sponsored by Transportation Impact. Visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable edibles to help the local food pantry, Martha’s Mission Cupboard, restock the shelves after the holiday rush. Aquarium staff will collect and deliver the food. Cereal, peanut butter, powdered milk, canned fruit and vegetables, dried beans, rice, saltines and other staples top the list of needed items.
Donations are not required for free admission. The aquarium is open as usual 9am-5pm and dive programs, animal presentations and animal feedings happen throughout the day on the regular schedule.
The Dish on Fish
Spice up your wintertime fare with the local catch. Succulent Seafood takes you to the area’s top restaurants for tips and techniques straight from the chefs on cooking local, sustainable seafood. The grand finale for each session is a taste test of the day’s featured cuisine. Learn how to make the best seasonal selections. This program runs many Monday afternoons and an occasional Tuesday through March. Advance registration is required. Plan ahead – the sessions fill up fast. Upcoming locations include: Salt Water Grill in Swansboro, Ice House in Swansboro, Crab’s Claw in Atlantic Beach, and Island Grille in Atlantic Beach. See the website for dates and details.
Get Hooked on Fishing
If you want to catch your own, consider the annual Get Hooked Fishing School on March 19, featuring presentations by experienced anglers on many aspects of this favorite coastal pastime. The fee is $60 per person; $54 for aquarium members. Space is limited so sign up early – online, by phone or at the aquarium.
Love a Mystery?
Could you and your sweetheart solve a crime together? Celebrate this Valentine’s Day by becoming sleuths at the aquarium on Saturday, Feb. 13, in a special murder mystery dinner.
The animals won’t give up any secrets, but search together for clues among the exhibits. You must be age 18 or older to partake of this after-hours, adults-only event. Activities work best when done in pairs and tickets are sold in twos, so bring a spouse, a sweetheart or a friend to share the fun. Doors open at 6:45pm. Dinner begins at 7pm.
Space is limited and advance registration is required. Visit www.ncaquariums.com for pricing and details. Register online, by phone or stop by the Visitor Services desk.
Spring Break Camps
Make spring break a sensation for your child with Aquarium day camps. Sign up for just one day or all three days. Dates include March 28-30, and April 25-27, and are open to first through fifth grades. Both camps feature behind-the-scenes action, crafts and animal encounters appropriate for the respective age groups.
Camps meet 8:30am-2:30pm and require advance registration and fees. Space is limited so register soon.
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.