The Aquarium is now offering an Extended Behind the Scenes tour, which gives participants an opportunity to view the top of the Aquarium’s largest tank, the Cape Fear Shoals tank. Participants will receive a birds-eye view of sharks, stingrays, moray eels, and other fish as they swim below. Aquarists feed the animals during the tour, which offers a unique experience. The aquarium continues to offer the popular Surf Fishing Workshops. Surf fishing workshops include one hour of classroom discussion, then surf fishing on the beach nearby. Pre-registration is required for all programs.
To pre-register for Aquarium programs call 910-458-7468.
Aquarium Special Events
With the holidays right around the corner, the aquarium is gearing up for their special events that surround this time of year. The aquarium will be decking the halls during the popular Holiday Elf Camp, which gives children ages five to 10 years old the opportunity to become Santa’s little helpers! The little elves will make gifts, wrap them, meet other elves, and create memories with new friends. This fun and educational program gives adults guilt-free time for kid-free holiday shopping or relaxation. Scuba Santa will make an appearance in Cape Fear Shoals throughout the month of December; visitors can watch him swim around the largest exhibit in the Aquarium during various dive programs.
One great gift idea for the holidays is purchasing a membership to the aquarium. Members receive unlimited free admission for one full year at all three North Carolina aquariums. Family memberships (and higher categories) provide free admission for two adults named on the card and their children or grandchildren under the age of 18. An aquarium membership also provides free admission to over 150 zoos and aquariums across the country, as well as discounts on rentals and gift shop purchases.
Membership prices and more information can be found on the Aquarium’s website, www.ncaquariums.com/membership.
The aquarium has been busy creating new exhibits for the public to enjoy! One new exhibit stars five tiny turtles. Baby turtles were a popular request from visitors, so aquarium staff created a permanent exhibit within the existing box turtle exhibit to house the turtles, ranging in age from one to two years old. The baby box turtles are offspring from the adults on exhibit. The eggs were removed from the nest and placed in an incubator to hatch. Otherwise, if the babies hatched on exhibit, they hide so well, it is hard to find them to make sure they eat enough. The juveniles are fed a mix of fruit, vegetables, and turtle gel. They are also fed earth and meal worms for added nutrition. The garden has also been given a new edition, with the creation of a carnivorous plant garden. The garden was created by volunteer Jake West for his Eagle Scout project, and features several carnivorous plants, including the Venus flytrap, which is primarily found in the New Hanover County area.
Luna, the albino alligator has now been with the Aquarium for over a year! She has grown in size and popularity over the past year; visitors still come from near and far to visit her and receive their very own, “I Met Luna” sticker. Children and adults alike still love to view Luna as she basks in the shade or takes a break on her infamous log.
The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher is available for rental during and after-hours depending upon scheduled programs and activities at the Aquarium. Our facilities can accommodate up to 2,000 guests, depending on your group’s requirements and functions. An auditorium, conference room, classrooms, and an outdoor garden deck are available, as well as other facilities for rental. The North Carolina Aquariums participate in the Military Voucher Program. Active duty and retired military personnel can purchase tickets at a discounted rate from many Tickets and Tours Offices at military bases nationwide. Tickets must be purchased in advance to receive a discount. Contact the facilities closest to you for ticket prices or additional information.
NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher is located just south of Kure Beach, near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, on U.S. 421. The site is less than a mile from the Fort Fisher ferry terminal. Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s days). Admission: $8 Ages 13-61, $7 Ages 62 and up, $6 Ages 3-12, Free for children 2 and under, NC Aquarium Society members and pre-registered North Carolina school groups. General information: www.ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher.