NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores: Free Admission & Food Drive on Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday


The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is always a treat to visit any time of the year. With its five galleries, 40 exhibits, free programs, boardwalk, nature trails, and gift shop there is plenty to see and do. One trip is not enough!

Photo Courtesy of NC Aquarium at PKS
The Martin Luther King Jr holiday on Monday, January 21 is one of the two times throughout the year where visitors gain free admission to the aquarium (Veterans Day is the other one). Take advantage of this fun and educational opportunity to see the shark tank, visit the Living Shipwreck exhibit, touch a sting ray, and explore the underwater world as it comes alive in front of you.

As with any other usual admission day, the aquarium is open from 9a.m. to 5p.m. and is full of dive presentations, live animals programs, feeding demonstrations, and so much more. Leave time for a stop at the on-site Dairy Queen and the gift shop, too.

As a way to return the favor, bring an item or two for the food drive that is in progress that day, which benefits the Martha's Mission Cupboard in Morehead City. The mission needs some help restocking its shelves after the busy holiday season. The local pantry assists families going through hard times throughout the entire year. Suggested items that are usually in demand are the staples that include cereal, peanut butter, powdered milk, canned fruit, canned vegetables, dried beans, rice, crackers, and similar items. If you intend to donate, please check the expiration dates to make sure the items can be used. Food drive donations are not required for the free admission but are certainly appreciated.

As we soon head into the month of February, don't forget that the Crystal Coast is also gearing up for its annual Carolina Chocolate Festival on February 2-3. Events leading up to the festival are beginning now! On Saturday, January 19 a brand new event kicks off this year called MexiCocoa. From 5-8p.m. at the Morehead City Train Depot, event goers can sample an array of Mexican dishes from the birthplace of chocolate... Mexico! Mexican and craft beers, wine, and bubbly are also on hand. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased here.

Any time of year, the Crystal Coast offers plenty of events, festivals, and things to do. Our beautiful beaches and stunning shorelines welcome you any and every month of the year. Off-season Crystal Coast vacation rental specials can be found this time of year, so browse the possibilities. Any time of year is a great time for a beach vacation! We hope to see you soon!