Shark Week Comes to the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores

The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is a must-see destination during your Crystal Coast vacation. Located minutes from Emerald Isle, the aquarium makes for a wonderful day trip, rain or shine. Visitors can easilyShark Week Photo By Craig Davies spend at least a day here with its many exhibits and galleries that focus on marine life from the mountains to the sea.

This week is extra special as the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores hosts Shark Week from Sunday, July 28 through Saturday, August 3. Shark Week activities are free with regular admission or membership and include a host of family-friendly activities including special programs, crafts and displays. The aquarium sheds light on these often times misunderstood creatures and the important role they play in the ocean's ecosystem, as well as the threats they face.

Some of the special activities scheduled during Shark Week at the NC Aquarium are as follows:
  • Creature Features reveal the inside story of a shark's anatomy.NC Aquarium Shark Week
  • Enjoy a one-of-a-kind chance to have close encounters with a bamboo shark.
  • Shark Jeopardy sharpens your wits and offers a chance to win prizes as you test your knowledge during this shark quiz.
  • Watch divers swimming with sharks in the Living Shipwreck exhibit.
  • Observe live feeding demonstrations at 11:30a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Queen Anne's Revenge exhibit and at 3:15p.m. at the Living Shipwreck exhibit.
  • View a feeding program daily at 10a.m. featuring the close cousins of sharks, stingrays, at the Skate and Ray Encounters touch pool.
  • Shark-themed crafts and hands-on activities for the kids happen in the Discovery Classroom.
  • Shark art face-painting stations are available at selected times.
  • Shark videos are on display at the Sportfishing Gallery.
  • Pose for photos inside the replicated jaws of a huge megalodon or take a close-up with the snout of a great white shark.
  • Meet and greet the mascot, Friendly Finley.

Shark activities continue on Fin-Filled Fridays through August 9 as the aquarium works to educate and inform its guests on what's happening to sharks and how people can do their part to help halt the decline of the ocean's top predator by finning, over-fishing, pollution and other factors. The ocean ecosystem can't afford to lose these creatures, and scientists fear major shifts in the health of ocean ecosystems if shark populations continue to decrease.

North Carolina waters contain about 50 of the more than 400 shark species worldwide. When you visit the aquarium, see if you can find four species of sharks in the exhibits. (Hint: The tiger sharks, sand sharks and nurse sharks all can be found in the Living Shipwreck exhibit, while the bonnet-head shark can be found in the Queen Anne's Revenge exhibit.)

The aquariumShark Week at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores runs a special program (advance registration and additional fees required) that allows visitors to have an overhead look at shark feeding during the Shark Snack Behind-the-Scenes Tour offered on Tuesday and Friday. Take a memoir of your shark week experience home with you by sluicing for shark teeth at the Shark Tooth Creek fossil-finding adventure (requires additional fee).

These are just the Shark Week activities. Don't forget about all of the aquatic adventures and amazing creatures that can be found here at the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, including favorites such as the river otters, jelly fish, seahorses, sea turtles, water raptors and shorebirds, not to mention all of the fish! One day may just not be enough for all of the fun, adventure and learning that you'll take in during your visit.

The aquarium is open daily from 9a.m. to 5p.m. except on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. For more information on planning your visit, click here.

Are you vacationing on the Crystal Coast this week? Are you going to the aquarium for Shark Week? If so, we'd love to hear about it. Drop us a line!

*Photos courtesy of the NC Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.