For more information or to register for a program, call (910) 458-7468 or visit ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher. For all programs, children ages 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult, except for camps. All programs require pre-registration and fees.
Behind the scenes
Aquarist apprentice runs Saturday, Feb. 11 and 25, at 2 p.m. Check out a dirty job you’re sure to love. Join staff on a behind-the-scenes tour and learn about aquarium animals, what they eat, how they live and how to care for them. Then, assist aquarists with food preparation and help feed the animals. Participants also observe aquarists during daily care and maintenance tasks. This limited opportunity is only open to 10 participants.
Participants should wear closed-toe shoes and be prepared to smell fishy. For ages 10 and older. Ages 14 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Fee is $25 for ages 13 and older and $23 for ages 10 to 12. Aquarium admission is included. Pre-registration is required.
Behind-the-scenes tour runs Thursday, Feb. 9 and 23, at 11:30 a.m. and Sunday, Feb.12 and 26, at 1 p.m. Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at an aquarium? Space for animal holding, husbandry, life support systems and access to exhibits is hidden behind the aquarium walls. If you have ever cared for a home aquarium, you may have some idea of what it takes to operate a collection of salt and freshwater exhibits with hundreds of animals. Accompany aquarium staff on a guided tour of animal quarantine, life support, food preparation and access areas. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes. Children younger than 8 are not permitted. Children ages 8 to 14 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Fee is $15 for ages 13 and older and $13 for ages 8 to 12. Aquarium admission is included. Pre-registration is required.
Extended behind-the-scenes tours will run Friday, Feb. 10 and 24, at 2:00 p.m. It’s feeding time, and you’re invited to watch. Visit the top of our largest exhibit, the Cape Fear Shoals, during an expanded tour behind the scenes. Get a birds-eye view of this 235,000 gallon tank as sharks, stingrays, moray eels and other fish swim below. Aquarists feed the animals during the tour, offering a unique opportunity for close-up viewing. Participants should wear closed-toe shoes. Children under 8 are not permitted. Children ages 8 to 14 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Fee is $20 for ages 13 and older and $18 for ages 8 to 12. Aquarium admission is included. Pre-registration is required.
For children and parents
Children's discovery time will be held
• Saturday, Feb. 4, at 10 a.m. featuring spiny-skinned animals
• Thursday, Feb. 9, at 10 a.m. featuring crabs
• Thursday, Feb. 23, at 10 a.m. featuring reptiles
Creatures come alive in this story-telling and critter-creating program for ages 3 to 5. Fee is $11 per child. Aquarium admission is included. Parents pay admission only. Pre-registration is required.
Daddy and me will run Saturday, Feb. 11, at 9 a.m. Dads and their children interact and learn together about aquarium animals. Afterwards, you can enjoy free playtime in our Freshwater Wonders Room, which will be reserved just for program participants. The program is for adults and kids ages 1-2. Fee is $13 for one adult and one child ($1 for each additional child) Admission to the aquarium is included. Pre-registration is required.
The N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher is located just south of Kure Beach, a short drive from Wilmington, on U.S. 421. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $8 for ages 13-61; $7 for seniors; $6 for ages 3-12. Free admission for children 2 and younger, registered groups of N.C. school children and N.C. Aquarium Society members. General information can be found online.