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North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

The North Carolina Aquarium of Roanoke Island sits on 68,000 square feet. It is in the small coastal town of Manteo. It encompasses all aquatic life on the Outer Banks. It has endangered maritime creatures. Some of these are sea turtles, common horseshoe crabs, and stingrays.

The North Carolina Aquarium is a beloved attraction for vacationers. It is a great opportunity to spark conservation interests in young people. The Aquarium provides educational material for young and older people alike. It also helps with conserving marine life for the sake of future destinations. Be sure to visit the aquarium on your next Outer Banks vacation. You will find a family friendly excursion. It is a comprehensive experience so remember to give it a full morning or afternoon. That is the only way to receive the full experience.

Aquarium Sites In North Carolina

  • Fort Fisher
  • Pine Kroll Shores
  • Roanoke Island
  • Jennette’s Pier
  • Manteo

Tours And Adventures

The facility offers both outdoor and virtual programs for visitors. It features island exhibit galleries. The galleries focus on a specific aspect of local maritime culture.

Virtual Programs

Students receive a program kit and are able to visit all for aquarium sites. The program kit involves 5 sessions:

Aquarium Adventures

Participants in this program get a wide range of benefits. There are interactive science lessons and creative crafts. It also comprises STEM activities and various learning experiences. Students are able to learn about coastal habitats and how to protect them. They can also visit aquarium exhibits. The opportunity to meet animal ambassadors has also been made available to students.

The adventure happens every Wednesday at 1 pm.

Virtual Creature Feature

An educator from the aquarium shares details on how they care for animals. The topics vary from whales, amphibians and sea turtles from Fort Fisher. Each week features a different topic. Students get to learn how these species are preserved in the wild. They also learn how they can be involved.

Participants are able to sign up for special topics and programs on Roanoke Island. Some of these include beach finds 101 and lessons on quirky marine life. Topics covered on this kit include lizards, tarantula and sea turtles.

You can also watch educators collect plankton. Some involve educators diving under Jennette’s Pier to discover fish. Students can be taught how to create their own origami fish.

Virtual Behind the Scenes

Learn about the ambassadors and staff of North Carolina Aquariums. Students learn about the educators who give information and island exhibits. There is exciting information on aquatic life on Fort Fisher and Roanoke Island.

Private Virtual Animal Cameos

You can have your questions answered by a select ambassador. These sessions will have a private cameo of an animal of your choice. The ambassadors will bring in the animal for a close-up and provide information you may need. The availability of the animals depends on the site. Fort Fisher has alligators, turtles, salamanders, snakes, and sea turtles. Roanoke Islands has sea turtles, owls, possums, and river otters.

Virtual Story Time

An educator will read an animal tale for this kit. The educator will bring in the animal for participants after the story. This kit is recommended for ages 2-5. Family members are also welcome to take part

Outdoor Programs

North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island offers both free and fee-based programs. Some of the outdoor sessions include:

Shipwreck stories

Educators answer questions you may have. The answers are based on Aquarium animals. The educators are able to explain aspects of the maritime life that may be confusing.

Animal Feedings

Visitors can watch the animals be fed. An educator explains the diet of each animal. They can also tell you what each animal likes to eat.

Educator Program

Learn about amazing animal adaptations. The program involves a fun game and educational lecture. It offers a fun educational experience for all learners.

Special Events

There are many valuable conservation programs available to participants at the aquarium. The main goal of the site is to educate. Workshops have been held to enhance marine life knowledge of the masses. A great example is Your Yard and Beyond Workshops. Individuals are able to learn eco-friendly tips in this series. For a small fee, you are able to engage in fun educational experiences. This year’s Your Yard and Beyond Workshop was held on April 17th. It featured the topic on Gardening for Songbirds


The Aquarium in Manteo offers camping sessions for grades 3-8. The camps are fun educational experiences for all who attend. You can choose between attending summer or day camps.

Swim With Sharks

The 285,000-gallon habitat at Graveyard of the Atlantic is an exciting new exhibit. Open water certified divers get the chance to dive with sharks! The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island has many shark species. There are sand tiger, nurse and sandbar sharks. Other reef fish are also present in the water.

Professional divers are available. They can help you take photos and videos for the uncertified. This is a 2-hour program with 30 to 45 minute dives. The program is available to people above 15 years.

Hold Your Memorable Events Here...

The Aquarium is located on the gorgeous Outer Banks of North Carolina. It offers a breathtaking site for memorable events. The curious critters like stingrays, sea turtles, otters and alligators all add a special charm to your family event. Perfect for those once in a lifetime photos. 

Some of the events that have taken place here include:

  • Weddings and Rehearsal parties
  • Corporate Events
  • Birthday Celebrations
  • Meetings
  • Anniversary Celebrations
  • Nonprofit events


There is a unique opportunity to become a member of the North Carolina Aquariums. Being a member has some advantages, such as free admission. You can take pride in supporting the mission of the Aquariums to preserve marine life. As a member, you can support exciting new exhibits. You can also take part in fun educational experiences and valuable conservation programs.

Planning on Traveling Throughout Eastern North Carolina?

Then before you leave home, take a quick look at our complete list of other fun things to do here:  The Historic Albemarle Trail. Don't leave home without checking it out!!

This place is for Publicity

This place is for Publicity

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