Thursday, March 31, 2011

Plan Now For Earth Day

In recognition of 2011 as Year of the Turtle, activities zero in on how rising temperatures can affect these reptiles, and also amphibians and birds.

Enjoy a hands-on interactive box turtle exhibit in the Coastal Plain Gallery. A giant replica of an osprey nest in the same gallery provides kids with a bird’s-eye view - and parents with a great photo opportunity.

Live animal programs throughout the week feature turtles and birds. The jeopardy quiz game at select times addresses hot topics with a “Heating Up” theme.

Watch for Discovery stations in Tidal Waters gallery with live animals, hands-on experiments, a life-sized inflatable leatherback sea turtle, reptile egg replicas, activities about marine mammals and other engaging activities that carry a conservation message and prompt discussions about climate change.

On Friday afternoon, April 22, visitors can taste the sweet rewards of a Cakes for Conservation competition. Bakers ages 5 and up express their environmental sentiments with conservation-themed confections and compete for prizes. Entries are served up after the 3:30 p.m. announcement of the winners in two age categories for children, and the professional amateur divisions for grown-ups.

On Saturday, April 23, the Aquarium teams up with other conservation-minded organizations at Fort Macon State Park in Atlantic Beach for the Crystal Coast Earth Day Festival, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. See what’s happening with local conservation efforts and enjoy activities, live music and artwork by local students.

Also on Saturday, imagination meets education in Forest Fairies to Sea Serpents for ages 4-12. Children make fairy and gnome houses on the Aquarium nature trail, hunt for mermaid doors and mythological connections throughout the Aquarium and enjoy a theatrical fairy tale featuring live creatures. A costume contest with plenty of categories and pixie-perfect prizes adds to the magic.

Forest Fairies to Sea Serpents requires advance registration and fees; all other programs are free with admission or membership and no registration is required.

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