NC Aquariums offers free admission for military members on Veterans Day

Visitors at the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores gather around a touch tank during the 2020 Veterans Day free admission event for service people and their families. (N.C. Aquariums photo)

PINE KNOLL SHORES All service members can visit the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores for free this coming Veteran’s Day.

The N.C. Aquariums will have a free admission day for veterans, active, reserve and retired U.S. military personnel Thursday for Veterans Day. Online reservations are available with a valid service identification or proof of service at the aquarium website,

Free admission also applies to spouses and dependents.

The state aquariums have a tradition of waiving admission for guests on Veterans Day, as well as on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January. Starting 2019, the aquariums began restricting the free admission to service people and their dependents for the Veterans Day event. According to a recent announcement from the aquarium, advanced registration is a requirement for all visitors for safety reasons and to ensure satisfactory visitor experiences.

“This is the aquariums’ way to say thank you to those who have given so much to our country while providing an opportunity to learn more about the natural world and have fun together with friends and family,” N.C Aquariums Division Director Maylon White said.

At the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, public information officer Shannon Kemp said last year’s Veterans Day free admission event seemed popular. A total of 1,142 visitors came to the aquarium, of which 664 were military.

“It was received well and was a good way to honor our military service people,” she said. “We’ll be having our regular daily programs, such has our animal encounters, habitat spotlights and animal feeding.”

In addition to the free admission event, the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores will also host a Red Cross blood drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday.

Contact Mike Shutak at 252-723-7353, email; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.

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