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Day Trips and Destinations: The Museum of Coastal Carolina

When we were on vacation a few weeks ago, we decided to treat Balian and cousin Connor to a couple of hours at the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Ocean Isle Beach, NC. September thru January, the museum is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 10 am to 4 pm.

We were excited to see what the museum had in store for us, and we checked in at the desk, and were given a clipboard with a sheet of paper so Connor (8) could do a scavenger hunt. The Ingram Lobby contained lots of fun facts and artifacts for us to explore.

The first scavanger hunt clue had us looking around the entry room to the museum...

In the next room of the museum, we learned all about the tides, how waves are made and why the get bigger and bigger. We also leaned about sand and beach erosion, which is a growing problem in the Carolinas. The dunes are highly protected. Sacha, my husband, had a great time exploring the Megabite exhibits and looking at all of the jaws of sharks, which had lots of pointy shark teeth! There were also shark and whale models and comparisons to give us an idea of how large some of these creatures really are!

Balian, playing in the hands-on sand and water table...

Making waves and learning about the tides...

We then walked through the Ocean Reef Galery, where we met life size models of sharks, whales, fish, etc. We felt like we were walking over an underwater bridge, getting a glimpse of what life is like under the sea!

Ocean Reef Gallery

Next, we walked through the Water Ways Gallery, where we met all sorts of snakes (some live and some models), wildlife models, a fun station which allowed us to look through magnifiers, and an exhibit which showed us what littering can do to the beach and the creatures who live there.

Having fun exploring the Water Ways Gallery...

We also walked through the Sea Shore Gallery, which houses a touch tank. We were able to touch starfish, crabs, sponges and other types of sea creatures for as long as we wanted! There were also touch stations with all sorts of different shells- large and small, which we were able to pick up and look at.

Down the stairs in the museum, there was the Barrier Island Gallery, which was Balian's favorite spot in the museum. This is a great place for kids to explore,  and there are a lot of hands on activities for them, including...

Toddlers can play with a puppet playhouse and puzzles
The Legend of the Loggerhead exhibit — Model of a sand dune with a mother loggerhead turtle laying a nest and hatchlings emerging from a nest
Walk through the dune to view the nest from the interior
Watch a video filmed on Ocean Isle Beach about the life cycle of loggerhead turtles
Shipwright’s tools
Navigation equipment
Wooden strip boat made in Brunswick County
Model ships

Balian and Connor, in the ship...

Puppet theatre and puzzle tables...

Balian, putting a puzzle together...

Steering the ship!

Puzzle time with daddy...

The museum also has a Coastal Plains corridor, which houses exhibits of birds, pottery, tells us where different foods come from around the world, and a fossil-rub station for more hands on fun! There is also a gift shop with educational books and activities, toys, jewelry, decor and gifts for the whole family!

We had a great time visiting the Museum of Coastal Carolina, and we'll definitely be visiting again, the next time we're in the Ocean Isle area in North Carolina. 

Want to visit?

Tickets for the Museum of Coastal Carolina are reasonably priced, at $8/adult, $7/senior citizen, $6/child, and ages 0-2 are free. The museum offers these exhibits year round, and they also offer special evening programs like Turtle Talk, art shows, seasonal events, and more! Be sure to check out their website before you go to see what fun activities await you and your family!

Where have you been with your family lately?

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1 comment

  1. Museums seem to be doing so much better at making things interesting for kids! This looks like a great trip:)


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