Category Archives: Attractions

New Show Premieres in October at Ingram Planetarium

The show schedule at Ingram Planetarium includes the premiere of a new family program titled “Earth, Moon & Sun.”

Produced locally by the Morehead Planetarium at UNC Chapel Hill, this new presentation will explore the relationship between the Earth, Moon and Sun with the help of Coyote, an amusing character adapted from Native American oral traditions. This fast-paced, family show investigates our home planet and how it interacts with our most familiar neighbors. Learn about lunar phases, eclipses and other phenomena we see in our skies to better understand how the Earth, Moon and Sun work together as a system.

Doors open at 11:30am on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with “Earth, Moon & Sun” being featured at 1:00 pm throughout the month of October. Show trailers and complete playlists for laser art and music shows are available at full October lineup of shows is listed below:

Immersive Sky Theater Shows

All Immersive Theater presentations are accompanied by a live star show.

12:00   The Sky Tonight! – LIVE

1:00   Earth, Moon & Sun – NEW

2:00   Undiscovered Worlds

3:00   Sea Monsters – Half-priced admission

Laser Art and Music Shows

Friday, Oct 28             Fright Light (6pm),      Pink Floyd’s The Wall (7pm)

(Not recommended for young children)

Saturday, Oct 29        Fright Light (6pm),      Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon (7pm)

Special Events

Saturday, Oct 1          Sunset at Sunset – Half-priced admission all day!

Friday, Oct 7               Stars at Sunset: October (7pm)

Saturday, Oct 8          StarWatch: International Observe the Moon Night (7pm) – Free Admission

Public funding for “Earth, Moon & Sun” was provided by the Town of Sunset Beach through its Accommodation Taxes.

Ingram Planetarium is located at 7625 High Market Street in Sunset Beach, NC. Admission is free for members. Non-member admission (including NC sales tax) is $9.50 for adults, $8.50 for seniors (62+), $7.50 for children (3-12), and free for age 2 and under. For more information, call 910-575-0033, visit, or like us on

Museum of Coastal Carolina Celebrates 25 Years

Stuart Ingram saw his dream come true when the Museum of Coastal Carolina opened its doors to the public  May 19, 1991. Ingram had envisioned such a museum for 25 years, ever since a young boy questioned him about the fish he was catching in the surf on Ocean Isle Beach. Ingram not only kept the idea of a museum alive; he also embraced the challenge of raising funds, acquiring land, building a museum, and obtaining exhibits. Those who knew him often speak of his imagination, perseverance, enthusiasm and tenacity.MuseumExterior

In Ingram’s own  words, “The dedication of the original building was held May 19, 1991. After a few brief remarks by some of the directors of the museum the traditional ribbon tied to the entrance railing was cut by Mayor Betty Williamson and the guests entered the Museum for a first view of the interior. Without exception the guests expressed their favorable impression of the museum and its exhibits.”

In September of 1992, construction on a 2,100-foot addition to the museum began; it was completed in the early summer of 1993. Construction of a second addition to the museum began in the summer of 1995; it was completed in the spring of 1996. The third addition was begun in August of 1997; it was completed in early 1998. Ingram then turned his attention to the stars. Ingram Planetarium in Sunset Beach opened its doors to the public in May of 2002. Sadly, Ingram passed away just prior to opening day. His wife, Louise, stayed active in both the museum and the planetarium until her death in 2013.

Since its beginning, the Museum of Coastal Carolina has been involved in entertaining and educational activities, programs, and lectures for visitors of all ages. Thousands of school children visit the museum every year, as do summer visitors to the area. During the quiet winter months, the museum remains open to the public two days a week and also hosts a popular monthly Tuesday night lecture series.

Both the museum and the planetarium rely heavily on volunteers. This dedicated group of volunteers helps with administrative tasks, building and grounds maintenance, educational activities, fund raising, and much more. They are the public “face” of the museum and planetarium.

New volunteers are always welcome, especially during this time as the facilities gear up for the busy summer season. Both facilities are open six days a week during the summer. Anyone interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities should call Joyce Houle, volunteer coordinator, at 910-579-1014 or email her at

If you are a Brunswick County resident and have never visited the Museum of Coastal Carolina, consider joining the fun on March 26 when the museum hosts its annual Family Day from 10-2.  The museum is located at 21 East Second Street in Ocean Isle Beach, NC.

Gem Mining Program at the Museum of Coastal Carolina on Jan. 23

Michael Abushakra will present a program called Gem Mining: Treasures from the Earth at the Museum of Coastal Carolina at 11:00 on Jan. 23, 2016 . He will simulate a gem mining experience by providing children with bags of materials to sift through, sort, and identify. Kids will learn how to compare rough rocks and minerals with polished, finished specimens and jewelry.MuseumExterior

A native of Brunswick County, Michael Abushakra is a second generation jeweler and the owner of Brynn Elizabeth Jewelers in Ocean Isle Beach, where he makes custom jewelry. He earned his Graduate Gemologist and Graduate Jewelers degrees at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, CA.

The Museum of Coastal Carolina is located at 21 East Second Street, Ocean Isle Beach, NC. The museum is open from 10-3 on Friday and Saturday.  Admission to the museum is free for members. Non-member all-day admission (including NC sales tax) is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors (62+), $7 for children (3-12), and free for age 2 and under. For more information, call 910-579-1016 or visit

December Programming and Santa Aboard the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA

Santa Wish List

Santa Wish List

The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA announces the programming schedule for December, 2015.

Battleship Alive
Saturday, December 5, 2015
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Included with Paid Admission

Since 1997, the Living History Crew weekends have been a tradition at the battleship in the program called “Battleship Alive.” The Living History Crew provides insight into the daily life and routine of the crew aboard the USS NORTH CAROLINA by explaining the duties specific to the sailor’s ratings (jobs) and demonstrates activities that occurred aboard the ship. A great event for all ages. Bring your questions and cameras! Included with Battleship admission.

A Verry Merry Showboat
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Times: 10:00 am – Noon, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Free with Battleship admission

Enjoy a new holiday tradition! Kids can fly a flag with Santa (bring your own or buy a US or NC flag from the Battleship’s store). Santa and the Battleship’s Captain will sign your certificate of authenticity. Type your Christmas wish list on a vintage typewriter using authentic WWII USS NORTH CAROLINA radio message paper. Call the North Pole in the Battleship’s main radio room. See Santa’s journey being tracked in the Combat Information Center. Create Christmas cards for veterans in VA hospitals. And MORE! Bring your camera for some unique photo opps! A great way to start your holiday season!

Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance—Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club Event
December 7, 2015
12:00 pm

The Azalea Coast Amateur Radio Club hosts a worldwide ham radio operator event onboard the Battleship commemorating the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. Radio operators making contact will receive a special postcard verifying contact. Please call 910-367-1758.

About the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA
The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is self-supporting, not tax supported and relies primarily upon admissions to tour the Ship, sales in the Ship’s Store, donations and investments. No funds for its administration and operation come from appropriations from governmental entities at the local, state or federal levels. Located at the junction of Highways 17/74/76/421 on the Cape Fear River. Visit or follow us on and for more information. Relive with the crew on the Battleship Blog The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is an historic site within the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (

Brookgreen Gardens’ New Holiday Exhibits Open November 27

Brookgreen Gardens’ two new indoor exhibits offer a bright beginning to the holiday season. Open daily from Friday, November 27 (during Thanksgiving weekend) through January 3, 2016, the exhibits are free with garden admission.
“Holiday Memories: Trains, Trees, and Treasures”

"A New Adventure" by Angela Trotta Thomas

“A New Adventure” by Angela Trotta Thomas

Brookgreen Gardens’ 2015 holiday exhibit theme builds upon its previous show-stopping displays of electric model trains (both Lionel and American Flyer), period Christmas trees, and other nostalgia from holiday celebrations of the Twentieth Century.
Featured in the exhibit are paintings of scenes of children, Christmas, and toy trains by Angela Trotta Thomas. Her Rockwell-like paintings have earned her the title of “The Train Lady.”
For children, a new “Thomas the Train and Friends” display is featured in the front of the gallery and, for adults, the “Front Street Georgetown” outdoor train display has expanded to include the historic Town Clock and other structures.

Representing the “Treasures” in the title will be a Tiffany-inspired store window featuring beautiful costume jewelry on loan from the collection of Sherri Duncan.
“Peace on Earth” is the exhibit theme presented by the horticultural department, and its displays represent tranquil and natural settings from around the world.
Brookgreen Gardens, a National Historic Landmark, is located south of Myrtle Beach, SC between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island. For more information visit or call (843) 235-6000.

Battleship NORTH CAROLINA and University of North Carolina, Wilmington Announce Buckets for the Battleship

The University of North Carolina, Wilmington and the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA announced the Buckets for Battleship promotion.Buckets for the Battleship

Buckets for the Battleship is a season-long promotion where supporters can pledge $1.00 for each three-point basket made during the 2015-2016 season by the UNCW Men’s and Women’s basketball teams. At the end of the season, all funds raised will go towards the battleship’s Generations Campaign, an effort to repair the hull of the ship and keep the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA as a memorial and year-round historical landmark to honor all those who served and continue to serve in all branches of the armed forces.

To pledge support and register for the promotion, visit and click on the buckets for battleship logo. The link will directly go to the registration page where once information is entered, a confirmation email will be sent thanking the registrant for their support.

“We’re excited about partnering with Wilmington’s premier landmark, the USS North Carolina, on this unique project,” said Jimmy Bass, UNCW’s athletic director. “Like UNCW basketball, the USS North Carolina is synonymous with the city of Wilmington. We hope this partnership will be a tremendous success as we assist with the restoration of one of this nation’s most beloved battleships.”

“The Battleship is greatly honored by the University of North Carolina, Wilmington’s, partnership and outreach,” says Heather Loftin, Promotions Director for the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA. “The students, alumni and fans support will truly make a difference as we strive to restore the Battleship and keep the stories alive from the Greatest Generation. We would like to thank them in helping us preserve the legacy.”

Last year the men’s team sank 162 three-pointers, while the women tallied 80, combining for a total of 242 throughout the duration of the season.

Contributions from this year’s event will be used in  repairing  the hull of the aging battleship, which made history in World War II. The battleship was considered the world’s greatest sea weapon until her decommission in 1947, and has since called Wilmington her home for the past 54 years.

Funds will be collected after the season’s totals have been determined. A check presentation is scheduled for March 22 during the UNCW-N.C. State baseball game at Brooks Field.Sammy on Battleship

About the Battleship North Carolina
The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is self-supporting, not tax supported and relies primarily upon admissions to tour the Ship, sales in the Ship’s Store, donations and investments. No funds for its administration and operation come from appropriations from governmental entities at the local, state or federal levels. Located at the junction of Highways 17/74/76/421 on the Cape Fear River. Visit or follow us on and for more information. Relive with the crew on the Battleship Blog The Battleship NORTH CAROLINA is an historic site within the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (

Introducing the 2015 Holiday

It’s 80 degrees in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in early November, and the holiday season is underway. What do you think?IMG_0037


Brookgreen Gardens Presents “Nature Connects: LEGOS® Bricks Sculpture” Exhibit

Brookgreen Gardens will host 12 larger-than-life LEGO® brick sculpture installations in its Native Wildlife Zoo from April 8 – September 5, 2016. Created by Sean Kenney, renowned artist and children’s author, “Nature Connects” is an award winning exhibit currently touring the country. Made from almost 400,000 LEGO® bricks, the sculptures bring nature to life with a 6-foot tall hummingbird hovering over a trumpet flower, a deer family made from 48,000 bricks, a giant tortoise, a 7-foot long giant dragonfly, and more. The exhibit will be open daily and is included in garden admission.

hummingbird 1

“Nature Connects is a perfect fit for us,” said Bob Jewell, President and CEO. “It combines nature with art in a playful and creative way and its placement in the Native Wildlife Zoo will bring more awareness of that aspect of our mission.”

The exhibit will feature interpretive panels with an educational message for each sculpture to help connect children with the natural world and promote sustainability and conservation. In addition, there will be educational activities such as a LEGO® sculpture building contest, scavenger hunts, and 30,000 LEGO® bricks available for guests to play, build, and use their imagination during their visit.Sean Kenney with Corn Spider


LEGOS currently is recognized as the number one brand in the world and is guided by the company spirit: “Only the best is good enough.” The company is committed to the development of children and aims to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through creative play and learning.

Sean Kenney w Butterfly

For nearly a decade, Sean Kenney has been using LEGO toys as a medium for contemporary sculpture. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC news, ELLE, Good Morning America, and he has created pieces for television shows, celebrities, tourist attractions, and fortune 500 companies around the world. Sean Kenney was the first of now only 13 “LEGO® Certified Professionals” worldwide, who are not employees of LEGO, but who are officially recognized by the LEGO Group as trusted business partners because of their building proficiency, their enthusiasm for the LEGO® brick and building system, and a professional approach towards other LEGO fans and the broader public. Each sculpture touches people as both a reflection from their childhood and as a sculptural piece of art. Sean aims to spark creativity in the viewer, especially in the case of a child, who can not only visualize creating something great themselves, but who can actually go home and do so.


Brookgreen Gardens, a National Historic Landmark and non-profit organization, is located on U.S. 17 between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, South Carolina, and is open to the public daily. For more information, visit or call 843-235-6000.


Brookgreen Gardens Fall Festival October 3 & 4

Brookgreen Gardens Annual Fall Festival October 3 & 4

Brookgreen’s annual fall festival, Harvest Home Weekend Festival, is Saturday and Sunday, October 3 & 4 from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. and is filled with outdoor activities the whole family will enjoy. There will be favorite activities such as scarecrow building, pumpkin painting, hayrides, live entertainment, plus some exciting new events. Admission to the festival is included in garden admission which is good for seven days.fall

Harvest Home Weekend Schedule for Saturday and Sunday, October 3 & 4, 2015

Timmy and Susana Abell (kids/family music, puppets) 10, & 11:30 a.m.; 1 & 2:30 p.m. Welcome Center Plaza –Timmy Abell is a nationally recognized children’s songwriter, touring and recording artist. Recipient of the prestigious North Carolina Arts Council’s Fellowship for Songwriting, he is best known for his highly entertaining family concerts and educational programs, and over the past decade his recordings have been enjoyed by tens of thousands of families around the country. Timmy and his wife Susana have joined forces to create a program that combines music, storytelling, puppetry and poetry. They combine their unique talents to offer dynamic and highly engaging performances centered around a repertoire of unforgettable original songs and stories.

Special Boat Rides 11 a.m., 12, 2, 3 p.m. –  The Not So Spooky Swamp Adventure with Lowcountry Ghost Stories and Animal Tales –Creep on board for our Not So Spooky Swamp Adventure! Listen to spellbinding stories of Lowcountry ghosts and their connections to Brookgreen Gardens as we float down the mysterious Brookgreen creeks. Be enthralled by animal tales of the fascinating creatures that make their homes in the eerie Lowcountry swamps. Who knows what we might see as we meander past ancient, twisted trees dripping with Spanish moss? Don’t be afraid…see you in the swamp! Separate timed ticket required in advance. Purchase at Lowcountry Center at least 10 minutes prior to excursion time. Limited availability. Adults $8, Children $4 (No regular program creek excursion offered either day)

pumpkinPumpkin Painting Patch

– we supply the paints and brushes ( $4, large $9 pumpkins)

Scarecrow Building We supply the poles, string, and some clothes. Bring your own old clothes for your special creation! Take Your Scarecrow Home for $5

Wagon Hay Rides – Hayrides depart from 10 a.m. $4 per person.

Kids Craft Tent

10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Sidewalk Chalking and Kids Tattoos

Wool Spinning Activity/Demonstration

11 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Food and Beverage

(Pavilion Restaurant Closed)

Pavilion Patio and Dining Tent 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Welcome Center Beverage Tent 10:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Butterfly Exhibit Lawn area Snack tent 10:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Demonstrations All Day – Both Days
Sweetgrass Basket Weaving and sales with Ivie Barnwell
Pottery Sales with Jeffcoat Pottery Ceramic sales with Lanita Formyduval
Honey sampling and sales with Savannah Bee Company
Herbal Fruit jam sampling and sales with Sallie’s Greatest
Tea sampling and sales with Oliver Pluff
African Graffiti Fused Art Glass with Steve Hazard
Presentation of “Brookgreen Gardens – Through the Seasons in Images and Words” with Linda Ketron


Saturday Only 
Pottery throwing demo with Jeffcoat Pottery
Book signings with Sherman Carmichael from Eerie,South Carolina “Legends and Lore of South Carolina” and “Forgotten tales of South Carolina”


Sunday Only 
9:3 0-3 p.m. Make your own pinch pot activity with Jeffcoat Pottery (artwork will be taken back to their studio for finishing and then may be picked up in Keepsakes upon return.)
12 – 4 p.m. Book Signings with Ginny McCormack “Seasons in the South” and “Sunday in the South”
2 – 4 p.m. Book signing with Rose Tomlin “Duel of the Heart”

Visit Battleship North Carolina in May

The All-Service Color Guard hold flags while the Second Marine Division Band plays during the recognition of the armed forces at the 45th annual Memorial Day Observance at the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington Monday, May 31, 2010. For a gallery of photos from the event go to     Staff Photo By Matt Born/Wilmington Star-News.

The All-Service Color Guard hold flags while the Second Marine Division Band plays during the recognition of the armed forces at the 45th annual Memorial Day Observance at the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington Monday, May 31, 2010. Staff Photo By Matt Born/Wilmington Star-News.

May 16, 2015
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
$40* per person. $35* for Friends members or active military.
*plus tax

As the first of the 10 fast battleships which served in WWII, NORTH CAROLINA paved the way for those battleships that followed. Hampered by treaty restrictions, naval architects still managed to weave the various ship systems together into an efficient and elegant naval weapons system – the first battleship constructed in sixteen years. LtCol Ken Rittenmeyer, USAF (Ret) will provide participants with an insightful afternoon program explaining these various shipboard systems – armor, fuel, propulsion, electrical, etc. – that make NORTH CAROLINA an effective warship and how they are skillfully incorporated into this engineering wonder. A one-hour presentation followed by a two-hour shipboard exploration comprise this engaging program.

The tour is limited to 12 participants age 18 and older. It is not appropriate for those who have difficulty climbing narrow ladders or over knee-high hatches. Wear comfortable, washable clothing, sturdy, rubber-soled shoes and bring a camera! Water and light snack provided. Registration and payment are due by Thursday, May 14th. Tour is $40/$35 plus tax for Friends of the Battleship or active military. Call 910-251-5797 extension 3001 for reservations.

50th Annual Memorial Day Observance
May 25, 2015
Time: 5:45 pm

On Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, at 5:45 pm, people of all generations from across the State will gather together on the deck of the Battleship to pay their respects. This moving and meaningful ceremony includes Duke Ladd Music performing military and patriotic arrangements. The Battleship is honored this year to have guest speakers Major General Gregory A. Lusk, Adjutant General, North Carolina National Guard, and Senator Richard Burr. The Executive Director of the Battleship, Captain Terry A. Bragg and members of the USS NORTH CAROLINA Battleship Commission invite the public to this free event.

USS NORTH CAROLINA Battleship Association Annual Crew Reunion
May 27th – 30th, 2015

The crew of the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA and their families return for their annual reunion. Reunion activities open only to those registered for the events. However, the public is cordially invited to attend the Battleship crew’s annual memorial service on Saturday, May 30 at 10am on the Battleship’s fantail (back deck). For information, contact or call 910-251-5797.

Summer Hours

Starting Friday before Memorial Day, May 22, 2015, going through Labor Day, September 7, 2015, the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA will be open 8:00 am until 8:00 pm with the last ticket sold one hour before closing.