Family Adventure Programs


Bald Head Island is a true nature lover’s paradise, with miles of unspoiled beaches, hiking trails within the maritime forest and tidal creeks meandering through the salt marshes. Join one of the Conservancy’s island naturalists for an up-close look at these ecosystems and the abundant flora and fauna found throughout the island. Each trip provides a unique experience and a wonderful learning opportunity for all ages. Scroll down to see the diverse program offerings, many offered on a year-round basis. We look forward to exploring the island with you and your family! For upcoming education programs, please click on the calendar icon located on the right.

For April 2014 Programs, please click HERE

To register for 2014 summer education programs, please click HERE

We strive to offer an easy online registration process. If you would like to register over the phone, please call (910) 338-0911.

To view a tutorial on signing up from the comfort of your own home, please click HERE


BHI after dark fox
Bald Head After Dark REGISTER NOW

The island takes on a very different feel as the sun goes down and darkness falls. While many of the island's critters wind down for the night, several others are just gearing up. Join us in the Barrier Island Study Center for a brief presentation on Bald Head's active nightlife - including bats, frogs, toads, alligators, and bioluminescent plankton - before heading out and about on the island to find some of it ourselves! Meet at the Barrier Island Study Center. Participants provide their own transportation. Reservations required.

  • Cost: $15 per person for non-members, $10 per person for BHI Conservancy Members, Free for BHI Conservancy Life Level Members              
birding
Birding BHI REGISTER NOW

Bald Head Island offers fantastic opportunities for birding at all seasons. During the summer months, we are fortunate to have a large nesting population of the beautiful painted bunting. The island is also home to hundreds of egrets, herons and ibis as well as dozens of other species. Tours last about 2 hours and location is dependent on tides, weather and recent sightings. Bug spray is recommended. Bring binoculars if you have them; we will provide some extra to share. Participants must provide their own transportation. Meet at the Barrier Island Study Center. Reservations required. 
  • Mondays, year-round
  • Cost: $20 per person for non-members, $15 per person for BHI Conservancy Members, Free for BHI Conservancy Lifetime Level Members     
crabsCrabbing and Cast Netting REGISTER NOW

Did you know lurking beneath the surface of the salt marsh is one of the island's most ferocious predators? Join BHIC staff in the hunt for the blue crab! Grab the entire family and prepare to get your hands muddy, as we perfect the art of crabbing and cast netting! Crab lines, bait, dip nets, and cast nets are provided. Days and times vary weekly with the tides. Please note that we practice catch and release. Meet at the Village Creek Access located on Federal Road. Reservations required.
  • May-September
  • Cost: $15 per person for non-members, $10 per person for BHI Conservancy Member, Free for BHI Conservancy Lifetime Level Members 

CSI:BHI

CSI: BHI - Beachcombing Edition REGISTER NOW

Put on your detective hats, and swing down to the Bald Head Island Conservancy to become a "Conservancy Shell Investigator!" Embark on the ultimate scavenger hunt. Explore the beach and surf with BHIC naturalists to unearth evidence left behind by beach dwelling animals. Learn how to use investigative tools like seine nets, dip nets, binoculars, and magnifying glasses. Your trip will begin in the Young Hatchling Learning Laboratory. This wet laboratory is located in the Barrier Island Study Center. Sunscreen, hats, and water bottles are recommended. Reservations Required.

  • Cost: $15 per person for non-members, $10 per person for BHI Conservancy Members, Free for BHI Conservancy Lifetime Level Members

Hands-On Dissections

Whooo Did Your Owl Eat? An Owl Pellet Dissection REGISTER NOW

Join Conservancy staff for a hands-on owl pellet dissection! Did your owl eat a rodent, shrew, mole, or bird? Learn how to use basic dissection tools in our Barrier Island Study Center. Introductory lesson great for all ages!! Pellets are masses of bone, teeth, hair, and feathers.

  • • Cost: $15 per pellet. Families can work together on one pellet. Your program fees completely support our mission.
  • Mondays from April-August

Echinoderm Exploration: A Sea Star Dissection REGISTER NOW

Join the BHI Conservancy to learn all about a carnivorous predator in our waters...the SEA STAR! We'll learn about their biology and predatory tactics. Staff will also lead you in a hands- on sea star dissection. Call today to reserve you spot! $15 per specimen. Families can work together on one specimen. Great for all ages! Your program fees completely support our mission of conservation, preservation, and education.  

  • • Cost: $15 per pellet. Families can work together on one pellet. Your program fees completely support our mission.
  • • Tuesdays from April-August

Curious about Cephalopods?! A Squid Dissection REGISTER NOW

Cephalopods are a class of unique creatures including squid, octopus, and cuttlefish. Scientists are still discovering new cephalopod species every day! Join the BHI Conservancy to learn about their strange anatomy!

  • • Cost: $15 per specimen. Families can work together on one squid. Your program fees completely support our mission.
  • Wednesdays from April-August
seastar
Bivalve Biology: A Clam Dissection.
REGISTER NOW
Join staff to learn all about our native quahog clams. 'Dig' into the anatomy of this bivalve and learn about its filter feeding abilities!
  • • Cost: $15 per specimen. Families can work together on one clam. Your program fees completely support our mission.
  • Thursdays from April-August

A Dogfish Dissection. REGISTER NOW

Join staff to learn all about the spiny dogfish! Learn about shark ecology and biology, while exploring the anatomy of a dogfish in a laboratory setting!

  • • Cost: $15 per specimen. Families can work together on one sea star. Your program fees completely support our mission of conservation, preservation, and education. 
  • Fridays from April-August
ibis pond

Ibis Sanctuary Exploration REGISTER NOW

Explore the quiet solitude of Middle Island while visiting the Ibis Lake Sanctuary, a protected area of land that is private and only accessible with Conservancy staff. This particular spot is popular with several species of herons, egrets and ibis, with hundreds of birds flocking into the area to roost for the evening and early morning. We recommend bringing a camera! This is a spectacular event amidst beautiful scenery that is a must-see on the island. Meet at the Barrier Island Study Center. Reservations required. Personal golf cart transportation is required. Please bring bug spray and wear comfortable shoes. Binoculars and birding scopes will be provided. 

  • • Cost: $15 per person for non-members, $10 per person for BHI Conservancy Members, Free for BHI Conservancy Lifetime Level Members
 
Island Nature Tours REGISTER NOW
Join professional naturalists on a guided tour of the wildlife hotspots of Bald Head Island! This 2 hour guided tour will focus on the best wildlife areas for the particular season you are visiting. Take the opportunity to see birds, mammals, reptiles, and other amazing wildlife by exploring our pristine beach, maritime forest, and salt marsh.
  • On demand
  • $40 per person for off-island guests, includes ferry ticket, 2 hour guided tour, and golf cart transportation for the tour. 
  • $20 per person for on-island guests.

kayaking

Kayaking the Creeks REGISTER NOW

Explore the unspoiled creeks of Bald Head Island on a guided trip with Conservancy staff to learn about the beauty and importance of this habitat. Each trip offers a unique perspective of BHI and great views of wildlife; this is a must-do experience before you leave the island! Double kayaks are used, and children must be accompanied by an adult. Trips are tide and weather dependent. Meet at the Village Creek Access located on Federal Road. Please bring a water bottle, sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, and clothes that can get muddy and slightly damp. Reservations required.

  • • Hours: Tide dependent, please check the calendar on the right hand side of this page for upcoming trips.
  • • Cost: $45 per person for a 2 hour trip

Kids-Only Kayaking REGISTER NOW

Was your child unable to make it to one of our children's camps? Have they been stuck on the waitlist for camp kayak day? Sign them up for a kids- only trip! Your child can join Conservancy staff and other children to learn about the salt marsh in a relaxed, "camp-style" setting. Double kayaks are used, and children must be between 7 and 14 years of age. Sorry, Mom and Dad, these trips are just for kids! Trips are tide and weather dependent. Meet at the Village Creek Access located on Federal Road. Parents must sign a release form when they drop off their child in order to participate. We suggest bringing sunscreen, bug spray, a water bottle, hat, and clothes that can get muddy and slightly damp. Reservations required (910) 338-0911.

  • • Offered: May-September
  • • Hours: Tide dependent, Please check calendar on the right hand side of the screen for upcoming trips.
  • • Cost: $45 per child for a 2 hour trip

forest

Maritime Forest Hike 

Call (910) 338-0911 to register!

 Take a hike! Through our beautiful maritime forest, that is! Maritime forests are considered a globally imperiled ecosystem, and BHI has one of the best remaining tracts of forest along the southeast coast. Join a Conservancy naturalist for a walk through these woods and learn why this habitat is so crucial to the survival of Bald Head. You will also learn first-hand about the floral and faunal diversity that can be found in the forest, and perhaps catch of glimpse of some of the critters that call the forest home. Perfect for the entire family! Meet at the Barrier Island Study Center. Personal golf cart transportation is required to get to the forest trail. Bug spray and comfortable shoes are recommended. 

  • • Please check calendar on the right hand side of this page for upcoming trips.
  • • Cost: $15 per person for non-members, $10 per person for BHI Conservancy Members, Free for BHI Conservancy Lifetime Level Members

snapping turtleReptile Round-Up
REGISTER NOW

Join BHI Conservancy staff members in our Fleming Environmental Center to get up close and personal with our classroom reptiles. Learn about the unique adaptations that help our island reptiles survive! Participants will be able to touch live reptiles, turtle shells, snake sheds, and much more! Following the presentation, participants will also be able assist with feeding the reptiles. This program is great for all ages!

  • • Cost: $5.00 per person. Additional donations are always appreciated, as they fully support our mission.

movie posterSea Turtle Movie Screenings

Please join Conservancy staff, in the Barrier Island Study Center, for a screening of "Turtle: the Incredible Journey!" This film follows a loggerhead sea turtle hatchling from her nest, to the Gulf Stream, and back to the beach to lay her own nest! Along the way she faces many obstacles: predators, plastics, and sea level changes. Learn about the fascinating species that nests right here on Bald Head Island! Following the film, Conservancy staff will answer all of your questions about sea turtles. This film was released in 2011 and was directed by Nick Stringer. BHIC would like to thank the Hanover House Distributing Company for granting us permission to share this masterpiece. The film is rated G and is 1 hour and 20 minutes. Please be advised that this is not a cartoon film and some images may be too dramatic for young viewers. There is no charge to attend this film, but donations are always accepted and appreciated. Your monetary contributions aid our mission of conservation, education, and preservation and also assist our renowned Sea Turtle Protection Program. Seating is limited and provided on a first come, first serve basis. Please call (910) 338-0911 with questions.

  • Cost: Free and open to the public.

UTVSea Turtle Patrol Ride Alongs REGISTER NOW


Ride along with Conservancy Staff to get a firsthand look at what it's like to patrol for sea turtles. Participate in our 30th year of sea turtle conservation, and you might have the chance to witness a nesting sea turtle or hatching nest. This program is open for all ages, with children under 8 years old requiring an adult chaperone. Because of transportation restrictions, only two people can participate per night. We reserve the right to reschedule the program, or cancel with full refund, in the event of inclement weather or other circumstances beyond our control. Please note, participants will not be permitted to touch sea turtles during this program. 

  • • Monday June 9th- Thursday, August 7th
  • • Hours: 9pm-Midnight
  • • Cost: $125 per person for BHI Conservancy Members, $175 per person for non-members

Special Movie Screenings REGISTER NOW
JAWS Tuesday, July 1st, 6:30pm-8:30pm. Rated PG-13, material may not be suitable for children.

There has never been a movie or a phenomenon like JAWS, the terrifying motion picture from the horrific best seller. Screening rights provided by Swank Motion Pictures. Following the film, BHI Conservancy staff will discuss shark misconceptions, basic biology, and species of sharks that frequent our coast. Price $7.00 per person, reservations required, as seating is limited.


HOOT Tuesday, July 8th, 6:30pm-8:30pm. Rated PG.

Three teens have an unexpected adventure as they try to protect some rare birds in this comedy drama based on a book for young adults by Carl Hiaasen. Screening rights provided by Swank Motion Pictures. Following the film, BHI Conservancy staff will discuss owls that have been spotted on BHI, their current classification, and owl adaptations. Price $7.00 per person, reservations required, as seating is limited.


THE BIG YEAR Tuesday, July 15th, 6:30pm-8:30pm. Rated PG.

In this comedy for grown-ups, Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson portray three men from different walks of life, each facing unique personal challenges. The one thing they share is a passion for..bird watching. Screening rights provided by Criterion Motion Pictures. Following the film, BHI Conservancy staff will provide an introduction to birding on BHI and how to get involved with bird focused citizen science projects. Price $7.00 per person, reservations required, as seating is limited.                                                                      
FINDING NEMO Tuesday, July 22nd, 6:30pm-8:30pm. Rated G.

The wizards at Pixar take us under the sea to the world of clownfish Marlin and his son Nemo. Screening rights provided by Swank Motion Pictures. Following the film, BHI Conservancy staff will provide an introduction to fish anatomy and common species that frequent our coast. Price: no fee per person, reservations required, as seating is limited.

DOLPHIN TALE Tuesday, July 29th, 6:30pm-8:30pm. Rated PG.

Based on true events, this family film is about Winter, a young dolphin who lost her tail in a crab trap, and Sawyer, the introverted 11 year old boy who befriends her. Film rights and description provided by Swank Motion Pictures. Following the film, BHI Conservancy staff will discuss the morbilivirus that has impacted local bottlenose dolphin populations. Price: $7.00 per person, reservations required, as seating is limited.

touch tank tank 2

Touch Tank Time REGISTER NOW

Join BHI Conservancy staff, in the Young Hatchling Learning Laboratory, to meet the creatures that inhabit our local tidal pools! Following the lesson, you’ll have the chance to help BHI Conservancy staff feed the animals in our touch tank and salt water tanks! The Young Hatchling Learning Laboratory is located in our Barrier Island Study Center, in the center of our campus. 

• Cost: $5.00 per person. Additional donations are always appreciated, as they fully support our mission.

• Reservations required to guarantee seating. 

Photos courtesy of and ┬ęCopyrighted to: Maureen Dewire, Donna Finley, Andy Gould,
Doug Ledggett, Joe Lemeris, Denny Sorber, Lindsay Rice, Staff
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