Education can be fun for kids in Wilmington NC. Enrichment programs supplement the activities taught in our schools and are especially helpful at a time when so many school arts and science activities have been eliminated or dramatically curtailed.

Thalian Association Youth Theater

Wilmington is extremely fortunate to have the Thalian Association Youth Theater (TAYT) which offers theatrical training and performance opportunities, with most auditions open for children ages seven through high school seniors. TAYT remains dedicated to “the enrichment of arts education for our community’s youth.” And what a great place for talented kids to grow – right in the heart of “Wilmywood” with its thriving film industry and nurturing arts community.

Children may choose to be involved on stage as actors or back stage as part of the technical production team. Five productions are staged each year. Shown above are members of the cast of “101 Dalmatians” staged in early 2016. The TAYT productions are regularly honored with Wilmington Theater Award for Best Children’s Production.

TAYT offers an opportunity to create and explore the arts in a non-audition based setting for students ages 4 through high school. Designed to help students better understand theater in all its facets, an array of classes, taught by a large group of talented instructors, enables students to discover their strength, learn new skills and build self-confidence within a nurturing atmosphere. The TAYT program is a six-month semester with a showcase for students at the end of each program. The classes are held at the Hannah Block building and at New Hanover Country Public Library Northeast Branch on Military Cutoff Road. The classes are affordable and scholarship opportunities are available.

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North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is fun and educational as well as entertaining. Besides the usual family visits, plenty of child-oriented programs and events are available. At Halloween, an aquatically themed festival, “Trick or Treat Under the Sea,” is a big winner with the young set.

School field trips are free and extremely popular, largely because Aquarium staffers are very kid friendly, knowledgeable and love what they do. By bringing education alive, children can learn from seeing creatures large and small in their natural environment doing what they do all day. With a truly hands-on approach, children are encouraged to reach into the touch tanks and feel assorted critters or pick them up to look closely at them. For groups, staff may conduct supervised ‘show and tell’ times and let kids explore exhibits around the Aquarium or in classrooms.

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