5 awesome things for kids to do on North Carolinas Outer Banks


1.      Visit the North Carolina Aquarium

Photo by: Kevin Oliver|CC

There are a couple of North Carolina aquarium options in the Outer Banks that you can take the kiddo's to visit. The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke allows visitors to explore many of the state's ecosystems and learn about the animals inhabiting them. This journey begins with Coastal Freshwaters and ends at the Open Ocean exhibit, also called the Graveyard of the Atlantic. This 285,000-gallon exhibit houses the largest collection of sharks in the state and features a replica of the USS Monitor, a Civil War ironclad which sank off the coast of Cape Hatteras in late December 1862. Alligators, turtles, fish, and the ever-popular North American river otters are featured in Wetlands on the Edge. Jenette's Pier in Nags Head also offers daily educational programs, science-based exhibits and several large aquariums.   

2.       Build a Sand Castle

A time honored tradition on beaches everywhere.  Visit one of the many beach shops in OBX to pick up any sand castle building supplies that you can think of.

3.       Hunt for Ghost Crabs.

While we're talking about the beach, if you wait until nightfall your children will have the best time ghost crab hunting.  Ghost crabs are tiny, sand colored, crustaceans with a pair of white claws that burrow beneath the sand.  Ghost crabs are nocturnal, so if you take a flashlight to the beach at night your kids will have a blast chasing ghost crabs all over the beach.   

4.       Fly a Kite at Jockey's Ridge State Park.  

Photo by Michael Bentley|CC


JOCKEY'S RIDGE is the tallest natural sand dune system in the Eastern United States. Located in Nags Head, it is one of the most significant landmarks on the Outer Banks, North Carolina.  Climbing to the top of any of the dunes will provide prime Kite Flying real estate.  You can purchase kites at many of the Outer Banks beach shops, but for a top of the line Kite buying experience you can visit Kitty Hawk Kites.  Kitty Hawk Kites sells single line kites for kids along with many more sophisticated kites including stunt kites.  

5.       Board and investigate a 16th Century Ship.


The Elizabeth II is docked at Roanoke Island Festival Park, across from downtown Manteo, NC.  The representational ship interprets one of the seven English merchant vessels from the Roanoke Voyage of 1585 in an attempt to settle the area.  You can board and explore the Elizabeth II from every angle.  The kids can help costumed 16th century sailors set the sales, find  your latitude with an astrolabe, swab the decks, turn the capstan to raise the anchor.  The kids will also love searching for surprises in barrels and boxes onboard.   

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016


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