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4 Oct 2023
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Events & Holidays

Updated for 2023!

Here's our third itinerary for your Outer Banks vacation during the month of December!

The holidays are ramping up! What better way to spend these colder, winter months than with a trip to the Outer Banks? We're booking RIGHT NOW for weekends in November and December, so be sure to look at our available rentals and book your next weekend retreat or weeklong stay.

So over the next few weeks, we're going to be publishing awesome and fun itineraries with suggestions for you to make the most of your Outer Banks stay in December! There is so much to do and you definitely don't want to miss out. So keep reading for an exciting itinerary to get the most of your stay in the Outer Banks during the 3rd weekend in December! This is a Friday through Sunday weekend itinerary, so check-in on Thursday or Friday for the week or come for a quick, weekend getaway!

Friday, December 15:

8:00 AM - Breakfast at Home or On The Go! If you're already in your rental, enjoy a quiet morning breakfast in your pajamas before greeting the weekend to be filled with adventures. If you're heading into town, or just want someone else to cook, grab a delicious breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee from Lighthouse Bagels or First Light. And for something unique, try Corolla Breakfast & Lunch Bowls for some tasty breakfast surprises. 

10:00 AM - Corolla Wild Horse Tour! Whether you checked in last night or last week, or you're waiting to get settled into your vacation rental this evening, why not spend the morning trying to get a glimpse of the famous Corolla Wild Horses by taking a Corolla Wild Horse Tour? These tours run about 2 hours and give you the opportunity to explore the 4x4 in an open-air jeep. Listen to the sound of the ocean waves and search for the descendants of the Spanish Mustangs that call these wild beaches home!

12:00 PM - Shopping and Lunch! After the tour, head on down to the Timbuck II Shopping Village for lunch and some last-minute holiday shopping. Enjoy pizza from Giant Slice or some delicious seafood at Mike Dianna's Grill Room before exploring the wide variety of specialty stores and unique boutiques. There's plenty to keep you occupied through the afternoon and don't forget about dinner before making your way up to Whalehead for the Candlelight Christmas Tour!

3:00 PM - Hunt for Sea Glass at the Beach! After you've shopped and had your fill, head to one of the Corolla Public Beach Accesses for an afternoon of beachcombing and look for sea glass. Check our guide for looking for sea glass and you'll find that the quiet, peacefull "off-season" can be the perfect time to enjoy the beauty of the Outer Banks while finding spectacular shells and ocean wildlife.

5:00 PM - Whalehead Candlelight Christmas Tour! Spend the evening with a tour of the Historic Whalehead Mansion will host a candlelight Christmas tour, with the embodiment of Corolla style and entertainment, circa 1920. The mansion will be decorated similarly to what one would have experienced had they celebrated Christmas with Mr. and Mrs. Collings Knight when they built and occupied Whalehead. The tour will feature a new room exhibit and will include a live performance on the original Steinway piano in the home -- custom-designed for Mrs. Knight! Click here for more information. Admission is $20.00 per person and reservations are required.

Saturday, December 16:

8:00 AM - Breakfast in Nags Head! Get the day started early with breakfast in Nags Head! Stop by Sam & Omie's for a fisherman's hearty breakfast or head on over to The Dunes for their unbelievable breakfast samplers and specials before they close up on December 19 for the holiday week. Fresh Fit Cafe just down the road offers lighter fare as well as an amazing view of the water.

11:00 AM - Holiday Shopping & Lunch! Stop by the Wright Brothers National Memorial right next door and then head on over to Aviation Park (just a few steps away) and enjoy some fun, friendly shopping at the First Flight Holiday Market! Explore the goods from more than 60 different vendors, including food trucks and various artisans. Grab some lunch while you’re here and pick up those last-minute Christmas presents for the people you love! 

 1:00 PM - Visit the Monument to a Century of Flight! In addition to visiting the Wright Brothers Memorial, be sure to stop by the Monument to a Century of Flight located in Kitty Hawk. Built to commemorate the 2003 Centennial of Flight, this monument features 14 stainless steel towers that are organized into an orbit of 120 feet, symbolizing the length of the historic first flight that took place just a few miles down the road. The monument also is made up of 100 markers highlighting the 100 most important events in aviation history between 1903 and 2003. Just off the highway at MP1, this monument is certainly something to behold and perfectly rounds out the history of aviation on the Outer Banks.

2:00 PM - See the Wright Brothers Garage Monument! Keep the theme going and find this unique monument just off the beaten path. To celebrate Wright Brothers Day, you've seen the memorial and the Monument to a Century of Flight. Now, see the place where the famous Wright Flyer is believed to have actually been built. Hidden away on Moor Shore Road in Kitty Hawk, you’ll find a monument dedicated to memorializing the place where the Wright Brothers stayed and are believed to have constructed their glider. Known as the Wright Brothers Garage Monument, this hidden gem is located in the front yard of a private home so please be respectful when you walk or drive by.

3:00 PM - Find Your Way Out at OB-Xscape Rooms! End the day by enjoying some family fun at OB-Xscape Rooms in Southern Shores! See who can figure it out the fastest in one of their exciting, memorable rooms like "The Blind Tiger Speakeasy," the "Rest in Peace Motel," or "Raptor Revenge." This is a great bonding experience while enjoying some indoor fun after an exciting day exploring the sites of the Wright Brothers' first flight!

5:00 PM - Pizza Night! On the way back to your vacation rental, be sure to stop by Southern Shores Pizza and pick up a pie to take back to your vacation home. Enjoy a relaxing evening of pizza, board games, and your favorite film as most of our homes offer spacious living areas with lots of room for family movie night. Rest up after tour long day and get ready for another day of exploring the best of the Outer Banks!

Sunday, December 17:

9:00 AM - Wright Brothers Day! Enjoy breakfast at home and be sure to stop by the Wright Brothers National Memorial for the 120th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ First Flight! Enjoy events all day from 9 AM to 5 PM celebrating the “12 seconds that changed the world.” Admission to the park is FREE on Wright Brothers Day. Be sure to get there early to see the morning ceremonies, usually held from 9 AM to 11 AM. 

11:00 AM - Picnic Lunch at Jockey's Ridge! It's so much fun to see Jockey's Ridge State Park soon after the sun rises. Enjoy the cool winds and the sound of birds and other wildlife as you run around on the dunes, have some fun in the sand, or head on across the street to Jockey's Ridge Crossing to get some holiday shopping in! Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy some outdoor time as well as your lunch together in the fresh air and cool breezes of these amazing dunes.

1:00 PM - Explore the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island!  No trip to the Outer Banks is complete without a trip to the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island. Explore the cultural history of the Outer Banks as connected to wildlife and the wetlands before visiting the Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center where your kiddos can follow their own sea turtle through to rehabilitation in a fantastic simulation. Have some fun at the Touch Tank and explore the unbelievable history of the U.S.S. Monitor before taking a breather and relaxing in front of the massive tank with sharks and other fish.

3:00 PM - Visit Roanoke Island Festival Park! And when you're done at the aquarium, Roanoke Island Festival Park is just a hop, skip, and a jump away. Explore this amazing museum park where you can walk through the Settlement Site or take a tour of the Elizabeth II and get an idea of what life would have been like aboard a 16th-century sailing ship. Don't forget to visit American Indian Town or the Adventure Museum for some hands-on history that you won't soon forget.

5:00 PM - Dinner! Before heading over to the Annual Winter Lights at the Elizabethan Gardens, be sure to grab a tasty dinner in Manteo or Nags Head, just across the causeway. Enjoy something yummy at Mahi Mahi's Island Grill or Miller's Waterfront Restaurant. If you're hoping to stay on the island, why not try Blue Water Grill & Raw Bar or Orega'z?

7:00 PM - Winter Lights at Elizabethan Gardens! The Annual Winter Lights at the Elizabethan Gardens is the biggest light display on the Outer Banks! Kids and adults of all ages will love wandering through this enchanted winter wonderland of dazzling lights and holiday decorations. Tickets are $18 for adults, $14 for ages 6-17, and $8 for children 2 to 5. Infants under 2 get in free!  Dogs can come, too, for $6. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the door. The final tickets of the night are sold at 8:15 PM and since this display is outside, it is subject to weather cancellations. Even if you’ve been in the past, this is a display that you should see year after year! Click here for more information.


Don't Miss Jockey's Ridge State Park!


Looking for a last-minute deal on an Outer Banks vacation rental home? Click here! We're booking RIGHT NOW for the rest of the year and 2024!

Give our wonderful Guest Services Team a call today at (866) 884-0267 or take a look at our available rentals to get started planning your next historic adventure to the Outer Banks. And don't forget about our layaway plan, which makes booking your dream vacation easier than ever. So don't wait. We're booking Outer Banks vacation rentals year round and we're excited to help you create memories to last a lifetime. We're here to help make your OBX vacation fun, exciting, and hassle-free. Give us a call today! Be sure to provide accurate information and make any necessary payments. 

Explore our website and give us a call to help kick-start your unforgettable Outer Banks vacation today.  Be sure to follow us on FacebookInstagramYouTubePinterest, and TikTok to stay up to date on all of our specials, new & featured homes, and tips & tricks for making the most of your next Outer Banks vacation.

We’ll see you at the beach. 

About the Author: Lauren is an Outer Banks local, mom, trained historian, and travel enthusiast. When she isn’t writing for the Seaside Vacations Travel Blog, Lauren can usually be found with her nose in a book or cuddling with her cats.