Every student loves a good field trip - it's the perfect mixture of fun and educational! Why not leave the books at home and visit the Outer Banks to combine fun and education into a field trip they'll never forget? From museums and lighthouses to parks and gardens, our beach is full of endless activities that reflect the area’s rich history and tradition. This provides plenty of opportunities for teaching but is also a blast for student and teachers! Follow our homeschool trip planner below for a fun and adventurous (as well as educational) week on the OBX.
DAY 1: NORTH CAROLINA AQUARIUM
Located on Roanoke Island, the North Carolina Aquarium introduces visitors to the aquatic environments of coastal Carolina. They have a variety of exhibits that are sure to educate and entertain your child.
Journey through the coastal freshwaters with river otters, turtles and alligators or explore various saltwater habitats. Stop by the stingray or hermit crab touch tanks for a hands-on learning experience. Don’t miss the 285,000-gallon “Graveyard of the Atlantic” tank containing sharks and a one-third scaler eplica of the USS Monitor.
Hours: Open 9am to 5pm daily. (Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas).
Admission: Ages 13-61: $12.95 | Seniors: Ages 62+ $11.95 | Children: Ages 3-12: $10.95 | Ages 0-2: Free | Military: $11.95 | NC Aquarium Society Members: Free. Taxes are not included. Admission is FREE FOR ALL on the following days: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Veterans Day.
North Carolina Aquarium
374 Airport Rd.
Manteo, NC 27954
DAY 2: PEA ISLAND NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
The 6,000-acre refuge is a haven for more than 360 species of birds. From spring to autumn, a large variety of wading, shore and upland birds can be seen. The observation platforms are near parking areas for easy access. Nature trails, observation platforms and blinds are all on site.
Hours: Refuge open daily during daylight hours. Visitor center is open seasonally.
Admission: FREE! Guided canoe tours are available for a fee.
Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
Milepost 32 on NC 12
Nags Head, NC 27959
DAY 3: WRIGHT BROTHERS NATIONAL MEMORIAL
The Wright Brothers Memorial is the site of the world’s first controlled power flight on December 17, 1903 making it a must-see for its historical significance. The park’s visitor center features a full-scale replica of the 1902 glider, 1903 flying machine, an engine block from the original 1903 Flyer, and a reproduction of the Wright Brother’s first wind tunnel.
Climb Big Kill Devil Hill and view the 60-foot Pylon where the brothers conducted their glider experiments. Stand at the same spot where the brothers made their first flights. A large granite boulder marks the spot where their first plane left the ground.
Hours:Open daily year-round. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Christmas Day.
Admission:Adult (16 & older): $10.00 | Children (15 & younger): Free
Wright Brothers National Memorial
1000 N Croatan Hwy,
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
DAY 4: OUTER BANKS CENTER FOR WILDLIFE EDUCATION
Visitors of the 22,000-square-foot Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education located on the Currituck Sound will have the opportunity to learn about Currituck County’s rich natural history and heritage. Waterfowl hunting, decoy-making and fishing are all traditions connected to the region’s ecology and are important elements in the center’s design.
Housing an exhibit gallery, auditorium, museum store, decoy collection and a 12,000-gallon aquarium, the center has plenty of educational value. Be sure to ask about their daily educational programs!
Hours: April - October: (Monday - Saturday) 9 AM - 5 PM | November - March: (Monday - Friday) 9 AM - 5 PM. Open Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day & Veterans Day but closed other state holidays.
Admission: Free but donations are gratefully accepted. Be sure to call ahead to sign-up for programs.
Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education
1160 Village Lane Heritage Park
Corolla, NC 27927
DAY 5: ROANOKE ISLAND FESTIVAL PARK
An interactive, educational family attraction that celebrates the first English settlement in America, Roanoke Island Festival Park is a must-see. Stop by the American Indian Town and Cultural Education Center for a variety of hands-on activities to participate in including: building a dug-out canoe, working a fish trap, planting and harvesting crops and more.
Board the park’s centerpiece, the Elizabeth II -- a full-scale representation of one of the seven English ships from the Roanoke Voyage of 1585. In-character Elizabethan sailors will help you experience sixteenth century seafaring life. Also be sure to visit the on-site art gallery, fossil pit, museum store, and marsh-side boardwalks.
Hours: Open Monday - Saturday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM and Sunday 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM. Closed some holidays.
Admission: Adults: $10.00 | Youth (Ages 3-17): $7.00 | Children (2 & Under): Free*
Roanoke Island Festival Park
1 Festival Park
Manteo, NC 27954
*Seaside Vacations guests can buy 1 adult ticket and receive 1 complimentary ticket through our Club Seaside program!
DAY 6: COROLLA WILD HORSE MUSEUM
Built in the early 1900's, this historic landmark was the first unified Corolla school created by the Currituck County School system that was open through the late 1950's. The schoolhouse has since been restored and is home to the non-profit Corolla Wild Horse Fund administrative offices, a free interactive wild horse museum, and a wild horse gift shop. All proceeds from the gift shop benefit the care of the wild horses. Fun educational activities for children are offered in the summer.
Hours:Open year-round from Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Admission: FREE admission. Nominal fees for children's programs.
Corolla Wild Horse Museum
520B Old Stoney Rd
Corolla, NC 27927
DAY 7: NAGS HEAD WOODS
Nags Head Woods is a true “hidden gem” of the Outer Banks. Consisting of 1,092 acres of woods, you'll find a diversity of plant and animal life that is highly unusual to find on a barrier island. Towering oaks, hickories, and beech trees rise from the sand and create a canopy of trees that are more typical of the mountains on the eastern United States.
With more than 5 miles of trails, 300 species of plants, 150 species of birds and more than 50 species of reptiles and amphibians, Nags Head Woods is a great way to end our homeschool week trip planner.
Nags Head Woods Preserve
701 West Ocean Acres Drive
Kill Devil Hills, NC 27948
*All hours, admission costs, and location information updated as of 2019 but can change at any time or for inclement weather. Be sure to check with the individual facility with specific admission questions.