Kid-Friendly Fun on the Outer Banks Any Time of Year
The Outer Banks is a family-friendly beach vacation destination any time of year. If you have kids then you know: If the kids aren't happy; no one is happy. We want everyone to be happy during their OBX vacation!
So if you're looking for some of the best kid-friendly fun to be found, no matter what time of year it is, you've come to the right place. Read on for our favorite kid-friendly things to do on the Outer Banks.
Obviously. The beach is the best free activity for the kids whether it's spring, summer, fall or winter on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Kids don't usually need much to be happy here (nor do adults, really).
Let them loose on the sand, and they'll find a million-and-one ways to spend their time. Shelling, sandcastle building, kite flying, ocean wading, picnicking, and frisbee are just a few family favorite beach activities for kids of all ages.
Insider Tip: Check out these quick and easy beach hacks for kids by parents who know what they're talking about. Why not make your life a little bit easier?
Children @ Play Museum
Located in Kitty Hawk, the Children @ Play Museum is geared for the younger crowd who enjoy exploring, playing, and learning simultaneously. There are plenty of interactive exhibits that get the imagination in gear and the creative juices flowing including the OBX Wellness Center, OBX Grocery Store, Gone Fishin', CR8 It, The Lighthouse, First in Flight, and The Living Swell. It's imaginative play at its best and a great opportunity for parents and kids to spend some quality time together, making memories that last a lifetime.
Oh, don't forget to check out the Movies on the Sound if you're vacationing on the OBX during the summer months.
Insider Tip: Be sure to show this coupon to receive discounted admission to the museum. You're welcome!
North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
Located on Roanoke Island, three miles north of Manteo, the NC Aquarium is a must-see during your Outer Banks vacation with the family. With indoor and outdoor exhibits, educational programs, special events and activities, after-hour opportunities and a gift shop, you can easily fill your day here. Most visitors can tour the museum in about two hours. Those with kids? Probably not. There are fossil pits to dig for shark teeth in, so many amazing sea creatures to behold, shark feedings to watch, and special activities to enjoy. You'll need more than a couple of hours to fully experience it, depending on your kid's mood and endurance, of course.
Before your visit, be sure to check out the NC Aquarium's free daily programs to see what's happening and when, so you don't miss anything.
Insider Tip: Fall and winter months are the best time to visit the Aquarium as the off-season is much less crowded.
Full Throttle Speedway
Located in Nags Head, those who feel the need for speed can get their fix here. This gas-powered, Indy-style go-kart track is perfect for zipping and zooming around. There are two tracks for your racing pleasure: a slick oval track and a figure-eight track. There are kiddie karts for the wee ones, too, so no one is left out of the fast-paced fun. This is the place for thrill-seekers whether they are young or just young-at-heart.
Insider Tip: Hours of operation are subject to change depending on the season and the weather, so call first. You can contact them here.
OBX Bowling Center
Rainy day or not, bowling is a family-friendly activity that can be enjoyed any time of the year. Located in Nags Head, this bowling center offers sport and recreation, along with an arcade and cafe. Want to know how they roll? Their lanes offer late night rock-n-bowl, league tournaments, and parties for the little ones. You can find out everything you need to know about their pricing here.
Insider Tip: Try their fried pickles. After all, you are in the south, y'all.
Outer Banks Destination Fun
Located in Kill Devil Hills, Outer Banks Destination Fun offers all of your favorite family-friendly adventures all in one place. The funplex offers 3D black light mini golf, a bounce house, laser tag, and a large arcade. If you're looking to please a variety of interests, this is the place for you. Rain or shine!
Insider Tip: The enclosed bounce house is great for children ages eight and under. You get to sit and relax while your children play the day away. Your child receives an armband which allows for re-entry throughout the day, so there's no need to plan around nap time, lunch time, etc. Come and go as you please. You can even take a beach break and then come back for more. Very kid- and parent-friendly! You can learn more about it here.
Pirate Adventures of the Outer Banks
Argh, mateys! An OBX vacation is not a vacation unless they are pirate adventures. Navigate your way to the Sea Gypsy's harbor on the Manteo waterfront for a buccaneer adventure of a lifetime. If magical moments filled with map finding, messages in bottles, water cannons and sunken treasures are your (or your kid's) thing, then this is the OBX family fun destination for you. It's all done in pirate style, so beware ye landlubbers. You can read more about the Pirate Adventures of the OBX legend, right here.
Insider Tip: This adventure is only available Memorial Day through Labor Day and is weather, wind and water dependent—so plan accordingly if it's in yer sites, me hearties.
We've barely tipped the scales on kid-friendly things to do on the Outer Banks. Seriously, there is so much that we may need to do a follow-up post on this one. We hope this at least gets you started on planning your kid-friendly OBX adventures.
Be sure to visit our Family Activities on the OBX page for more ideas. And as always, follow our blog for all you need to know about this and other Outer Banks tips, events, things to do, and everything you need to know to have the best beach vacation ever.
What's your favorite family-friendly spot on the OBX?