As autumn turns to winter, our days are getting shorter and our nights are longer. But just because the evening arrives earlier than we might like doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop. There is still plenty to do after dark during your beach vacation. After all, you get the chance to experience an entirely different side of the Outer Banks at night!
Get Serious about Game Night
Evenings are a great time for hosting a friendly (or fiercely competitive, if that’s more your style) family game night. You can never go wrong with old fashioned favorites like Monopoly, Scrabble or Jenga! Have everyone gather around the dining room table, or plan ahead and select a home with a designated recreation room. And if you’re itching to be out of the house, you can visit one of our Outer Banks gaming outlets for activities like bowling and laser tag.
Go Hunting for Ghost Crabs
For this completely free activity, all you’ll need is a flashlight and a sense of adventure! Ghost crabs are funny little crustaceans that inhabit the shoreline of our beaches. You might see them out and about during the day, but they’re rather shy creatures, so they only come out in full force at night. To hunt some ghost crabs, all you have to do is head to the beach after the sun goes down, start swinging your flashlight beam back and forth, and you’ll be bound to discover some of these curious critters. It’s entertaining for tiny tots and full grown adults alike!
Make Your Way to the Movies
You can catch the latest cinematic release at a movie theater closest to your beach town.
Dine Out with No Lines
There are plenty of restaurants open year-round on the Outer Banks that don’t close at the end of the summer season. Pick your favorite one or try something new. At this time of year, it’s almost guaranteed that you won’t have to wait long, if at all, for a table!
Build a Bonfire on the Beach
On cold, dark nights, beach bonfires burn oh-so-bright! Sitting on the sand around a crackling fire is a quintessential beach experience. Take note, however, that beach fires are not allowed on the beaches of Duck, Corolla, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk or Kill Devil Hills. In locations where they are allowed, like Nags Head and the Cape Hatteras Seashore, you’ll need to obtain a permit before striking a match. There are also other rules you’ll need to follow, like adhering to proper pit size and location relative to the tide line. When in doubt, contact the local fire marshal’s office to ask what regulations your beach town has for bonfires.
Shop ‘Til You Drop
You’ll find truly unique items at our local Outer Banks shops and retailers. Our beaches are home to many talented artists and craftsmen that make one-of-a-kind merchandise like jewelry, art and furniture. Plus, when you shop locally on the Outer Banks, you help sustain the well-being and creativity of our community. There are also shopping opportunities at more commercial venues like the Tanger Outlet Mall in Nags Head.
Partake in Local Celebrations
The offseason allows you to truly experience the Outer Banks like a local. You can attend a multitude of events like WinterLights at the Elizabethan Gardens, holiday yuletide celebrations in various towns, and more!
Take a Seaside Stroll
With the sound of the waves rolling in and the moon lighting your path, an evening stroll on the beach is a simple way to relish time with the people who matter most to you. With no noisy or flashy distractions, a nighttime walk on the beach allows you to reconnect with friends, family and even just yourself.
Catch the Sunset
When the sun starts to dip below the horizon, make sure you’re there to see it! Bring a camera with you, because it’s sure to be a beautiful sight!
And then Catch the Sunrise
Now that you have plenty to put on your evening agenda, you might just find that you stay up late enough to catch the sunrise too!