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Top 10 Ways to Get Kids Involved in Your Outer Banks Vacation!

Dive into the Outer Banks before your vacation even starts! You're ready for your Outer Banks vacation and you want to make sure the kids have a fabulous time too. Now it's easier than ever!

Getting Your Kids Involved

  1. Plan ahead and get the kids involved! Set up a rough itinerary of activities for the week. Spend a day in Corolla, explore Roanoke Island, or take the ferry to Ocracoke Island. Alternate between kid activities and adult interests to keep everyone engaged and happy.
  2. Local entertainment is always a winner - make your plans ahead of time. Roanoke Island Festival Park, Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station, or Island Farm on Roanoke Island are great options.
  3. Get the kids financially invested in the vacation! Have each child save up for special souvenirs or give them a set dollar amount prior to leaving home. Schedule equal time for each child to search for that special something of their choice.
  4. Plan some kid-friendly activities that allow them to be themselves and engage their imaginations. They're sure to make memories when they see a baby alligator at the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island, take a surfing or hang gliding lesson, or fly a kite at Jockey's Ridge State Park.
  5. Get kids involved on an emotional level. Learn about Outer Banks history before beginning your trip. Check out the links below for videos and books about local history and lore - including the Wright Brothers historical flight, Blackbeard's terrifying reign over the Atlantic coastline, and the the relocation of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.
  6. Meet the locals! Visit shops, stores and restaurants off the beaten path. You can usually learn more about the Outer Banks from the locals than the cookie cutter places. Also, check out any day camps going on during your vacation. They will meet local kids and make memories that will last a lifetime.
  7. Enjoy some screen-free time at your vacation rental. Puzzles, board games, coloring books, and scrapbooking are all excellent options to enjoy downtime with your little ones. 
  8. Provide each child with a small treasure box to store all of their Outer Banks vacation finds like shells, feathers, ticket stubs, and photos. Give them the opportunity to decorate the box in their own personal style. 
  9. Your week can be action packed from the minute you arrive on the Outer Banks, but don't forget to set aside time to sit by the pool, build sandcastles on the beach or play in the surf. This laid back, unscheduled time can create the most notable memories for the kids.
  10. Take time to spend one on one with each child and listen to their thoughts and feelings about the upcoming vacation. Kids may have anxiety about what will happen while your on vacation, the places you'll visit, and the people that will be accompanying you. Since kids don't usually travel on a regular basis, they may need some reassurance that all the comforts of home will be availabile - especially you! 

The best thing about the upcoming vacation is spending time with you! No work and other distractions to come between you and your kids. Take advantage of it and make every minute count.

Videos About the Outer Banks

Moving the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

In 1999, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse began it's historic move inland. Learn about the move and it's incredible backstory as we dive into the archives of the Outer Banks History Center.

Sea Turtles of the Outer Banks

Follow a Park Ranger with the Cape Hatteras National Seashore to learn about these marine reptiles.

The Wild Horses of Carova

Want to see wild ponies and discover some of the most unique sights the Outer Banks has to offer? With new, exclusive access to the Wild Horse Sanctuary, Wild Horse Adventure Tours will take you through three distinct ecosystems in search of local wildlife and the Outer Banks Wild Spanish Mustangs.

NC's Amazing Coast Book

North Carolina's Amazing Coast: Natural Wonders from Alligators to Zoeas Multiple Authors
Fun and learning come together in North Carolina's Amazing Coast, an inviting collection of one hundred short, self-contained features about the flora, fauna, and natural history of that fascinating place where land meets sea

Books About the Outer Banks

Mystery at Kill Devil Hills Book

The Mystery at Kill Devil Hills (Real Kids, Real Places) by Carole Marsh
A group of kids attending the Centennial of Flight celebration find themselves racing through aviation history. Appropriate for ages: 9-12.

The Wright Brothers Book

The Wright Brothers How They Invented the Airplane by Russell Freedman, Wilbur Wright and Orville Wright
Fly back to an exciting time with the Wrights' written descriptions and eyewitness accounts! Follow the experimental trail through a wide selection of photographs taken by the Wright Brothers themselves. Appropriate for ages: 9-12.

Blackbeard Book

Blackbeard The Pirate King  by J. Patrick Lewis
A rich chronicle of the most notorious pirate Blackbeard! A treasure chest of high sea adventures.  Appropriate for ages: 9-12

Outer Banks Craft Projects

Clothespin Crafts: Hungry Fish

For this project you will need the following supplies:

  • 4 wooden clothespins
  • Colorful scrapbook papers
  • 4 googly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Fish pattern (click here)

Print the patterns and use them to cut fish from scrapbook paper. Cut each fish in half horizontally, from tail to nose. Lay clothespins on their sides. Glue the top half of the fish to the upper half of the clothespin. Glue the bottom half of the fish to the lower half of the clothespin. Glue on googly eyes. Open and close the mouth by squeezing the clothespin.