The Outer Banks definitely has a feeling. As soon as you ride over the Wright Memorial Bridge, you feel as though you’ve been transported to a secluded hidden spot from the “real-world” and only available to those exclusive enough to know about it. It’s that very reason why you pack up the family, the dogs, your stash of beach toys, and your surfboard year after year and head straight to North Carolina. Now that you have kids in tow, determining what to do can some times be the biggest challenge in planning your vacation.
While the beach is the usual the hot-spot (pun intended) let’s be real, kids and big kids alike enjoy the outdoors and exploring while on vacation. Family-friendly activities, whether it’s trying to hit a hole-in-one at mini golf, running from splash pads to wave pools at the local water park, or dancing to a concert on the lawn, anyone old, young (or young at heart!) can always enjoy the OBX. Want the insider scoop? We put together 5 of our favorite things to do with kids in the Outer Banks.
1. Feeling crabby?
Ghost crab hunting is the happening thing. These tiny critters begin to emerge at dusk, and they are light in color (just like the color of the sand)! Be on the lookout because you may easily miss them, as these little guys are FAST and can sneak back into their holes in a matter of seconds.
Pro Tip: Kids may want to grab their nets and flashlights to try and catch one, but make sure to return them back to their natural habitat. The game of catch and release makes it all more the fun.
Ghost crab tours are also available, including the Ghost Crab Quest who provide hours of fun for the whole family!
Have a wild side?
Don’t be shy, we all have one. Kids are just the tiniest bit obsessed with horses and let’s be real for a moment, we big kids love them too! Wild horses run along the beach up to Carova where the Virginia and North Carolina border meet, and you’ll be able to cruise alongside horses while spending time in their natural environment. This special area has been preserved as a natural horse sanctuary, but if you have a 4WD vehicle, you can sit in the comfort of your car and ride next to the horses, but you cannot ride ON one – they are WILD!
If you’re lucky enough to spot them on your adventure, bring your camera along so you can capture a few shots for the scrapbook, and be sure to take in the beauty of these amazing creatures. If you want to do a little riding on the beach and see gorgeous wildlife at the same time, then you may want to consider booking a tour with the Corolla Outback!
3. Surf’s up kid!
Want to hear them scream “COWBUNGA”? If your little ones have been talking about surfing for a while, but you’re a little unsure of how to teach them or if they have the proper gear to ride a wave, you can cave in on their request. There are surf lessons available in the OBX just for the kids. Kids, (especially around ages 5-10) can choose from a variety of surf camps as well, like this one (include link below).
While there may be lots of falls and spills, it’s definitely a perfect option for those little ones with buckets of energy and a daring spirit! Additionally, many instructors offer private lessons for adults, so you can be sure to join in on the fun, too. Give them the “Hang 10” experience here.
4. Lace up those walking shoes.
Kids have sooooo much energy. They also like to discover new places. A great way to exert a little extra energy or if you want a little exercise and discover some gorgeous land and sea views, everyone will enjoy the Currituck Beach Lighthouse Tour. Be ready to climb 220 steps to the peak of the lighthouse, where you can walk outside on a secure balcony at the peak and take in the spectacular surroundings.
Pro Tip: Consider attempting the tour in the morning or evening while it’s not too hot out, but don’t let the heat deter you! The views are definitely worth the climb (and hey, you’ll burn a few calories along the way, too)! Fitbit time!
5. Embrace the pace.
This is the slogan for Island Farm, a farm that still operates today, just like it did back in the mid-1800s. This is the perfect place for the kids to check out what life was like over 150 years ago on Roanoke Island. Families can explore the grounds and over ten buildings that sit on the property, along with the animals and livestock that also call Island Farm home. There are self-guided tours available, but families may also want to check for when the wagon rides, planting/harvesting demonstrations, and/or kids hands-on activities are being offered on-site. If you’re looking for the ultimate throwback in time, this one’s for you!
If you find yourself in the OBX in the fall, this is an amazing time to pick out a pumpkin too!
Island Farm: http://www.theislandfarm.com/
Whether it’s the laid-back and relaxed atmosphere you crave or the adventures that the OBX offers that draw you in, we welcome you to your home away from home. Sasser Vacation Rentals will help you find that kid-friendly, perfect retreat to make your family stay both relaxing – and adventurous – all at the same time.
Here’s to the fun that awaits you and your kids in the OBX!