19 Mar 2021
Traveling to the Outer Banks with kids? If so, you’ll want to check out our list of top things to do with kids on the Outer Banks.
Obviously, the beach is great for building sandcastles, flying kites and collecting shells, but the Outer Banks offers many more kid-friendly adventures that are sure to make your Outer Banks vacation one they’ll remember forever.
1. Jockey’s Ridge National Park
Jockey's Ridge is the tallest natural sand dune in the Eastern United States. Kids love to run (or roll) down the dunes, explore the big open space and may even opt to take a hang gliding lesson!
Wade in the shallow warm waters of the sound beach behind Jockey’s Ridge. It is a public beach access but not everyone knows it is there. For young kids who don’t know how to swim or are intimidated by the crashing waves of the Ocean, this is the perfect place to spend the day.
2. Corolla Adventure Park
Corolla Adventure Park is a giant jungle gym in the sky offering fun and challenge for the whole family! Climbers of all skill levels can explore their limits on 66 different obstacles and 8 zip lines. Our obstacles are arranged on 11 different circuits giving you the ability to create your own unique experience during your 2 hour climb. We also feature axe throwing! Reserve your lane for a thrilling activity today. Plus, we serve snacks and beverages from our outdoor bar to enjoy along our nature trail with garden style seating and games! Minimum height for climbers is 40" for the first level of obstacles and 4' for the rest of the course. Maximum weight is 260lbs.
3. Wright Brothers Memorial
Climb the giant hill for a beautiful view from atop. Learn about the history of flight, tour the facility and end with a photo op on in front of the Wright Brothers Monument!
4. Go Ghost Crabbing
This is the perfect evening activity that is SO much fun for all ages. You'll need a flashlight, net and a bucket. Head out to the beach in the evening hours when it's dark outside and shine your flashlights on the sand. Walk around and you'll be shocked to see many ghost crabs scouraging around the beach! They sometimes freeze when you shine your light on them which makes them easy to catch. See how many you can collect in your bucket before you set them free! Remember to always catch Ghost Crabs responsibly and release them.
5. Spend a Day in Manteo
6. Visit Currituck Heritage Park
7. Wild Horse Tour
The kids will love seeing the Wild Mustangs roam the dunes and beaches of Carova. They may also get a kick out of driving on the beach.
8. Learn to Kayak or Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)
The calm waters of the many sounds in the Outer Banks allow kids to learn how to kayak or stand up paddleboard.
9. Go Fishing or Crabbing
Whether it be pier fishing or a charter fishing trip, the Outer Banks fishing experience is unforgettable! Fishing licenses are required for children ages 16 and older.
How To Catch Crabs in the Sound
Catching crabs is also super easy and fun to do on the Sound. Grab a net, raw chicken scraps, some string and a net. Find a public sound access. Tie a string to a piece of raw chicken and toss it in the water. Hold the other end until you start feeling a tug. Slowly pull up the string and get your net ready to catch it close to the surface! That's all there is to it! Catch and release unless you plan on making a feast!
10. Fly A Kite
Kite flying is a very popular activity on the Outer Banks because of the consistent winds. This traditional activity can be so much fun for the little ones. Visit a local shop to purchase a cool kite, get it ready to fly and bring your little one to the beach or atop Jockey's Ridge to see how high it can fly!
11. Treasure Hunting
Beachcombing, or searching for sea glass and shells is a great beach activitiy for any season. The wind is blowing, the sun is shining and the waves are crashing as you search for the Holy Grail – a smoothly shaped, etched piece of sea glass whose edges are worn from time spent tumbling in the waves. The most common pieces of sea glass you will find are green, white and brown – but sometimes you will encounter a prized piece of cobalt blue, purple or turquoise. My collection has a very special place in my heart and in one of my favorite glass vases – a trophy case of sorts.
Sea glass isn’t the only thing you’ll find while enjoying a walk on the beach. Beautiful shells, in all shapes and sizes are sitting in the tide line. Clam, scallop, oyster and whelk shells are commonly found along the shores of the Outer Banks. I also look for unusually shaped pieces of worn driftwood, as they make great garden accents and whimsical wind chimes. Foraging for beach treasures is a favorite past time of both locals and visitor's alike. It's nice to bring a piece of the Outer Banks back home with you!
12.Catch Sandfiddlers on the Beach
Here's a cute video we found on youtube that shows how to catch sandfiddlers. They can also be found digging by digging in the sand near the water table. You'll see little bubbles in the sand where they are.