9 Family-Friendly Things to Do At Outer Banks


If you’re looking for a family vacation, you can’t do better than Outer Banks, North Carolina. There are plenty of rentals near the beach and lots of things to do even if you’ve got little kids. As you do your vacation planning, here are some of the best tips for things to do with the kids when you visit Outer Banks.

Beach Day!

Obviously, you can’t come to the beach or stay at rentals near the beach and not spend a day in the sun and surf. At the OBX beach there are no pricey boardwalk amusements and there aren’t many enormous roads to cross with the kiddies, either. Just north of Cape Hatteras lighthouse, you’ll also find a quiet and family-friendly beach on the sound side at Avon.

Go Ghost Crab Hunting

This is some of the best fun you can have for no money. If you’re staying at one of the rentals near the beach, it will be even easier to take part in this activity. All you need are headlamps or flashlights and a bucket. The ghost crabs are sand colored and mostly harmless. During the day, they stay beneath the sand. At night, they come scurrying out to look for food and are easy to spot if you’ve got a good light.

Go Sand Dune Sledding

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to keep the kids occupied for a few hours, head over to Jockey’s Ridge State Park and it’s amazing sand dunes. The tallest dune at the park varies from 80 to 100 feet tall depending on the weather. All you need is cardboard or a body board and you can go sledding.

Visit Kitty Hawk

If your kids are interested in history, you can take them to Kitty Hawk where the Wright brothers first tested their airplane. The brothers chose Kitty Hawk because of the open terrain and steady winds. You can actually walk the original flight path and learn about aviation along the way.

Visit the North Carolina Aquarium

If it’s raining or you just need to spend a bit of time indoors, you can’t do better than the North Carolina Aquarium and its many attractions designed with kids in mind. There are animal feedings, scuba divers in the shark tank, touch tanks, and a Marine Hospital where the kids can watch sea creatures being cared for. The aquarium itself has plenty of sharks, alligators, otters, and other sorts of marine creatures that kids love to watch.

Duck Town Boardwalk

The Duck Town Boardwalk is quiet and peaceful. Although there are shops and restaurants, they are low-key and less likely to get little kids screaming for treats than some other spots. It’s one of the best places to take them for some low-key shopping, and one of the best spots for watching the sunset anywhere in the country.

H2OBX Waterpark

Okay, so you are looking at rentals near the beach because you want to be at the beach, right? But maybe you’re getting a little bit tired of salty water and sand in everything. For less sandy fun, head over to H2OBX waterpark. The waterpark is designed with kids in mind, has family-friendly pricing, plenty of lifeguards, good food, and free parking.

OBX by Horseback

For the budding cowboys and cowgirls in your family, Outer Banks Horseback offers guided beach rides. They specialize in rides that are safe and interesting for families, and few things are as nice as appreciating the beach and the sunset from the back of a horse.

Island Farm

If you have little kids who love animals, this is a great place to go in the mornings before it gets too hot. They can play games, feed the chickens, take a wagon ride, and even watch the farm cook traditional foods (if you go at the right time of year). All the staff are very knowledgeable about working farms and can answer any questions your kids might throw at them. As a bonus, the Etheridge family farm has been in operation since the 1700s and has plenty of history to explore.

Outer Banks is one of America’s best beach destinations. Look for family-friendly rentals near the beach and plan on having an amazing vacation.