|OBX Extreme Magic every Wednesday morning at the Duck Amphitheater. Photo Town of Duck.|
Families keep coming back to the Outer Banks because there’s so much for families to do. Admittedly, when we’re talking about family activities, it’s all about the kids, but so much of the joy of parenthood is in watching your children discover the world around them.
Something that seems to make the Outer Banks special the range of activities for all ages–from face painting for the youngest members of the troop to exploring the sounds in a kayak or surfing for teenagers.
A good place to start is with Kid’s Day at Kitty Hawk Kites. For at least 20 years and more like 25 years, every Wednesday in the summer has been Kid’s Day at the main Kitty Hawk Kites store across from Jockey’s Ridge in Nags Head. However, about 10 or 15 years ago they brought the concept to Monteray Plaza in Corolla. Every Tuesday the Plaza is filled with kids with their faces painted in weird ways, toy demonstrations, kite making workshops and more. It is insanity at its absolute best.
Just up the road from the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education on the grounds of Currituck Heritage Park is home to a small museum that walks visitors through the history and ecology of Currituck Sound. It’s great for the whole family–interesting and informative for Mom and Dad and a visual feast for kids.
And, there’s lots of activities for kids. There’s Archery Basic for Kids, Crabbing, Kayaking on the Sound, discussions about sea turtles and more–all geared toward family with an emphasis on participation by young hands and minds.
Although a lot of the individual communities have family activities scheduled throughout the week–Corolla Light in particular is very strong–the town of Duck is the one municipality on the Outer Banks that has really stepped to the fore in creating a unique family time in the heart of the village. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning starting in July and into early August, they feature programs specifically designed for kids.
Held at the town’s outdoor amphitheater, Tuesday’s are an interactive presentation with experts from the The NC Roanoke Island Aquarium or Elizabethan Gardens, Wednesday is a magic show and Thursdays feature children’s story time sponsored by Duck’s Cottage and Island Bookstore.
These are just some of the scheduled events and there is much more to do than this for kids of all ages. Go surfing or take a lesson; in Duck, Jon Britt at Nor’Banks Sailing offers kids sailing camps in July and August; for something different–take a hang gliding lesson on the dunes of Jockey’s Ridge State Park with Kitty Hawk Kites.
A dune lesson is a great experience for just about every member of the family, although there are weight and age requirements. It’s a little bit difficult, a little bit frustrating, but when your feet leave the ground and you realize you’re actually flying this gigantic kite, it is a thrill that cannot be duplicated. KHK also offers special lessons for kids as young as four.
This is just a small–a very small–sampling of kid friendly activities. The beach is a great place to start, but there is so much more to do, that you owe yourself and your family multiple vacations on the Outer Banks.