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Outerbanks w/kids

Old Mar 10th, 2005, 05:43 AM
  #1  
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Outerbanks w/kids

Hi,
We're going to the Outerbanks the week of April 11th. We have 2 kids, girl 12, boy 9. Any suggestions on thing to do that time of year? Restaurants they might like?
Thanks.
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Old Mar 10th, 2005, 03:10 PM
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ttt
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Old Mar 13th, 2005, 06:17 AM
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"ttt"

What's this?
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Old Mar 13th, 2005, 06:54 AM
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I'm not an expert, since I've only been to Outer Banks a few times, and the last time was 4 years ago. But, I thought it was a gorgeous place to go. I think the different areas of OBX are probably very different though. The upper areas - Kitty Hawk, Duck, seemed to be busier - more restaurants, things to do, etc. to choose from. We stayed down on the Hatteras island direction. We had beach house in Avon, which seemed to be the busiest town there, and even that wasn't too busy. (See my earlier post about NC beach question!) We didn't take the kids when we stayed in Avon, but did take them when we stayed in Buxton. Truthfully, there are not a whole lot of activities - no amusement parks, boardwalk, theme restaurants or any of that kind of thing. But, that said, my kids loved it. They spent a lot of time in the pool, of course, but they basically spent the whole day running up and down the beach - playing with some $4.99 velcro ball toss game. They built huge sand castles, took boogie boards into the surf, collected shells, wrote messages in the sand, then took pictures of it for their friends. At night, there were even bonfires. (Not sure if that is allowed now, but we had no problems then.) Once, we took them crabbing, and to play minature golf and get ice cream cones in Buxton, and we went shopping in some of the great souvenier stores that they have there, but that was about it. It was three girls, aged 9, 11, and 13, and they had the time of their life, and still talk about it. They made friends with some other vacationing kids, read tons of books, and I truly cannot even remember a single fight. (Or at least, can't remember any blood being drawn!) We didn't go any place expensive for dinners - there were lots of cheap fish house places, and hamburger or sandwich places. They got a kick out of eating crabs at Dirty Dick's, except for the youngest, who wanted a grilled cheese sandwich EVERY place we went.

I guess my advice is to not expect there to be that many ways for them to be entertained if you go to the Hatteras section, but have some ideas before you go. Take KITES! Give them disposable cameras and photo albums to fill. A friend of mine goes with a family group to a beach house there every year, and they have a "vacation bucks" system, where during the vacation, all the kids earn "bucks" for things like: having a day with no fighting, setting the table, finding the most shells, helping a younger kid find his shoes, etc., and on the last day, the "bucks" turn into money for the final trip to the souvenier store.

I didn't mean to get so long-winded! I hope this helps, though.
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Old Mar 13th, 2005, 07:24 AM
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The water will still be too cold for swimming in April but warm enough to hang out on the beach.

Kid activities? Flying kites, bike riding, mini golf, the aquarium on Roanoke Island, Pea Island Wildlife Refuge, Jockey's Ridge State Park (climb the monster sand dune, watch the hang gliders).

Surf wear seems big with the kids these days. Plenty of surf shops to see. As well as the souvenir places.

Where are you staying on the Outer Banks? That will dictate restaurant suggestions. Lots of options there.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 12:01 PM
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Thanks everyone! We're staying in Duck. Besides the suggestions I've received, these are some things I've looked into it. Let me know what you think.
1) North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
2) Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
3) Back Country Outfitters & Guides - The Wild Horse Safari
4) North Carolina Maritime Museum on Roanoke Island
5) The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
6) The Currituck Beach Lighthouse
7) Ocracoke Island

...thanks
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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 12:05 PM
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We're also curious about whale/dolphin watches. Are they available this time of year? If so, are any recommended?
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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 12:07 PM
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From your earlier question, ttt means "to the top". Tcapp noticed that no one had replied to your post and it had slipped off the first page. Any reply to a post bumps it back up to the #1 position where more people are likely to see it.

The only thing on your list I can comment on is Okracoke Island. It can be a looooong trip. We were coming from Salvo which is quite a bit closer than Duck and it was still long. The drive down isn't too bad, but the wait for the ferry can be pretty long. This was a weekday in early May, so not even close to high season, but it still took about 2 hours each way just from the time we got to the ferry dock, to getting to the island.

To me, it wasn't worth it. The island was cute, but nothing special to me. I would have much rather stayed near our rental house and relaxed! Other people do love it though.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 12:09 PM
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We cross-posted.

I don't know about watches, but we did get to watch a lone whale make his way south from our deck. He wasn't too far out and kept breaching and spraying. It was so great! We watched him for over an hour till we couldn't see him anymore.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 12:47 PM
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April might be a bit early for the whale/dolphin and the wild horse/eco tours. Lots of business run limited hours until May. Call when you get there to see if any of the tours are running. They're really fun and and you'll come away with a great appreciation for the unique and fascinating ecosystem resident in the OBX.

You can often see pods of dolphins swimming up and down the coastline chasing schools of fish. Whale sightings are nearly as frequent anymore but mesmerizing when you see one out there.

If your kids like hot dogs, definitely check out Cap'n Franks, best hot dogs on the beach.

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Old Mar 23rd, 2005, 12:48 PM
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...about the whales, sightings *aren't* as frequent anymore...
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Old Mar 27th, 2005, 03:30 PM
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Based on jlm_mi's reply, thanx tcapp for moving me back up. Newbie! Didn't understand what it meant!

Julz; Thanks for responding. The info you gave me will help a lot!

jlm_mi; Thanks for the Ocacroake info, it sounds like it could be a long day with kids!

obxgirl; thanks, based on your name, I'm sure you have a handle on this stuff. You input is appreciated. Too bad about the whales! We were in Cape Cod 2 years ago and had some great sitings. Kids loved it an we were hoping for the same, oh well. As for the horse\eco tours, they do run the land one, but its too early for the kayaks.

Thanks for the input, if you think of anything else, let me know.

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Old Mar 27th, 2005, 04:18 PM
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I went to the outer banks last year. Stayed in Corolla Light area. I found this area very beautiful yet peaceful. We had 4 children with us and rented a house with a pool. The corolla light village also had shuttle service to take us over to the ocean side where there were pools directly on the beach as well. The kids got a kick out of riding the shuttle when they got bored with the pool at our house. The wild horse safari is also a must. That is very close to this area as well. Alos visited the Currituck light house which was directly behind our beachhouse on the sound side. I just loved this area....and the kids had so much fun we didnt have enough time all week to do it all. You dont have to stay in a busy area of the Outer banks to find something to do. Make sure you rent a house with a heated pool! You will love it!
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