Discover Historic Corolla ParkWith its wide open green spaces and scenic views, Historic Corolla Park is the heart of Currituck County in Northeastern North Carolina. It’s a great place to take in a seasonal event or simply take a walk, and is home to three unique landmarks — The Currituck Beach Lighthouse, Whalehead in Historic Corolla and the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education. Outdoor activities such as fishing, crabbing and kayaking the Currituck Sound are welcomed, as are bicycles, kites and leashed pets.
Young visitors will adore both the mainland and barrier island beaches of Currituck County for the endless array of activities and attractions designed with kids in mind. Explore any of these wild, educational, and altogether fun local destinations for a memorable excursion that kids will truly treasure.
Outdoor Kids Activities
Currituck County is ideal for active, outdoors-loving visitors, thanks to its abundance of land and water adventures. Reserve an afternoon or two to discover these quintessential coastal activities that are sure to appeal to every kid's wild side.
Watersports - At the local Corolla watersports companies, older kids can dive into the sports of paddleboarding and surfing, while younger visitors can get their toes wet with a paddle boat ride. Kitty Hawk Kites in the Timbuck II Shopping Center and Island Revolution are both good places to go to try out a new adventure on the Currituck Sound or Atlantic Ocean waters.
Skate Parks - There are two skate parks in the town of Corolla at Island Revolution and Corolla Light Town Center. Island Revolution features daily and weekly passes, as well as in-house skate clinics, while the Corolla Light's park is a 5,000 square foot outdoor facility with dual bowls, quarter pipes, grind pipes, and jumps.
Tennis - Special tennis clinics designed for kids can be found at the Corolla Light Pro Shop, Pine Island Racquet & Fitness Center, and the Westside Athletic Club. Appropriate for kids of all ages, lessons are typically available on a daily, weekly or extended basis.
Playgrounds - On the beaches, playgrounds can be found at both the Corolla Light Town Center and the Timbuck II Shopping Center. On the mainland, the Currituck County Parks and Rec department maintains a wide number of parks with playgrounds on-site, including Sound Park in Point Harbor and the Walnut Island Park in Grandy. Visit the park's website at http://www.co.currituck.nc.us/County-Parks.cfm for a complete listing of area parks and facilities.
Swimming - The sound beaches found along the Whalehead in Historic Corolla's Historic Corolla Park in Corolla, as well as the mainland's Sound Park, are perfect for young visitors who want to wade and splash in shallow, gentle waters.
Volleyball - For a little volleyball close to the beach, head to the Carova Beach Park. On the mainland, Sound Park in Point Harbor features a volleyball court, while Maple Park in Maple features two courts. Unless lessons, camps or tournaments are in progress, availability is at a first come, first serve basis.
Baseball, Softball, and Football - The Sound Park, Currituck Community Center, and Maple Park all have playing fields for quick pick-up games. The Currituck County Parks and Rec Dept. also has a number of seasonal programs for youth athletics, which can be found online at http://www.co.currituck.nc.us/Parks-and-Recreation.cfm.
Hiking and Biking - The Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge is perfect for young hikers and bikers, with three distinct trails that vary greatly in distance - the .3 mile Great Marsh Trail, the 3.8 mile Mackay Island Trail and the 6.5 mile Live Oak Point Trail. Spend a day exploring the expansive local species in their natural habitat, and don't forget the bug spray during the warm summer months.
Shelling - Kids love rooting through the sand to pick up some souvenir-worthy seashells, and Corolla and especially the 4WD region of Carova are the perfect locales to go hunting. Aim for a low tide shell hunt, and try to go as early as possible on popular stretches of the shoreline.
Sandcastles - For picture-perfect sandcastles, stop by the local beach stores or Ace Hardware in Corolla, and pick up a cheap but endlessly fun "sculpting kit" with crab, fish, and starfish molds as well as all the shoveling and digging supplies. For a more ornate castle, a simple knife and spoon can come in handy for sculpting sandy doors and windows.
Go Karts - The Currituck Raceway in the Timbuck II Shopping Center features a seasonally open large race track as well as bumper cars.
Mini Golf - Corolla's newest attraction is the 27-hole Corolla Adventure Golf, found on Ocean Trail. Featuring bumper cars, a snack bar, and a Corolla-themed course, it's an ideal destination for a family-friendly night on the town. The Grass Course in Corolla is also worth a visit for older kids, due to its 20-hole all-natural terrain, which is free of flashy distractions.
Tours and Museums
Visitors will find a concentration of museums and sites in the town of Corolla, where special programs are offered for young visitors who want to have fun while subtly learning about the region's rich history and distinctive natural landscape.
Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education - The Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education in Heritage Park not only has an 8,000 gallon aquarium that is sure to captivate visitors' attention, but it also offers a range of free programs for kids of all interests and ages, including special programs on nature photography, surf fishing, and kayaking. For upcoming programs, visit the center online at http://www.ncwildlife.org/Learning/EducationCenters/OuterBanks.aspx.
The Whalehead in Historic Corolla - During the summer season, the Whalehead in Historic Corolla offers special kids tours that coincide with a site-wide treasure hunt. Prizes are granted to all participating children as well. The Whalehead in Historic Corolla also offers special Ghost Tours on designated evenings, although advanced reservations are often required or recommended.
Wild Horse Museum - The Corolla Wild Horse Museum features programs that are designed just for kids, and which focus on the famed wild mustangs. Admission is free to the museum, but children's programs may be an additional, (albeit minor), extra fee.
Currituck Beach Lighthouse - The lighthouse is a favorite Corolla attraction due to its impressive views after a climb to the top of the 158' ft. structure. Please note that this activity is best for older kids who can handle the extensive trek.
Corolla Wild Horse Tours - A number of local business offer 4WD Jeep, truck, or even converted bus tours that scan the northern Currituck shoreline for glimpses of the famed wild horses. Check out Corolla Wild Horse Tours, Wild Horse Adventure Tours, Back Country Safari Tours, and Bob's Corolla Wild Horse Tours, which all provide seasonal explorations of the northern beaches.
Take a break from the sun with these activities and sites that are always engaging, regardless of the weather.
Currituck Community Center - The indoor gymnasium at the Currituck Community Center and on-site YMCA is a great destination for a game of pick-up basketball. Special seasonal lessons and sporting leagues are also available as well.
Vintage Family Portraits - Get dressed in the best turn-of-the-century apparel and recreate an era of high society debutantes, Wild West vigilantes, or classic OBX pirates at Miss Kitty's Old Time Photo and Gifts in Corolla. The experience will create a sepia-toned family portrait that is certainly worth remembering.
Beading and crafting - Head to neighboring Outer Banks bead stores, like Kill Devil Hills' the Garden of Beadin', for a fun day of jewelry making, or stop by Corolla's Stonies Ice Cream & Fun to create T-Shirts, sand art, hand-painted ceramics and other souvenirs.
Tattoos and Funky Hair - Let the older kids go wild with a visit to Beach Braids in Corolla, a local beach shop that provides colorful hair braids with beading and wraps, as well as natural (and temporary) henna tattoos.
The Outer Banks Children's Museum - Founded in 2007 and located a quick 15-30 minute drive away in Kitty Hawk, the Children at Play Museum is a perfect destination for the younger set, (ages 2-10), with a wide range of interactive exhibits on the local landscape, varying professions, and the world of science and art.
Stay at Home activities - Use a little creativity to make a day at a vacation rental home or condo its own adventure. Seashells can double as great craft materials, while writing postcards home or enjoying a movie can serve as easy, rainy day activities the whole family can enjoy.