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.

Kids on the beach in Carova

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.

Mountain Climbing - Head to the Timbuck II Shopping Center on a sunny summer day and tackle the towering 26' foot tall climbing wall that's easy to spot near Kitty Hawk Kites.

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.

Indoor Activities

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.

 

Back Country Safari Tours
Brindley Beach Vacations
Big Buck's Homemade Ice Cream

Serving our customers on the Outer Banks since 1994, Big Buck's ice Cream is dedicated serving you “The Best.” We offer a full line of super-premium ice cream products, smoothies, chocolates, and custom-made ice cream cakes! 2 locations are open all year: Duck  and Manteo, at The Waterfront Shops.

 

We offer a full line of Espresso Drinks from Hot Vanilla Cappuccinos and Hot Chocolate to Iced Caramel Lattes & Frozen Mochas, all made to order. Big Buck’s fresh fruit smoothies are lactose-free and made to order. Also offering lactose-free sorbets made from the best fruits available. Old time favorites are sure to please! Choose from a delicious collection of milkshakes, sundaes and banana splits.

 

Savor the moment with our Homemade Chocolate! Chocolates are made daily in each location. We offer a large selection from Dark to Milk to White. Milk Chocolate Oreos & Almond Toffee, Dark Chocolate Berries and Cherries Clusters & Hand-dipped Peppermint Patties with a Drizzle of White Chocolate, Extra-Dark Sea Salt Caramels & our famous homemade caramel chocolate pretzels oh & don’t forget the ever-popular caramel pecan turtle, just to name a few treats!

 

Belinda Pleva grew up serving ice cream out of her parent’s shop. She loved being part of what she calls “a happy business.” “I love it when people come into the shop and you hand them something, and it makes them smile,” Pleva says. “That moment when you hand an ice cream cone over to a little kid and their eyes just light up. That’s what I love about the ice cream business.”

 

In 1994, Pleva opened up her own ice cream and chocolate shop, Big Buck’s Ice Cream, in the brand-new Timbuk II Shopping Center in Corolla. Business was good, but something was missing.

 

“I was never satisfied with the ingredients in the ice creams and chocolates you could purchase back then. I wanted to serve my customers delicious flavors with ingredients they could actually pronounce,” Pleva says.

 

Pleva took a trip to Italy to study the gelaterias. She fell in love with the incredible flavors, and when she returned home to the Outer Banks, she began working tirelessly to perfect the flavors in her own ice cream.

 

Big Buck’s homemade ice cream combined the flavors of the Italian gelaterias and the richness of American ice cream. It quickly became a tourist favorite. After having the same unsatisfactory experience with the readymade chocolates she was selling, she also took a trip to Brussels to learn more about making handmade chocolates. Pleva brought the chocolate-making experience right back with her, and the result was the finest quality of chocolates on the Outer Banks.

 

After her huge success in the Corolla shop, Pleva was able to open up three more shops—one in Kitty Hawk, one in Manteo and one in Duck.

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