Posted by Terry Moore

A New Family Tradition: Spending The Holidays In The Outer Banks

While many families love the steadfastness long-time holiday customs bring, others look for new opportunities to start traditions of their own that will last for generations. Spending the holidays in the Outer Banks of North Carolina is one way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the season and create a season that is uniquely your own. Come find out why the locals of this area love adding an oceanside twist to common holiday practices and how you can join in all the fun!

Celebrate With Holiday Activities For The Whole Family

The Outer Banks is known for its miles of beautiful ocean scenery, which makes taking a drive on Highway 12 the perfect way to explore the area. It's not Route 66 ... it's better! Route 12 links the peninsulas and islands of the northern Outer Banks. A National Scenic Byway, Route 12 will take you to (or near) the Buxton Woods Coastal Reserve, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, and Bodie Island Lighthouse, and point you in the direction of Corolla. There is plenty to see and do, specifically during the holidays when special events and seasonal festivals abound.

Twinkling Lights, Decorations And Crab Pots

If your visit will be early in December, check out the town of Duck's Yuletide Celebration. For the first weekend in December, businesses in Duck come together to create a remarkable shopping and dining experience. Events begin with Santa arriving in one of the town's own fire trucks, and the celebration culminates with the lighting of the town's Crab Pot Christmas Tree.

What could be more traditional than a visit to a holiday light show? Stop in Kill Devil Hills to catch the First in Flight Holiday Lights "Frog Pond" in Aviation Park. At this free event you'll see snowflakes, candy cane lights, and Santa's sleigh pulled by reindeer. Be sure to snap a memory shot of the whole family around the giant, 20-foot-tall Christmas tree.

But that's not all the unique holiday activities you'll find in the Outer Banks. At sunset on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Jockey's Ridge State Park hosts Kites with Lights. Huge 19-foot kites decorated with lights (thus the name) soar over the dunes for an amazing sight. And if you get chilly, drop by the Kitty Hawk Kites Store for some time with Santa and complimentary hot cider and cookies.

If Christmas lights are your thing, why stop there? Tour the Elizabethan Gardens where your family will be enchanted by the magical WinterLights display and a visit with Santa. If you are in town on the Saturday before Christmas, your family can even attend a buffet-style dinner with Santa where kids can have their pictures made with the jolly old elf.

Step Back In Time

Christmas in Corolla will take your family back to the 1920s as you tour the seasonally decorated Whalehead House. Take a candlelight tour of the historic mansion along with a collection of gorgeous Christmas trees decorated by Currituck students. While on the property, visit the Currituck Beach Light and the historic Lighthouse Keepers' Home.

For a holiday experience further back in time, Christmas Past at Island Farm activities include preparing and tasting dishes from an 1850s-style dinner and riding in an ox-drawn wagon.

Visitors can help decorate a Christmas tree, and make candles and cornhusk dolls to keep. Children can gather nearby for a fireside Christmas story in the evening as well as take candlelit tours of the house and slave cabin.

Don't forget to stop by The Island Gallery and Christmas Shop to pick out a Christmas ornament or other souvenir of your special holiday in the Outer Banks. Your family will enjoy wandering the store's 12,000 square feet of holiday and home décor, art, jewelry and gifts.

A Home Away From Home

Because you're booking a rental home instead of a hotel, you're free to snuggle up on the couch with mugs of hot cocoa or apple cider, bake Christmas cookies in the fully equipped kitchen, and even prepare a full holiday dinner for Thanksgiving or Christmas day, if you like.

From falling asleep in front of the TV after a huge Thanksgiving meal to kids zipping down the hall on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought, your privacy guarantees you can be as homey as you wish.
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