How do you keep your kids entertained during an Outer Banks vacation? That’s easy, right? Hit the beach! Children love to frolic in the waves, build sandcastles on the shore, and search for shells in the shallows. In fact, they’ll happily spend hours in the water – it’s difficult to drag them away!
But what if the weather’s rainy? Or your kids are clamoring for something different?
That’s when you’ll want to head to a family-friendly amusement park.
Fortunately, there are several of these thrill-packed attractions in the NC Outer Banks. And a few of them are indoors, so they’re perfect options for rainy-day enjoyment. Here’s the scoop on some prime possibilities.
796 Sunset Drive, Corolla; 252-453-9100; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. In-Season
Do your youngsters love go-karts, bumper cars, and arcade games? They’ll have a blast at Corolla Raceway.
This upscale venue provides:
- The latest single, double, and junior go-karts, are ideal for racing around an outdoor track with twists and turns galore
- State-of-the-art gas-powered bumper cars, offer tons of uproarious fun for kids and adults alike
- A spacious, action-packed game room filled with redemption games, video machines, basketball, and ski ball, along with special arcade games custom-designed for younger children
- Plus family-friendly carnival games, yummy snacks, and more
Height and age restrictions do apply, and smaller racers must ride with a driver who’s at least 16 years old. Beyond that, though, it’s full-throttle nonstop excitement, as family members race each other, bump each other, and compete for zany prizes. What an awesome way to spend a few hours away from the beach!
Turf’s Up OBX
3712 North Croatan Highway, Suite E, Kitty Hawk; 252-715-5820; Monday-Friday, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Ever dream of landing a hole in one, nailing a three-point shot, scoring a touchdown, or batting one out of the park? Come live those thrilling moments at Turf’s Up OBX. This comfortable indoor attraction offers a wide range of 3D simulated sports in high-def virtual reality, so realistic you’ll actually feel like you’re part of the game.
If you and your youngsters are sports fans, you’ll be in seventh heaven!
Better Than Ordinary VR
Can’t stand that uncomfortable VR headgear? No worries. Turf’s Up uses world-class simulation technology, so no bulky headsets are necessary. Instead, giant HD screens showcase famous professional venues – including 91 different golf courses, plus baseball diamonds, basketball courts, soccer fields, football stadiums, hockey arenas, and more.
You control the action on-screen, as you swing, kick, dribble, shoot, you name it. You can even take virtual golf lessons with the resident pro. Or try to save the world from the next zombie apocalypse. It’s so immersive you’ll forget where you are – and so addictive you’ll want to keep playing hour after hour. (And so will your kids.)
Afterward, you can gather with friends and family for delicious food and fun conversation. It’s the perfect ending to a perfect indoor day.
Paradise Fun Park
3300 North Croatan Highway, Kill Devil Hills; 252-441-7626; Open Daily 24 Hours In-Season
Looking for one site that has it all – mini-golf, go-karts, and bumper cars? Bring the family to Paradise Fun Park, a popular outdoor attraction in Kill Devil Hills, NC. Here you and your kids can enjoy:
- Putt-putting across multiple greens, complete with challenging obstacles
- Rocking, rolling, bumping, and spinning in big, mega-cushioned bumper cars
- Hurtling around a twisting track in one- and two-person go-karts
And more! Best of all, since the park’s open ‘round the clock, you can arrive whenever you like and stay as long as you want. Enjoy!
8526 Caratoke Highway, Powells Point; 252-491-3000; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Daily
There’s no such thing as “too much water” when you’re at the Outer Banks. So, when you take a break from the beach, head to H2OBX on Currituck County’s mainland.
This huge coastal-themed waterpark provides more than 30 breathtaking rides, slides, and related attractions, all reflecting aspects of Outer Banks lore, from pirates to wild feral ponies. Choose from adrenaline-pumping options such as:
- Dune Runner, a towering tube ride featuring three thrilling downward drops
- Midnight Marauder, a seven-story slide through an enclosed water tube, with three stunning drops along a 500-foot course
- Paradise Plunge, a nine-story freefall that ends in a dazzling loop
- Rip Tide, a zero-G slide through a twisting 50-foot tube with steep drops, sudden turns, and plenty of back-and-forth action
- The Plank, 90 exhilarating feet of unforgettable freefall
- Wild Horse Run, nearly 1,500 feet of tight corners and high-banked curves
- Plus Storm Chaser and Flow Rider – eight heart-pounding thrill rides in all
Not up for quite that much excitement? Never fear. This family-focused park offers plenty of other options, including a massive wave pool with giant man-made waves; a tropical lagoon featuring climbing and balancing challenges; a leisurely tubing river that meanders for 1,000 feet; a pirate-themed kiddie playground; a six-story raft ride; and more.
Ready to sit out the next ride or two? Rent a luxury cabana for a very reasonable rate. Then relax while the kiddos play.
Enjoy All This and More at the NC Outer Banks
Don’t miss the boat! Gather the family and head to the OBX.