Book Your Stay for Two Free Kids Festivals in May

The stunning North Carolina Outer Banks are filled with rich history, endless adventure, and picturesque ocean views. It’s no wonder the Outer Banks are widely regarded as one of the best family vacation destinations. There are plenty of things to do in the Outer Banks with kids for a vacation everyone will remember forever. May is the perfect time to book your family vacation to the Outer Banks because there will be two awesome and FREE kids festivals. 

Enjoy Kids Activities on the Outer Banks

Book your stay in time for the upcoming kids festivals with Atlantic Realty. We have a quality selection of Outer Banks vacation rentals with premium options featuring oceanfront views, theater rooms, and pet-friendly rentals. Keep reading to learn more about the upcoming kids festivals you don’t want to miss!

Experience These Two Free Outer Banks Kids Festivals

The 34th Annual Artrageous Kids Art Festival

The Artrageous Kids Art Festival is one of the best kids art festivals in the Outer Banks and will be a day full of art activities, dance performances, live music, food vendors, and an artisan market. The festival’s 2023 theme is “Space to Create!” It will give the kids an open-minded outdoor space for their creativity to flourish. 

There will be a Young Artist Village to promote the artwork of artists ages 17 and under. They will be able to sell their handmade crafts to festival attendees. There will also be a place for adult artists to sell their work. Artrageous is one of the best free kids festivals in the Outer Banks for its commitment to helping youth let their creativity shine.

When: Saturday, May 13, 2023, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Where: Dowdy Park in Nags Head, NC

The 14th Annual KidsFest

The Annual KidsFest is another one of the free kids festivals in the Outer Banks happening in May. Kids aged five and under can enjoy an exciting day of arts and crafts, snowballs, interactive music, fire trucks/police cars, bubbles, and more at this free festival! Each activity will have its own station the kids can explore. 

This is one of the best free kids festivals in the Outer Banks for families with very young children. A bonus is that the 34th Annual Artrageous Kids Art Festival is happening the same weekend! You’ll be able to enjoy a weekend of free family fun in one of the most wonderful places in the world.

When: Friday, May 12, 2023, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Where: Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, NC

Book your family vacation in time for two free kids festivals with Atlantic Realty!

North Carolina Spring Break for Families

Spring Break is a great time for families to visit the Outer Banks before the summer rush

Year after year, families chose to vacation in North Carolina for spring break, especially in the Outer Banks. The oceanside towns offer countless activities for children of all ages. Whether you’re splashing in the water, strolling through downtown, or decorating a sandcastle, Outer Banks will keep your family smiling all vacation long. Each town offers a unique set of activities, so regardless of your Atlantic Realty’s vacation rental location, there will be many things to do “near me.” 

Water Sports

One of the most popular Outer Banks activities is exploring several nearby water sports. If you’re hoping to reserve Outer Banks equipment rentals watercrafts, such as jet skis and boats, the sound is an ideal place to explore. However, use these rentals with caution since certain areas are very shallow. When it comes to non-motorized water sports, such as kayaking, windsurfing, kiteboarding, parasailing, paddleboarding, and surfing, visitors can utilize several more areas in the Outer Banks. 

Kiteboarding and windsurfing are quickly rising to be a top activity in the Outer Banks. Spend the day learning this new skill with lessons from Kitty Hawk Watersports. Your family will laugh all day long while watching each other face plant into the water. Our team loves Kitty Hawk Watersports because they boast several other watersports rentals, such as jet skis, kayaks, parasails, paddleboards, and more! For an extra treat, our Fun N Sun Pass gifts Atlantic Realty guests one free on-site stand up paddleboard or kayak rental per day, thanks to Kitty Hawk Kayak & Surf School

Beachcombing & Hunting for Ghost Crabs

ghost crabbing on the Outer Banks is a fun day or night time activity.
Ghost crabbing is a fun daytime or nighttime activity for kids and adults alike.

If you’ve ever taken a stroll down the beach at night, you must have noticed the highly-active tiny Ghost Crabs. These nocturnal creatures are best revealed under the glowing moon or a flashlight. However, you can also go hunting for Ghost Crabs during the day—dig in the shallow water and along the tide’s breaking point on the beach. You’ll be surprised by just how many critters live below the surface, such as sand daggers and sand crabs. 

North Carolina Aquarium

One of the top things to do during your Outer Banks family vacation is spending time at the North Carolina Aquarium. Children and adults of all ages enjoy watching aquatic animals swim and splash about in the aquarium’s realistic habitat. The aquarium’s exhibits feature rare animals, such as Alligators, Black Widow Spiders, Diamondback Rattlesnakes, Sea Otters, and more! One highlight of the North Carolina Aquarium is the mock Sea Turtles healing center and Observation Center. Here, visitors can pretend to assess Sea Turtles’ health, determine a diagnosis, and nurse some Sea Turtles back to health.  
At the end of your long day exploring Outer Banks activities, return to your Atlantic Realty vacation rental. We boast a wide selection of beach houses in the Outer Banks to accommodate various family sizes, so we’re confident you’ll be eager to visit North Carolina for spring break the following year. Start planning your epic spring break and give our staff a call today at 855-486-2150.

OBX Rocks

A New Game Is Sweeping the Area; OBX ROCKS

You’ve heard of Geo Caching, you’ve heard of Pokémon Go. Now, there’s a new game that takes you all over the Outer Banks with fun things to find —  OBX Rocks. Started by a Facebook  group at the beginning of the year, the group is now over three thousand members strong!  And all of them OBX lovers and all playing the game. This game is popular in other areas of the country.  Is your hometown playing? 

Here’s how it works. A group member finds a rock, paints it, and then leaves cryptic clues for the hunters to go by. Then the hunters post a picture of them and their rock.  This is a great way to get the family unplugged and playing together in a good old fashioned scavenger hunt with an Outer Banks twist.

How to Play

The rules are simple. You join the group and get wait for someone to post about their rocks with clues on where to find it.

You have fun finding it scavenger hunt style. The clues really test your knowledge about the Outer Banks. For example, one clue said that the rock was where ‘Chardos used to be’.

Once you find it, you take its picture, post it to Instagram and their Facebook page. You can then leave the rock where it is, relocate it with new clues, or keep that one and leave a painted rock of your own.  (many people choose the latter option.)

Where to Get a Rock  

Let’s face it, rocks on the Outer Banks are pretty rare, and no one encourages the taking of someone else’s rock that they bought for their property. Instead, many of the rocks are bought from online sites like Amazon, local stores like Michaels Gems and Glass, and craft stores in your very own hometown. Dollar tree is another good place to buy rocks. However, in true Outer Banks style, many people are painting shells and driftwood instead of rocks. That works too.

Painting a Rock

Painting the rock is also a great way to bring the family together. People of all ages enjoy painting rock or shells and making them their own.  Sharpies and acrylic paints are the preferred way of painting rocks. Some people add fun decorations like stickers, googly eyes or glitter. Once the rock is painted, you seal the entire thing with Modge Podge to make it waterproof and suitable for hiding outdoors.

You can paint the rock however you want, just let your imagination roam free.  Rocks have been painted everything from striped to polka dots to intricate sharpie designs to fruit, flip flops and more!   One Star Trek fan even painted an Enterprise on their rock.

Art supplies can be bought locally from Wal-Mart or Island Art supply or you bring your favorite from home.

What to Bring

This is an easy game so there’s not a lot of equipment needed. However, here’s what you’ll need:  a bag for switching out rocks, your clues, some painted rocks, water (because rock hunting is thirsty work) a good knowledge of the area, a map or GPS system, a phone for taking pictures and spirit of adventure and fun.

Hiding the Rocks 

As always, there are a few rules for hiding a rock. Rocks can only be hidden on public property, not in places deemed dangerous and should never be left where it could adverse effects on the wildlife or the environment around it. Also, if hiding the rock at a paid for attraction, such as the aquarium, it’s always best to ask.  Ideally, you’ll want to have a plan of where you are going to leave rocks before you start creating the clues. You’ll also need a few back up locations and clues, just in case your original pick isn’t available.

Creating the Clues

This is where your knowledge of the Outer Banks really comes in handy. You can send people to places that are no longer there, give them clues about a specific place like the lighthouse or even give them picture clues such as ‘where was this taken, the rock is here too.’ These clues can be as complex or simple as you want them to be. You can spend an evening with the family making out clues and reminiscing about the Outer Banks and your great times together, or you can go out, hide some rocks and post a cryptic picture as to where to find it.

OBX Rocks is yet another way to enjoy the Outer Banks with your family. All it takes is a bunch of rocks, a smartphone, art supplies and a desire to connect on a deeper level. Old fashioned games like these along with great times spent in rental houses are what memories are made of.

We can help you with the rental house part of that memory.   Letâ??s Get Started!

Outer Banks Kids Adventures

Continuing  with our Outer Banks Adventure Series, we’re pleased to present Outer Banks Kids Adventures.  Each adventure on this list has been carefully chosen to provide the most fun for kids.  Whether your kids are into art, animals, history, or pirates, there’s an adventure on this list for them.  So let’s get started and have some fun!

Faire Days

Faire Days in Duck at Scarborough Faire, Is 1/2 day of events, 2 to 6 every Wednesday in season.  Kids of all ages will find something fun to do. Activities include craft tables, product demos, tastings, games, face painting and glitter tattoos. Entertainment ranges from live music, a clown/magician, jugglers and marionette shows just to name a few.   And don’t forget the shopping. All the stores are open, so the adults and older siblings can also enjoy themselves. This event is held rain or shine.   

Paint Your Own Pottery

If your kids enjoy being creative, take them to â??Glazin’ And Go Nutsâ??, the Outer Banks is own â??creation station’.  An assortment of ready to paint pottery is waiting for a creative touch. After the piece is fired, youâ??ll have a souvenir that will last for years to come. Located in the popular Front Porch Café , adults can enjoy a cup of coffee and pastries while the kids paint.  Or, you can be creative along with them Glazin’ And Go Nuts has also recently added a new fused glass studio.

Deja New

Deja New is a store unlike any other on the outer banks.  One part furniture store, it’s also one part art school. They feature adult and kid painting/journaling sessions and a wide assortment of other crafts, such as milk paint and refinishing furniture.   And if you like to shop, you can also buy one of the upcycled pieces. 

Jeannette’s Pier Day Camps

You already know you can have great fishing fun at Jeannette’s Pier.  But that’s just the beginning.  Jeannette’s Pier also offers a variety of day camps for children, including an intro to fishing, standup paddle boarding, hiking, exploring the ocean, science day camp and more. They also feature special day camps for very young children, along with an overnight camp, so the grown-ups can have some fun knowing the kids are safe and entertained.

Breakfast With The Rays

Stingrays glide through the water with their large wings as if they are flying. Children are entranced by these harmless creatures, which is why the aquarium lets you pet them.  However if your child is really into rays, they can do more than pet them.  Breakfast With The Rays enables your child to learn about rays, feed them, and enjoy a light breakfast along with other children interested in sting rays. It’s an experience not to be missed.

North Carolina Marionette Theatre

The marionette theatre is an unusual experience to say the least. Your kids can watch a live show featuring marionettes telling Outer Banks folk tales and meet the cast afterward. These marionettes are so life-like, you’ll swear they’re alive.  Scarf marionette classes are available in some locations. These classes teach kids to make their own cloth marionettes to take home and enjoy.

Festival Park

Festival Park started out with the Elizabeth II, a replica of a 16th century sailing vessel from England.  This ship represents one of the ships that brought over the early settlers of 1585.  Near the ship, you’ll find an English settlement, a Native American Village, and a museum.  The museum features Outer Banks history from the fifteen hundred’s all the way up to the 1920s.  Costumed historic interpreters and non-costumed guides lead you through all parts of this interactive world helping your kids to get a real feel for history.  This is a fully interactive museum where just about everything can be touched and played with. This makes it a kid’s favorite museum.

Island Farm

If you love being immersed in history, you’ll love the Island Farm, a working historic replica of a 19th century farm. Costumed characters show the children around the real farm, where they can enjoy interacting with animals, watch cooking demonstrations, and help collect fresh eggs.  They’ll see how people lived, dressed, and even ate and did laundry back in the 19th century.    And don’t forget to take the ox cart ride. It’s one of the last yoke trained oxen in the country.


Pirate Adventures

What little boy or girl hasn’t dreamed of being a pirate? Now you can make their pirating dreams come true with Pirate Adventures of the Outer Banks.  Upon your arrival, your child is transformed into a pirate through face painting and costumes.  Then they board the Sea Gypsy, an actual boat in Manteo, and head out to the center of the cove for a treasure hunt on the water. When the rival pirate shows up, and he will, the young buccaneers get to shoot him with a water cannon. Once the treasure’s been found, everyone gets to bring home some of the booty.

Destination Fun 

Though easy to miss because of its painted black windows, Destination Fun is an experience like no other.  It features over 60 arcade games, a bounce house play area, laser tag, and a black light 3D indoor mini golf course. It’s the perfect destination for fun especially on a rainy day. And because it offers so many activities, kids of all ages will enjoy it.  Little ones can play in the bounce house, while more adventurous ones can play laser tag, mini golf or arcade games. It’s easy to spend a whole day in here.


The Outer Banks is known for its miles of unspoiled beaches and unique wildlife. However, when you’ve ‘had enough beach’ there are still incredible things for you and your kids to do. No matter what the age, there is an adventure your child will love. So check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

5 Reasons why the OBX is a great children’s vacation spot

Kid tested and kid approved, season after season, the Outer Banks is one of the best beach destinations on the East Coast to bring your little ones. With many opportunities for play, like miniature golf, an arcade on a pier, go-cart speedways, and even outdoor movies, the Outer Banks knows how to keep kids busy and happy while on vacation. Not only is there plenty to do and see offshore, but the wide open, sprawling beaches provide kids their own seaside playground 24/7. The following are a few activities that help make an Outer Banks vacation a memorable one for your kids:  

The Outer Banks Childrenâ??s Museum

Located in Kitty Hawk, the interactive â??Children at Playâ?? museum provides children and parents with fun, hands-on exhibits created to learn about fishing, measuring, lighthouses, lifesaving, flying an airplane, shopping for groceries at the store or running their own deli, among others. The Children at Play Museum is the perfect place for a rainy day activity on the Outer Banks or any other day, to take the toddlers for a little mental and physical exercise. Stop by for special events, including Science Thursdays, Movies on the Sound, or host a birthday party there! For more information, click: here.

Room to Play

Unlike many other East Coast beach destinations, the Outer Banks has enough beach to go around, leaving room for families to spread out and enjoy their own personal, uncrowded space. This is perfect for the kids, as less people mean a little more play room. Building sand castles, chasing sandpipers and running back and forth along the shoreline top many childhood memories for children. The Outer Banks has innumerable beach accesses and oceanfront rental properties that allow kids and their families the freedom to enjoy the beach without the stress and hassle of posting up two feet from a group of strangers.


Well-known for the Wright Brothersâ?? first flight, the Outer Banks cherishes its history of aviation and excels in kite flying opportunities. With wind conditions that first brought the famous brothers here from Ohio in 1900, the area is perfect to take a beautiful kite to the air. Many places along the Outer Banks sell kites, but Kitty Hawk Kites, with locations in Corolla, Duck, Nags Head, Manteo, Rodanthe, Avon, Hatteras, and Ocracoke, is the largest kite store in the world, and would be an optimal stop before taking to the highest heights. One of kidsâ?? favorite places to fly a kite on the Outer Banks is atop Jockeyâ??s Ridge, the largest natural sand dune system on the East Coast, located in Nags Headâ?¦conveniently across from Kitty Hawk Kites.

North Carolina Aquarium

It would be hard to mention activities for kids on the Outer Banks and not list the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. With a wide array of daily activities, hands on events, and classes for kids of all ages, the aquarium is a terrific place to take children for a little educational break from the beach to learn about the coastal region, the marine animals found here, and see the largest collection of sharks in the state! For more information, click: here.

First Flight Adventure Park

The Outer Banksâ?? first and only aerial ropes course, located in Nags Head, is an ideal place to take children of all ages to have a lot of fun, get exercise, and enjoy one of the best views on the island. First Flight Adventure Parkâ??s 60-foot tower features 48 different elements to cross, including zip lines, cargo nets, ladders, and more. People of all ages, from ages 3 to 93, are able to cross elements that are complementary to their skill level, while attached to a high-tech constant belay system that eradicates the chance of human error. For more information, click: here.

When considering where to take the entire family on your next vacation, choose the Outer Banks, and make sure to take advantage of some of these activities while you are here. Your kids will thank you one day! 


100 Free things to do on the Outer Banks

Looking to Save on your Outer Banks Vacation?  The OBX is a great place for family vacations because of the number of things you can do at little to no cost.  Check out the list below of the Top (almost) 100 Things to Do on the Outer Banks that are FREE!  This list has been compiled by our office staff as well as past Guests and our friends on Facebook.  Feel free to contact us with additional things you can think of to do on the OBX that are FREE!

  1. Earn a ranger patch at Jockeyâ??s Ridge   
  2. Search for beach glass in Corolla
  3. Fly a Kite on Jockeyâ??s Ridge
  4. See the Boats come in with their catch at Oregon Inlet
  5. Fish for trout off the causeway bridge
  6. Shell seek at Coquina Beach
  7. Bird Watch at Pea Island
  8. Look for Spanish Mustangs in Corova
  9. Story time at Roanoke Island Festival Park
  10. Visit the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (climb it for a nominal fee)
  11. Watch the boat building process in downtown Manteo
  12. Explore the trails at Nags Head Woods
  13. Experience First Friday in Manteo
  14. Morning Yoga in Duck Town Park
  15. Drive on the Beach in Carova
  16. Movie Night at the Duck Town Park
  17. Ride the Bike Paths
  18. Feed the Turtles in Sandy Run Park in Kitty Hawk
  19. Walk the Soundfront Boardwalk in Duck
  20. Picnic on the Beach in Corova
  21. Hunt for Ghost Crabs on the Beach at night
  22. Visit the Currituck Lighthouse (nominal fee to climb)
  23. Explore the Whalehead Club
  24. Visit Bodie Island Light (nominal fee to climb)
  26. Crab off the Colington Bridge
  27. Catch a sunrise over the ocean
  28. Watch the sunset over the Sound 
  29. Build Sand castles on the beach
  30. Watch pelicans dive for fish
  31. Catch sand fleas
  32. Look for dolphin
  33. Search for purple shells
  34. Search for beach glass
  35. Take a Kayak Tour with KH Surf School by using your Fun N Sun Pass!
  36. See the Lost Colony!  Free Adult admission with the Fun N Sun Pass
  37. Play on the Town Green and Playground in Duck
  38. Stroll the Manteo Waterfront
  39. Play mini golf at the DQ Family Fun Center â?? FREE with the Fun N Sun Pass
  40. Visit the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station — Free with the FNS Pass
  41. Chase seagulls
  42. Skip rocks/shells in the ocean
  43. Stroll through the Elizabethan Gardens â?? FREE with the FNS Pass!
  44. Walk for miles on the public beaches
  45. Visit the Frisco Native American Museum â?? FREE admission with FNS Pass
  46. Check out the NC Aquarium â?? FREE with FNS Pass
  47. Fish on the Outer Banks Pier â?? FREE with the FNS Pass
  48. Visit the Laura Barnes Shipwreck (Coquina Beach)
  49. Sunset Dolphin Cruise with Capt Johnny â?? FREE with FNS Pass
  50. Play 18 holes of golf at The Pointeâ?? FREE with FNS Pass
  51. Pay a round of Golf at The Carolina Clubâ?? FREE with the FNS Pass
  52. Swim in the Ocean
  53. Float in the Sound
  54. Listen to Music at Duck Town Park
  55. Stroll the Art Galleries of Gallery Row
  56. Climb the Live Oaks at Hayman Street Park
  57. Go to the Beach at Night Under a Full Moon
  58. Follow the local Civil War Trail
  59. Geocaching — a real local treasure hunt!!
  60. Check out the Monument to a Century of Flight
  61. Visit Roanoke Island Festival Park — Free Ticket with the Fun N Sun Pass
  62. Try to Escape at Will You Escape the OBX — Free Admission with Fun N Sun Pass
  63. Check out Whalehead Junction Park (right across from Jennette’s Pier)
  64. Try to spot an alligator (safely) along Alligator River
  65. Find out where is Buffalo City?
  66. Watch the planes land at the Wright Memorial
  67. Grab your skateboard and “drop in” at the Kitty Hawk Skate Park
  68. Paint and Hide OBX Rocks and Shells
  69. Search around town for painted OBX Rocks and Shells
  70. Sign the notebook at the Little Red Mailbox (Glenmere Beach Access in Kill Devil Hills)
  71. Check out the brand New Dowdy’s Park in Nags Head
  72. Watch the bulldozers push sand on the beach during Beach Nourishment
  73. Check out Shelly Island (just be careful!)
  74. Watch the bridge construction on the new Bonner Bridge going to Hatteras. 


Can you think of something we missed?  Submit your ideas (and photos) on our Facebook Page. 

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