Rainy Day Fun on the OBX

Each year, thousands of visitors come to the Outer Banks for itsâ?? beautiful beaches, to commune with nature, and just enjoy island living.  However, some days you can’t go to the beach because it’s raining, youâ??ve had too much sun or it’s just too hot.  Whatever the reason might be, you’ll need some activities for indoor fun.  Here are some ideas to consider for Outer Banks fun when it rains.

Wildlife Education Center

The Wildlife Education Centers are two of the Outer Banks best kept secrets.  Government owned and operated, these education centers offer a great way to learn about nature in an indoor setting. 

There are two Wildlife Education Centers; located in Corolla and in Manteo. 

The Corolla location features a huge fish tank with live fish that can be caught locally.  It’s a great representation of the sound side ecosystem.  It also has dozens of antique duck decoys, stuffed animals, boating history and more. 

Manteo offers an indoor animal scavenger hunt, allowing visitors to walk through the exhibits and see how many of the stuffed, life-sized animals you can spot hiding among the (fake) trees.  The simulated plane ride over the Outer Banks is one of their more popular attractions.  And if you are an art enthusiast, check out the attached art gallery.

And of course, both Wildlife Education Centers have their own movies, activities and gift shops. 


Though the Outer Banks does not have an indoor mall, it has hundreds of boutique shops from Corolla to S. Nags Head, and even a few chain stores.  You can spend all day going in and out of stores buying fun things such as clothing, unusual toys, knickknacks, and more souvenirs then you can shake a stick at. 

Art Classes

The Outer Banks has more artists per capita than just about anywhere else in North Carolina.  Many of these artists offer classes at their gallery or studio.  The KDH co-op, the arts council, Deja New, Hang 12 Art, Glazinâ?? Go-Nuts (paint your own pottery), just to name a few, offer several hours of indoor entertainment as you get to explore the creative side of life, socialize and  just have a great time.  At the end of the class, you even get your own hand creation to take home. 

The Children’s Museum

If you have a little ones, under five-year-old little ones, then the children’s museum is a must see.  This museum features all kinds of child themed fun such as busy walls, a dress up stage, a grocery store, tea time, a lighthouse, boat, and many more activities. Older children can spend time with the interactive game system upstairs, while the younger visitors explore downstairs. Plus, it’s located right next to the toy store, so your kids are guaranteed to have a great time. 

The Aquarium

The Aquarium on Roanoke Island is another great place to spend the day indoors.  Not only will you get to see all kinds of sealife, including fish, sharks, sea turtles, and otters, there are also a variety of activities at the aquarium.  The day is filled with educational movies, photo ops, simulated sea turtle rescues, and animal feedings.  You can literally spend all day at the aquarium and wonder where the time went.  There’s even a place to get lunch and treats. 

Festival Park

Festival Park is both an indoor and outdoor experience.  If youâ??re visiting on a day that the weatherman just canâ??t decide what he wants to do â?? this is the perfect place.  During the sunny times you can go outside and enjoy the replica 16th century sailing ship, the colonial settlement, and the Native American Village.  By going inside the museum when it is raining will give you the opportunity to dress up like a colonist, have a mock sword fight with wooden swords, shoot ‘ducks’ in the duck hunting enclosure , and learn all about the Outer Banks’s history.

Just because the weather isnâ??t cooperating doesn’t mean the fun has to end.  For children of â??all agesâ??  there are plenty of things to do on the Outer Banks that don’t require the beach or the sun to have a great vacation.

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