Part natural oasis and part sunny beach town, Kitty Hawk is a fantastic destination for kids who love adventure. From watersports lessons to museums designed for busy hands, families will want to discover these top Outer Banks attractions and activities to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Educational Sites and Attractions

Children at Play Museum - Designed for the Outer Bank's youngest visitors, the Children at Play Museum has plenty of interactive exhibits that pay homage to the local environment, and are designed to inspire young minds. The museum features regular story hours, craft projects, and other daily events to keep multiple visits interesting

Wright Brothers Memorial - This iconic site features a Visitors Center where kids will be wowed by the life-sized, replica gliders that steal the show. Regular media programs and talks are also offered by the National Park Service to make the story of the First Flight accessible for all ages.

Jennette's Pier - Start an afternoon of fishing or beaching by exploring the expansive pier house that features borrowed exhibits from the North Carolina Aquarium. Located in Nags Head, the recently renovated Jennette's Pier is great for educational programs, angling, and sightseeing combined.

North Carolina Aquarium - Located a 30 minute drive away from Kitty Hawk, the North Carolina Aquarium in Manteo features multiple exhibits on local, deep water, and exotic species, as well as special rooms and displays that are interactive and are designed just for kids.

Island Farm - Take a trip back to the 1850s at this working Roanoke Island farm that features costumed interpreters, local friendly farm animals, and plenty of opportunities for kids and adults to join in the daily activities of a typical mid-19th century Outer Banks farm.

Roanoke Island Festival Park - Located in a pretty Manteo outdoor setting, patrons can meet and mingle with costumed settlers and Native Americans as they explore this extensive replica of Roanoke Island circa 1586.

Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education - Head 20-30 minutes north to Corolla to learn about the sea critters that call the Outer Banks home at the extensive Center for Wildlife Education. Adjacent to the Historic Corolla Park, this center boasts a 5,000 gallon saltwater tank, museum exhibits, and regular programs for explorers of all ages.

Outdoor Activities

Kitty Hawk Woods - With multiple ways to access this extensive natural reserve, kids can run wild in one of the central Outer Banks' largest parcels of maritime forests. Follow the nature trails that veer off of The Woods road, or create your own route along the ample paddling trails that border the sound.

Public Parks - Kitty Hawk has two public parks that are quietly located along the wooded soundside region.

  • Sandy Run Park features a covered pavilion, picnic areas, grills, a raised walkway for bird watching, and access to hiking and biking paths. There's also a canoe / kayak launch that leads to maritime woods canals and the open sound waters. Sandy Run Park is located on The Woods Road within the Preserve at Kitty Hawk Woods.
  • Kitty Hawk Park is one of the newest parks in Dare County, and boasts a covered picnic shelter, Skate Park, a half mile walking trail, playground, and even a dog park. The park is located at 900 West Kitty Hawk Road in Kitty Hawk.

Promenade Watersports - This extensive watersports complex features everything kids need to have fun on the water. Activities include jet skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, boating, sailing, and even parasailing, allowing patrons to choose their own adventure. The center is located at 105 Promenade Lane, next to the Wright Memorial Bridge.

Kayaking, Kiteboarding, Windsurfing and Stand-up Paddle Boarding - Active kids can head to several local locales for watersports equipment and lessons. Kitty Hawk Kayaks in Kitty Hawk offers both SUP lessons and guided kayaking eco-tours while Nags Head's Kitty Hawk Kite has a wealth of lessons available, from hang gliding to kiteboarding clinics.

Fishing - Head to the Kitty Hawk Pier, the Avalon Pier in Kill Devil Hills, or Jennette's Pier in Nags Head for a full day of angling and incredible open ocean views. The majority of piers on the Outer Banks offer special reduced rates for young anglers.

Mini-Golf - Head to Paradise Golf and Arcade or Lost Treasure Golf, both located in neighboring Kill Devil Hills, for a fun afternoon or evening on the links. Additional amenities at these mini-golf centers include go kart tracks, bumper cars, arcades and snack bars.

Kitty Hawk Beaches - There are eight public beaches in Kitty Hawk, including three with lifeguard stations which are located at the Byrd Street access, the Eckner Street access, and the Kitty Hawk Bath House access. Beach gear and rentals can be picked up at local souvenir stores, or beach rental shops like Ocean Atlantic Rentals and Moneysworth Rentals.

Other Entertainment

Bowling - Nags Heads' OBX Bowling, (formerly the Nags Head Bowling Alley), is open daily for friendly family bowling competitions. The bowling alley also features a separate arcade, as well as a snack bar for cold drinks and easy kid-friendly lunches.

Arcades - Game lovers can check out Paradise Golf & Arcade and Destination Fun Laser Tag, which are both conveniently located in Kill Devil Hills along the Beach Bypass.An arcade is also located at the OBX Bowling Center in Nags Head and at the R/C movie theater in Kill Devil Hills.

Laser Tag - There are two laser tag centers in the central Outer Banks, which are Destination Fun Laser Tag and Outer Banks Gearworks. Both centers are appropriate for kids, and feature snack bars, arcades, and / or other amenities for patrons.

Movie Theatres - The R/C Theatre in Kill Devil Hills is located a quick 5-10 minute drive away for young movie fans, and features multiple curved screens, digital surround sound, stadium seating, a snack bar and an arcade. For a historic experience, head to Manteo and the Pioneer Theater, which is one of the oldest family-owned movie theaters in North Carolina.

Arts and Crafts - Kids can get their hands dirty at Kitty Hawk's The Jelly Lounge, which features a suite of arts and crafts classes, as well as parties for kids and adults. Nearby, Kill Devil Hills' Garden of Beadin' allows kids to create their own masterpieces and sea-worthy pieces of jewelry.

YMCA - The YMCA in Nags Head features a sprawling indoor pool and an outdoor skate park, as well as special fitness classes designed just for kids. Temporary passes and guest memberships are available for Outer Banks visitors.

Ice Cream - Take a bike ride or stroll along the Beach Road in Kitty Hawk, and it won't take too long to spot an ice cream stand or two. Popular local ice cream purveyors include Salty Cow, Big Buck's, and Rita's - which are all found in Kitty Hawk.


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Brew Thru

Brew Thru

No trip to the Outer Banks is complete without cruising through Brew Thru, the Outer Banks’ original drive thru convenience store. Whether you’re looking for a refreshing cold beverage of Coke, Pepsi and other soft drinks on the go, stocking up your cooler with refreshments to enjoy at the beach or piling up on beer and wine for a party, Brew Thru is a fun and unique experience all vacationers need to see for themselves.

Drive-Through Beer & Gear

Brew Thru is Your One-Stop Shop at the Beach

The year was 1977, and Dana and Becky Lawrentz were chatting with friends over brews in their hometown of Akron, Ohio. They got to talking about a gas station convenience store in the area that had built a makeshift drive-through. Everyone agreed it would be pretty great if you could actually drive through a convenience store and pick up everything you needed without getting out of the car. But what would you call a place like that?

Well, you’d call it a Brew Thru.

It was an idea they couldn’t shake, so the Lawrentzes moved to the Outer Banks and built the first Brew Thru with the help of a partner. The idea was that people could come buy everything they would need for their trip to the beach—beer, wine, soft drinks, snacks, ice—without getting out of the car. That same year, a t-shirt salesman visiting the store and talked them into adding t-shirts to their product line—and 44 years later there are now more than five million Brew Thru t-shirts out in the wild.

The Lawrentzes’ daughter Brandy and her husband Philip Foreman purchased the business from them in 2002, and they now operate five locations across the Outer Banks.“We love being the one-stop shop for folks on the way to their beach house,” Foreman says. “Our car tenders are the friendliest people at the beach. We’re here to greet you, get you everything you need for your trip, load it up in the trunk for you, and have you leaving with a smile on your face.”

The store is quite expansive, featuring more than 100 brands of beer, dozens of wines and even a vast selection of cigars—not to mention all the snacks, t-shirts and other gear. To make ordering a little easier, customers in line get a menu—fondly known as the Summer-y—that outlines everything available at the store. These Summer-ies are also available in many of the beach rentals, which allows vacationers to decide what they want before driving through.

For customers who would like to get out and stretch their legs, there’s the Brew Thru Shop in Kill Devil Hills, where you can find their world famous t-shirts and other gifts. New t-shirt designs are created each year, making a yearly Brew Thru t-shirt a favorite of locals and annual visitors to the Outer Banks.

The Foremans both grew up in the Outer Banks, and they love that Brandy’s parents’ vision for a friendly and convenient place for people to grab their brews and other beach stay essentials is continuing to flourish.

“Our family has been welcoming people to the Outer Banks since 1977,” Foreman says. “We love this beautiful place, and we want everybody to get to enjoy it.”

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Gray’s Outer Banks Lifestyle Clothing Company offers the absolute best in Outer Banks T-shirts and Sweatshirts including Champion, Under Armour with "Outer Banks” and Gear! We carry quality fashions and accessories for the whole family by all your favorite brands including Tommy Bahama, Tribal, ESCAPE, Billabong, Quiksilver, Jack O’Neill, RVCA, Olukai, Cobian, Spartina, Scout, Brighton.


Whether you’re shopping for apparel, shoes & accessories, gifts & toys or OBX and Big Duck souvenirs, Gray’s offers the best brands and quality for a beach lifestyle at any of our 4 locations! From sportswear to beachwear and everything in between, Gray’s will outfit your entire family. You can also find great beach accessories at Gray’s, such as Costa sunglasses, Olukai sandals and Sun Bum sunscreen and hair products. Be sure to shop Gray’s signature Big Duck found on t-shirts, sweatshirts and gift items!


Established in 1948 by Walter and Stelle Gray, Gray’s began as a single store on the beach road in Nags Head, a land mark that has been beautifully transformed into Seagreen Art Gallery. Visitors to the original Gray’s may remember that the family home was located above the store and that Walter Gray had a passion for Big Band music that was often playing on the store speakers, giving shoppers a little swing in their step.


Modern-day Gray’s is still family owned and operated by their children Ronnie and Julie Gray, who carry on a legacy of superior customer service and traditional values. Ronnie’s wife Susan is also an important part of the business. “It really was always a family operating as a business rather than a business being run by a family,” explains Ronnie Gray. “When our visitors come in, they are greeted by a warm hello and a ‘Welcome to Gray’s.’ We try to welcome them as if they’re entering our own home”

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Black Pelican