Are you planning a trip to OBX? Looking for the best things to do on Roanoke Island with kids? You’re in the right place! Roanoke Island is a beautiful part of the Outer Banks that is full of historical sites, museums, fun outdoor activities, and natural beauty. The island is the innermost portion of the Outer Banks and has unique coastal wetlands that you must see for yourself!
Let’s take a look at the most commonly asked questions about Roanoke Island. Then, we will dive right into the best things to do on Roanoke Island with kids!
Why Is Roanoke Island Famous?
Roanoke Island is famous for being the location of a lost colony. The people were from England and mysteriously vanished without a trace in 1587. When English ships returned to bring supplies to the settlers, they were nowhere to be seen.
Can You Visit The Site of The Lost Colony of Roanoke?
Yes, you can visit the site of the Lost Colony of Roanoke at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.
Is Roanoke Worth Visiting?
Yes, Roanoke Island is worth visiting! There is an overwhelming amount of natural beauty and historical significance on the island. There are great shopping, learning, and adventuring opportunities on Roanoke.
Does Roanoke Island Have Beaches?
Roanoke Island doesn’t have any ocean beaches with crashing waves. However, they do have beaches on the sound.
19 Things To Do On Roanoke Island With Kids
Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse & Maritime Museum
Not your typical lighthouse, the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse was used not to guide ships at sea, but to guide ships through the rivers and sounds dating back to the 1800s. Follow the wooden boardwalk over the water into the maritime museum beneath the lighthouse. Visiting the lighthouse and museum is one of the best free things to do on Roanoke Island with kids.
This farm is a living story that tells the tale of everyday Outer Bankers living on Roanoke Island in the mid-1800s. You can learn about the Lost Colony and watch demonstrations in blacksmithing, hearth cooking, weaving, and spinning wool. feeding the animals, food preparation, and more!
Lost Colony Brewery and Cafe
This restaurant is super chill and has great outside space to sit and enjoy the weather and your lunch. They have a lot of super interesting items on the menu that look so good; I want to go back again and again to try it all!
Roanoke Island Festival Park
This park is home to a replica of the Elizabeth II, one of the seven vessels that were used during the voyages to Roanoke Island. You can see the blacksmithing area and explore American Indian Town to learn about the coastal Algonquian people and their culture.
Johanna’s Cafe Lachine
Try one of Johanna’s delicious breakfast and lunch options or better yet, grab a drink and a delicious tart to enjoy outside in the sunshine outside of the cafe.
North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
The North Carolina Aquarium is one of the best things to do on Roanoke Island with kids! You’ll be happy to know that the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island has conservation programs for sea turtles, Carolina Gopher Frogs, Sand Tiger Sharks, the Crystal Skipper Butterfly, and several other species that live in and around the ocean.
A perfect stop on Roanoke Island for family travelers. See dug-out canoes, see how things were made in the past, learn about the importance of storytelling in times long gone, and much more at the Adventure Museum! This is one of the best Roanoke Island attractions that you can visit.
The Refuge on Roanoke Island
It feels criminal to not recommend you spend a night camping while you are in such a beautiful place like Roanoke Island. If you are a van lifer or RVer, The Refuge has rave reviews and would be a great way to enhance your visit to Roanoke Island.
The Front Porch Cafe
Just like the name suggests, this cute little cafe offers a large variety of coffees as well as cinnamon rolls, croissants, cookies, other pastries, juices, as well as a selection of wines that you can enjoy out on the big front porch. Visiting the Front Porch Cafe.
A botanical garden in Manteo, North Carolina, the Elizabethan Gardens is a historical site with displays of plants, water features, statues, and antiques.
Things To Do On Roanoke Island With Kids Continued
Pirate Adventures of The Outer Banks
Be whisked away on board the pirate ship, Sea Gypsy IV, and watch the actors on the ship tell tales of pirate lore: tales of sunken treasure, swashbuckling, and more! Kids will have the opportunity to look for messages in a bottle at sea, man a water cannon, and read treasure maps.
OBX Ghost Tours
If you are looking for things to do in Manteo NC, add OBX Ghost Tours to your list! Take a guided walking tour through Manteo on Roanoke Island. Learn about the history of Manteo and the spirits that still linger around the buildings and in the streets of the beautiful and historic town. To make reservations, you can book online or call Kitty Hawk Kites.
Fort Raleigh National Historic Site
Hike maritime trails, see the First Light of Freedom Monument that commemorates the Roanoke Island Freedman’s Colony that was set up during the American Civil War where a place was set up as a safe haven and an education center for former slaves to help prepare them for their new lives, and the earthwork that reveals evidence of metallurgical activity in the area.
Outer Banks Fishing Charters
Make your visit to the North Carolina coast complete with a trip into the sea with Outer Banks Fishing Charters.
Laughing Lollipop Soda and Candy Shoppe
All the historical sites and beauty on Roanoke Island are great, but when you’re traveling with kids sometimes you just need to spend an hour in a candy shop, right? Novelty ice cream, cotton candy, saltwater taffy, and unique sweets await you at the Laughing Lollipop!
Harbor Star Dolphin Tours
Watch wild Atlantic bottlenose dolphins jump and splash around your boat on a dolphin tour leaving from the Wanchese Marina. The captain keeps a safe distance from the dolphin but you will still be able to enjoy watching the dolphins eat, play, sleep, and teach their young!
Big Buck’s Homemade Ice Cream
Enjoy cake batter, strawberry sorbet, peanut butter cups and fudge, cherry vanilla, and other unique and delicious ice cream flavors at Big Buck’s Homemade Ice Cream. You can also get your caffeine fix from their hot, iced, and frozen caffeinated beverages.
Manteo Waterfront Marina
Take a walk by the water and boat watch around the Manteo Waterfront Marine.
The Lost Colony Musical
The lost colony musical is one of the must visit attractions in all of the Outer Banks. The show displays sorrow, heartbreak, and loss as well as the laughter and romance of the time while showing you how the Queen and her court worked, then celebrate with the cast at the birth of the first English child born in America, Virginia Dare.