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OBX Aquarium, including the outside trail!

In our most recent visit to the OBX, we finally got to visit the OBX Aquarium on a day that wasn't raining. The North Carolina Aquariums are made up of four locations, one being Roanoke Island. Reservations are still required, and they are open daily from 9-5. 

We have been before, but this time we got to check out the outdoor section. Once you purchase tickets, rather than heading into the museum, head back to the nature trail. There are things to climb on and over, plus a music section. The trail opens out to a field where kids can compare their time to a hummingbird. 

Past the field you will enter a wooded section that has a guide. Take the tour with her and do a scavenger hunt to find plants native to North Carolina, and learn about how Native Americans and colonists used all of the vegetation. 

The walking trail changes regularly, so it's something that you can visit each time you go. A reminder that you can use your Virginia Zoo membership for 50% off tickets. 

Geralds: Now Serving Pastries!

We love Gerald's Ice Cream because they make their ice cream in house using only the finest ingredients. But now, Geralds has added more goodness; he's offering pastries. Their new pastry chef has a Bachelor's in Food Science and Technology with a specialization in bread. She was studying in Lithuania, and fell in love with baking pastries, bread, and cakes. When she moved here, she linked up with Gerald's, and the rest is history. She gets to the store at about 5:30 am to bake fresh pastries, daily. 

They currently offer a buttery and flaky croissant and a chocolate croissant; Pain aux Raisins, made with pastry cream and a mix of raisins and currants and finished with a dust of power; Kouign Amann, a sugar coated croissant dough topped with house made rasberry compote; an Almond bun with almond praline and almond pieces, finished with house-made caramel sauce; and an almond croissant, a twice baked croissant dipper in Brandy syrup and filled with almond frangipane. 

We tried one of each! The boys loved the chocolate croissant, but I loved the regular. Croissants always remind me of my grandpa who loved them. A close second for me was the Almond Croissant, and the boys loved the Almond Bun. To sweeten the deal even more, get a free coffee with any pastry purchase! 

Our Sensory Farm

Every October and November, Our Sensory Farm transforms into a glowing magical place. Grab your family and arrive an hour before sunset to feed animals, partake in a scavenger hunt, and let the kids climb, swing, and explore. 

Then, head to the s'mores bar where you can mix it up with Reeses candy, Mr. Goodbar, and more. Let the kids get decked out in all sorts of glow attire and snag glow toys. While the sun sets,  the farm transforms into a glowing dance space backlit by glowing trees. Let the kids run in and out of tents of different colors. 

Owner of My Sensory Farm, Shannon is a mom and former special education teacher. Founded in 2020, the farm's mission is to make a difference in the lives of children with all abilities by creating a mini working farm and adventure forest that promotes inclusive outdoor experiences. They host farm play days and play dates, hold a farm school, welcome field trips, and have special events like Glowvember throughout the year. 

5 Reasons To Visit the OBX In The Off Season

01. No Crowds: Visiting during the summer is great, but it can get so crowded. Take advantage of the off season to try some of the restaurants you eyed this summer, but your kids couldn't wait two hours to get into. Go play minigolf without the line of ten other families stacking up behind you. 

02. The sun views: If you love watching the sunrise and sunset, this is the time to do it. Since the sun doesn't rise as early, you can get up in time to have a cup of coffee on the beach while you watch it. Or, watch the sunset earlier in the day with your whole family without ruining the bedtime routine. Plus, take advantage of the earlier sunsets and watch ghost crabs or stargaze. 

03. Fly a kite: This is prime time to fly a kite on the beach, where your string won't get caught on everyone else's. Take advantage of the wide open beaches and breezes. 

04. Museums: Checkout the OBX Aquarium, Roanoke Island, Wright Brothers Memorial and the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. Watch a demonstration from the Chicamacomico Life- Saving Station, or visit the many light houses. 

05. The prices: A beach house in the OBX in the middle of summer can run you a pretty penny. But visiting in the off season allows you to stay at the same house for a fraction of the cost! 

Jurassic Quest

Dinosaurs have taken over the Hampton Roads Convention Center this weekend in Hampton. Travel back in time and visit these dinosaurs this weekend only. A warning, prep your kids because these dinosaurs move and make noise, something I hadn't warned my youngest about and he jumped about a foot. Grab an activity hunt on the way in, and stop at each location listed to do a family activity and snap a photo. Once you're done, you can trade this in for a dino tattoo as you exit. 
After going through the exhibit, stop at the fossil table and kids can ask their expert tons of questions. Then head to the dino training show. It runs for about 15 minutes at the bottom of the hour. Last show is usually at 6:30. 

For an additional $15, you can purchase a wristband for kids to enjoy a variety of activities including several bounce houses, play areas, and driving mini jeeps, riding on moving dinosaurs, doing a craft, or playing at the sports station. There are two bounce houses and a play area just for ages 3 and under, and the jeep riders must be under the age of 6. Otherwise, parents can purchase tickets for $5 each. Keep in mind that the activities are on a timer in order to make sure that everyone gets a turn, so those tickets will run through quickly if you go that route! Save 10% off the ticket price with code Dino10!