A day at the Roanoke Island Festival Park

It was a windy day; one of those days when the sand was swirling and lashing the skin.  While a day at the beach was attempted, ultimately the elements won out.  It was decision time…let mother nature ruin our day or go on an adventure.  So we packed the kids into the car and headed north to Manteo.  Our destination…the Roanoke Island Festival Park.

A student of history, I have been dragging my kids around to every historical site we run across. The Roanoke Island Festival Park is a recreation of life on Roanoke Island in the late 1500’s, and while the material in the park is pretty standard, the kind of sites you see in most places like this, the museum is one of the best I’ve been to.  It is interactive, dynamic, and chock full of information.

The Quick Details

  1. Cost is $10 (adults) $7 (kids 6-17) and free (kids 0-5) and admission is good for 2 days!!
  2. There is an outdoor area, the museum, a theater, and a store.
  3. Plan at least 2 hours for this visit.  
Outdoor Attractions
The outdoor attractions consist of a 16th Century Settlement Site, an American Indian Town and Cultural Education Center, and a recreation of The Elizabeth II.  If you’ve been to the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia, it is similar.
My kids adored The Elizabeth II.  The re-enactors were fabulous and spent a lot of time answering all of our questions and showing us details on board.  We spent most of our outdoor time at this particular attraction.

The American Indian Town featured life in an Algonquian village, similar to what the explorers would have encountered in the late 1500s.  The kids can try their hand at weaving, learn how to say Algonquian words, and learn about plants and animals.

The Settlement Site featured woodworking and blacksmithing exhibits, games and a chance to try on armor.  It is a fun, interactive atmosphere for the kids to learn through play.
The Museum
Wow.  I can’t stress enough how amazing this museum was.  There was just so much covered.  We learned about navigating the seas, privateers (aka pirates), life on the island during the Civil War, duck hunting, lighthouses, fishing and boating.  We got to dress up as 16th Century Settlers, and done pirate gear, my kids duck hunted and climbed in boats.  I really wanted to read the exhibits, but the kids kept pulling us from one exhibit to the next to play.

If you are looking for a fun, interactive, educational, family outing, then go and check out the Roanoke Island Festival Park.  It is an inexpensive, fun filled day, that your kids will talk about for a long time after.


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