August 10, 2015
Back in the day, the Outer Banks had plenty of entertaining places that any family could visit. There were six popular places that many people remember, and it’s sad to say they are extinct. As a kid, I remember only a few and it was mostly on our way to Rodanthe we would drive by them. I begged my mom to stop at one park in particular and she always said we would stop on the way back. It never happened because I was always asleep on the way back.
These places may be absent today, however, other establishments have made it to the Outer Banks. I would like to share with you the hippest places from past to present located on this beach. Whichever generation you fall under, take a step back in time and reminisce, or go check out the current attractions offered here. So let the flashbacks, or flash forwards begin!
The Extinct Places
Diamond Shoals Family Fun Park, Kill Devil Hills – This water park had three spiral water slides and batting cages. When the park closed, the workers would do their routine clean ups and stay after hours to ride the slides themselves.
Dowdy’s Amusement Park, Nags Head – This amusement park offered a Ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl, a few kiddie rides, and go-karts. It lit up at night with the sounds of the rides that made sure it got your attention.
Footsball Palace, Nags Head – Many tokens were spent by bowlers, pool players, and pinball players. Locals would say that this was the main hangout and meeting place. The largest pinball “Hercules” was also played here.
Jockey’s Ridge Mini Golf, Nags Head – There is buried treasure underneath the sand dunes of Jockey’s Ridge. It amazes me that the shift of sand covered such a small happening mini golf spot. Will the wind ever uncover this gem again?
Surf Slide, Nags Head – A giant hill with four slides… You just had to make sure you stayed on the matts. I heard the slide was a blast but also a knee or elbow scraper. A walk up the hill and a fast slide down and you were cooling off in the kiddie pool.
Wet N’ Wild Bumper Boats, Kill Devil Hills – Originally, it was Barney’s Concrete Curl skate park then it was turned into Wet N’ Wild Bumper Boats. It often switched back and forth depending on the season. This was fun running into each other and making splashes.
The Nowaday Places
First Flight Adventure Park, Nags Head – Climb obstacle challenges and if you finish then you can zipline down. If you need a break then hang there check out the view of the sound. This is a full work out if you finish the whole course.
Gearworks Laser Tag, Nags Head – Laser tag anyone? What a great time to team up with friends and play against the opposite team. You can play the sniper or be the foot soldier in this course.
Lost Treasure Golf, Kill Devil Hills – Come play putt putt or take a ride in train. This place is huge so don’t get lost. They have a giant pirate ship and waterfalls too.
Outer Banks Paintball, Powells Point – Head over the Wright Memorial Bridge and you’ll find this gem about 10 minutes down the road on the right. Paintball is a lot of fun especially in the woods. Bring a gang of people and prepare to go to paintball war. Just keep an eye out for Big Foot!
Paradise Fun Park, Kill Devil Hills – This place has electric go-karts, bumper cars, putt putt, arcade games, and bungee trampoline. You will never get bored here.
Many of you have experienced the excitement and have great memories of these areas. If you have any good stories about them then please share in the comments below. If some of you never been to any of the present ones then you must check them out. Don’t forget that there are other places here that I have not mentioned so please go explore. There is always fun here on the Outer Banks! You just got to find it and create your own memory with your family.