Things To Do With Your Family In Ocean Isle, NC

Things To Do With Your Family In Ocean Isle, NC
| 8 min read

Family vacations are wonderful time-outs in this high-speed society. What better way is there to spend your vacation than with your beloved family? When you begin planning a vacation, the hardest thing to decide upon is where you want to go. The adults generally prefer a relaxing and peaceful time, whereas the kids usually want to seek out an adventure. So grab a cup of tea while the children zip line over the swamp park of Shallotte River (or join them if you like!), and see more cool things to enjoy on a family trip to Ocean Isle, North Carolina.​

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1. Visit the Museum of Coastal Carolina

Posted by Museum of Coastal Carolina on Wednesday, January 23, 2019

This interactive and informative space is more like an entertainment hub rather than a museum. Unlike many museums, you can find an aquarium and a live touch tank with starfish, hermit crabs, urchins, and a lot more creatures as well. Take a walk through the Ocean Reef Gallery, which is an imitation of a reef habitat a few miles off the north coast of Carolina. This diorama has life-size models of sharks, whales, sea turtles, and rays. There is even a toddler area (in the Barrier Island Gallery), with puppets, toy animals, and interactive puzzles. At the loggerhead turtle exhibit, a short video showing the legacy of the loggerhead turtle brings about a feeling of awe among viewers. Spot shorebirds at the Coastal Plain show, including the American Bald Eagle. See how people used to fish with bamboo rods at the Antique Fishing exhibit.The museum offers afternoon and evening programs, as well as special lectures for those who are interested. A l​ot of exhibits related to water’s ecology are very informative. They also have a vast collection of seashells.

Museum of Coastal Carolina

Address: 21 E 2nd St, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469, United States

Price: 9.50 USD for adults; 8.50 USD for seniors (62+); 7.50 USD for children

Opening Hours: 10 am - 5 pm. (Closed on Sundays)

Contact: +1 910-579-1016

Website: Museum of Coastal Carolina

2. Go extraterrestrial at The Ingram Planetarium

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Ingram Planetarium on Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Explore the unknown at the Ingram Planetarium, located on the calm and beautiful Sunset Beach. The state-of-the-art projection and surround sound systems in the 85-seat SciDome Sky Theater is where you can sit back, relax, and watch entertaining and educational programs about interstellar exploration and astronomy. The 45-minute music and laser shows are bound to bring about a delightful experience with music by Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Michael Ja​ckson, and a few other big names, combined with hypnotic lasers dancing in the dark. Have fun with the interactive exhibits at the Paul Dennis Science Hall.

Ingram Planetarium

Address: 7625 High Market St, Sunset Beach, NC 28468, United States

Opening Hours: 10 am - 5 pm. Closed on Sundays

Contact: +1 910-575-0033

Website: Ingram Planetarium

3. Have all-round family fun at any of the mini golf courses

Ocean Isle has plenty of golf courses for all-around family fun, be it a rainy day or a scorching hot day. Mini golf courses are spread around Ocean Isle’s beach. The River Country Mini Golf Course, Ocean Isle Mini Golf, and the Hawaiian Rumble Mini golf course are some of the popular courses in Ocean Isle. They are challenging and fun to play, and you can never get bored! Mini golf is ideal for families, irrespective of the weather conditions. ​

River Country Mini Golf

Address: 1 Causeway Dr, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469-7505

Opening Hours: 10 am - 10 pm

Contact: +1 910 579-2030

Ocean Isle Mini Golf

Address: 6391 Beach Drive SW, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469

Opening Hours: 10 am - 11 pm

Contact: +1 910 579-5770

4. Have a blast at the Shallote River Swamp Park

Looking for a fun way to work out? Then our Ariel Adventure Park is for you! Tour times are available at 11 am, 12 pm,...

Posted by The Swamp Park on Monday, August 10, 2020

The Shallote River is a swamp formed by the draining of the tributaries of the Green Swamp. Due to this, an individual and self-sustaining ecosystem has formed. Take your kids on an unforgettable adventure at the Shallote River Swamp Park. Spend an adventurous day zip-lining across the swamps, taking up a challenging course, and enjoying a peaceful guided boat tour of the swamp.

Zipline Tours

Feel like a bird as you soar high above the swamp to get an eagle’s view of the ground underneath. Zipline from tower to tower and get a chance to spot wild animals in the swamp like boars, owls, racoons, and a few others. With over 1.25 miles (2 kilometers) of cable to zip line​, with conveniently placed stations and bridges, experience what it is like to soar like a bird.

Zipline Tours

Address: 5550 Watts Rd SW, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469, United States

Price: from 79 USD per person

Opening Hours: 9 am - 5 pm

Duration: around 2.5 hours required

Website: Zipline Tours

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Aerial Adventure Park

The Aerial Adventure Park is ideal for thrill-seekers, with nearly 50 different challenging obstacles and 3 varying levels of difficulty to suit your passion for thrills. Th​is is a course for anyone willing to take up the challenge, be it 7-year-old kids or adult adventurists looking for a challenge. This Aerial Park guarantees heaps of fun.

Aerial Adventure Park

Address: 5550 Watts Rd SW, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469, United States

Price: from 79 USD per person

Opening Hours: 9 am - 5 pm

Duration: around 2 hours required

Website: Aerial Adventure Park

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Swamp Boat Eco-Tours

Source: Photo by user Jennifer C. used under CC BY 2.0

Take a slow and knowledgeable tour around the Shallotte River Swamp with an experienced tour guide. Get an insight into this pristine enviro​nment on this 50-minute boat tour, sure to be an education for people of all ages.

Swamp Boat Eco Tours

Address: 5550 Watts Rd SW, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469, United States

Price: from 29 USD per person

Opening Hours: 9 am - 5 pm

Duration: around 1 hour required

Website: Swamp Boat Eco Tours

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5. See the world from a bird's perspective

See the ocean stretching into the distance from up high and venture to the top of two historical lighthouses near Ocean Isle Beach. Imagine that you are watching the​ stormy seas, helping to guide vessels safely to shore.

Oak Island Lighthouse

Visit Oak Island Lighthouse, a towering work of architecture that is visible from all around the area. The picturesque views from the top make it a worthwhile trip for a family. The grounds are open all year for viewing and photo-shoots. To get to the top (131 steps), note that you need to make a reservation in advance, and all climbers must be above the age of 9. The general tours go 12 stairs up and can be accessed without reservation.

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Bald Head Island Lighthouse

Visit Bald Head Island Lighthouse, or, as it is more affectionately known, Old Baldy, the lighthouse of Bald Head Island. It is 35 meters (114.8 feet) high and is North Carolina’s oldest standing lighthouse. This architec​tural marvel has 112 steps to the top and is a great spot for a lighthouse-lover or anyone looking for a beautiful landscape. Visit the museum at the Keeper’s Cottage (where you buy the admission tickets to the lighthouse) and step into the past, back to the times when Old Baldy was built and even earlier.

6. Take a trip to South Carolina's Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach ferris wheel
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user The ed17 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Myrtle Beach is among the most popular beaches on the coast of North Carolina. Drive to Myrtle Beach and spend a day there to enjoy all the attractions. Start at Broadway at the Beach, the entertainment hub of Myrtle Beach, where you can find a variety of fun things to do. Watch concerts and shows with celebrity look-alikes of Adele, Bruno Mars, and a lot of others too. Visit the Pavilion Amusement Park, a pay-per-ride amusement park. Experience th​e fun-filled activities along with delicious snacks, great food, and a lot more while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the Hollywood Wax Museum to see celebrities who you can’t see in person; at least you can see them in wax and snap a selfie or ten!

Splash around in the sun and explore the underwater world

Shark Cave Ripley's Aquarium Myrtle Beach 2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user MusikAnimal used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Take your kids to the Interactive Fountain where they can keep cool in the sunshine.

Visit Ripley’s Aquarium where you can cage-dive with sharks or watch the fish swim under your feet through the transparent bottom of a boat. Understand what it’s like​ to run a 1.4-gallon (5.3-liter) aquarium with a behind-the-scenes tour, and spend the night at the aquarium. There are tonnes of exhibits to amuse all, from children to parents and grandparents. Myrtle Waves Water Park is an excellent place to take your family. Cool off at any of the pools, play areas, and water slides. Float away into your ​world in the wave pool or lazy river or rent a private cabana and chill out for the whole day. The fun here is endless!

Myrtle Waves Water Park

Address: 3000 Mr. Joe White Ave, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, United States

Price: 20 USD (for children) ; 27 USD (for adults)

Opening Hours: 10 am - 9 pm

Contact: +1 843 913 9250


Ripley's Aquarium of Myrtle Beach

Address: Broadway at the Beach, 1110 Celebrity Cir, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, United States

Price: From 26.99 USD for adults and 16.99 for children. Discounts available for online ticket bookings, and combination packages available. Check details on the official website

Opening Hours: 9 am - 10 pm

Contact: +1 843 916 0888

Website: Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach

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Myrtle Beach Speedway

Source: Photo by user Myrtle Beach TheD... used under CC BY 2.0

Feel the need for speed in the fast lane at Myrtle Beach Speedway, where NASCAR race events are hosted. Get an exclusive chance to get behind the wheel of a real NASCAR racing car. Feel the thrill down your spine as you put yourself in the shoes of a NASCAR racer. The service is superb, with polite staff, and it’s fun​ for all ages.

Myrtle Beach Speedway

Address: 455 Hospitality Ln, Myrtle Beach, SC 29579, United States

Contact number: +1 843 236 0500

Opening Hours: 8 am - 5 pm

Website: Myrtle Beach Speedway

The Monster trucks were load and jumped high. Great show.All ages were having fun.Food and drinks were brought to the stands. diane g, from tripadvisor

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Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Skywheel

Sky Wheel, Myrtle Beach
Source: Photo by user Forsaken Fotos used under CC BY 2.0

Myrtle Beach Skywheel is an 187-foot (57-meter) Ferris wheel on the beach. Ride to the top for great views of the coast. During the night, the Ferris wheel lights up like a flame, with all its bright and fluorescent colors providing a real delight for the eyes. The ViP tickets may be a bit more pricey, but it is a great experience all the same and a terrifi​c family treat. Walk along the 1.2-mile-long (1.9-kilometer-long) Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, a hub for events and festivals during the summer. The boardwalk offers oceanfront views of the unaltered coastline and has various shops and restaurants lined along its path.

Myrtle Beach Skywheel

Address: 1110 N Ocean Blvd, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, United States

Price: 15 USD to 50 USD (for ViP tickets)

Opening Hours: 11 am to 12 midnight

Duration: around 30 minutes required

Contact: +1 843 893 9200

Website: Myrtle Beach Skywheel

After completing all of the above, and maybe even a few more activities too, don’t leave the beach without watching the ever-famous fireworks. Feel like a kid again as you marvel at the colors in the night sky. It’s a beautiful end to a fun-filled day right there on the beach.

Shopping, food, aquarium, museum and other entertainment should keep everyone from young kids, teens and adults happy. wbentzel, tripadvisor

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7. Ocean Isle Beach ghost walks

Source: Photo by user Jamie Holly used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Spend a day at Ocean Isle’s beach, but when the sun sets, join the OIB Ghost Walk. Listen to tales of forgotten Civil War battles, ghostly lights, haunted houses, and a lot more. The walk is approximately 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) long. The tours start at Salty’s Surf Shop on Ocean Isle Beach. They also start at The Tra​ding Center on Sunset Beach. Tours offer wonderfully described insights into the stories of wars lost in the mists of oblivion and a few haunted stories to bring a chill down your spine. A beautiful sunset beach walking experience, the tours are scheduled for each month so be sure to catch them when they begin. This activity is promoted as being suitable for the whole family.

OIB Ghost Walk

Address: 4 E 1st St, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469, USA

Price: 10 USD per person; kids under 5 free

Opening Hours: Tours start at 7 pm on Wed and Thurs evenings in the summer. Tickets are on sale at 6.50 pm

Duration: about one hour

Contact: (910) 221-4387

Website: OBI Ghost Walk

8. Ocean Isle Beach Community Center

Ocean Isle Beach
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Justin Champion used under CC BY-SA 3.0

During the summer, Ocean Isle Beach Community Center co-ordinates fun activities for kids, while the adults can relax at the beach. The center can also be reserved for private events like birth​day parties and weddings. Summer camps are available for children from the ages of 3 to 10, with a new activity every day, and children get exposed to various activities like arts and crafts.

Ocean Isle Beach Community Center

Address: 44 E 1st St, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469, United States

Opening Hours: 9 am till sunset

Contact: +1 910 579 4934

The ultimate family trip

Atlantic Ocean shoreline in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Loadmaster used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Ocean Isle is a fun-filled adventurous destination, but it is also a great spot to relax with a hot-stone massage or any other kind of massage! Myrtle Beach is a fantastic destination for families where everyone’s needs can be taken care of. There is an endless number of activities to enjoy, so get planning your next fabulous fa​mily vacation!

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart. Helen Keller

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Adithya is a travel enthusiast who was first exposed to travel during his stay in India. He enjoys writing and loves to discover the unknown. During his free time you can find him watching a movie...Read more

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