Plan a Family Visit to the NC Lighthouses

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4th graders from North Carolina each do a school report on NC lighthouses. Take this opportunity to bring history to life for your kids and visit their assigned lighthouse this summer.

Two young girls stand by the welcome sign at the Bodie Island Light House.

If you have a 4th grader, then you know that this is the year they learn about their own state’s history. Here in North Carolina, our kids are asked to do a report on the NC lighthouses that dot our coastline.

Our daughter was assigned the Bodie Island Light Station on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, just one of the gorgeous NC lighthouses. She spent a couple weeks researching its history and creating a 3D diorama of the lighthouse for her class project.

Cape Hatteras is located in the North Carolina Outer Banks, just a six hour drive from the Charlotte, NC area.

When Memorial Day weekend arrived, we decided there was no better way to kick off our summer than by visiting the location of her special lighthouse.

NC Lighthouses project for 4th graders: Bring history to life for your kids this summer.

The Outer Banks had been on our travel bucket list since moving to the Carolinas, we were thrilled to finally have such a wonderful excuse to plan a little getaway.

While we spent most of our weekend in Kill Devil Hills near the Wright Bros. Memorial, we made a special visit to the Bodie Island Light Station.

5 Tips for Visiting the NC Lighthouses

NC lighthouses project for 4th graders: Bring history to life and visit their lighthouse this summer!

1. Double check the lighthouse Open Hours!

We made the big mistake of visiting on the last day of our getaway. The lighthouse wasn’t open for a tour. I just assumed the lighthouse would be there and available for viewing whenever we wanted, I never thought about actually going inside. To come that far and miss the full tour was a disappointment, but we quickly got over it.

Just double check the museum hours before you go in case you want to get the full experience.

NC Lighthouses project for 4th graders: Bring history to life for your kids this summer.

2. Plan to visit in the afternoon for good pictures

With the NC lighthouses located along the east coast facing the ocean, the best photos will happen when the sun is setting in the west. We struggled with hazy backlight during our morning visit and were very limited in where we could stand to get pictures of the kids with the lighthouse in the background! Had we waited till late in the afternoon, the light would be less intense.

3. Find your lighthouse on the map

The Outer Banks Lighthouse Society created this really helpful map for finding all the NC lighthouses. Be warned, the Outer Banks are not a continuous chain of islands that are accessible in one straight line. You may have to enter on the north or south ends depending on where your lighthouse is located.

How to plan a FUN family visit to the NC lighthouses

4. Download free scavenger hunts for your lighthouse

To make the visit to your NC lighthouse more interactive, don’t miss these fun lighthouse scavenger hunt printables offered by the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society!

5. Download free lighthouse coloring pages

Our 4th grader loves to color, but the lighthouse coloring pages were even more fun for our younger 1st grader during the trip. It was a great activity to keep in the hotel room for downtime. You can find the lighthouse coloring pages here.

While you’re all the way out in the Outer Banks, don’t miss our favorite spot: the Wright Brothers Memorial.

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