Outer Banks Children’s Museum closes its doors after 8-year run

By on October 29, 2018

The Theater Exhibit. (Outer Banks Children’s Museum)

Eight years after starting in a modest Kitty Hawk storefront, the Outer Banks Children’s Museum closed its doors today.

Founder Alyssa Hannon said in an e-mail announcement that the museum will be shut down “for an undetermined period of time.”

“The museum’s volunteer board of directors is currently finalizing what the museum’s future plans will be. The board of directors would like to thank the Outer Banks community for the outpouring of support over the years,” the announcement said.

“The director and board will notify members of the museum with developments as plans are finalized. The museum is interested in entertaining any options to be purchased by an outside

Featuring interactive exhibits, the Outer Banks Children at Play Museum opened in August, 2010 at milepost 4.5 in Kitty Hawk. The exhibits covered topics such as aviation, boating, fishing and measuring catch of the day, lighthouses and life saving, exploring under the sea, shopping for groceries at the market and running a deli.

There were also science tables, art tables, books and puzzles. Infants had a padded corner with toys and games.

In 2012, surge from Hurricane flooded the shopping center and most of the museum’s exhibits were lost. The mseum launched a fundraising campaign, and it reopened across U.S. 158 in Frebrurary 2013  in Buccaneers Walk Mall, which is owned by Capt. Frank’s Harvey Hess.

A theater exhibit was added where children could dress up in costumes and pretend to be stars onstage. The Teddy Bear Wellness Center was the only exhibit that survived the flood. But the new museum featured many of the same concepts as the orginal one.

In the statement, Hannon said:

It has been an honor to serve our community by working with an amazing group of people to develop a children’s museum for our youngest citizens. I began this journey when my sons were 3 months and 2 years old, in order to provide them and others with a space to explore, learn, play and make friends. This year, they are both in middle school and it has been amazing to watch them grow alongside the museum. The museum has been a product of a lot of hard work and dedication not only from my family but for all of the board members and directors that have worked so tirelessly to keep it going. The museum will now have to close the doors due to financial hardship, but I and the board are interested in an outside buyer to take it over. I truly hope that there is a place for a children’s museum in the Outer Banks in our future and that we will continue to find parents who feel that children deserve the chance to learn through play.

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See what people are saying:

  • Dana Falardeau

    Thank you for the wonderful learning opportunity you provided to our littlest citizens of the OBX and tourists alike. Our newest neighbors with children found this as a refuge where they could meet other famile as well as entertain their children (especially during the worst days of winter). You have a special idea for our community. Tough location and branding/marketing might have helped. Your contribution is greatly appreciated by many to be sure.

    Tuesday, Oct 30 @ 10:27 am