Our Outer Banks Beach Bonfire & Stargazing Adventure #sponsored #HIOC #OBXnow

Outer Banks Beach Bonfire & Stargazing Adventure #sponsored #HIOC #OBXnowCheap Is The New Classy

Recently I went with a group of friends to the Outer Banks. I had never been to the Outer Banks before so it was a lot of fun to see what would be available to do in the area. We stayed at a beach house in Hatteras and right next to us was Hatteras Island Ocean Center.

Outer Banks Beach Bonfire & Stargazing

One of the activities that the Hatteras Island Ocean Center offers is Campfires, Crabs and Constellations. This is a new event that they just started this year, but it was quite popular so I understand that it will be returning next season when they reopen.

We met one of the Hatteras Island Ocean Center’s employees at the center and she led us to the beach where the director had an awesome bonfire going. They even offered us s’mores. We had to pass, though, because we were full from our visit right before to another attraction. But man, how fun would it be to have had s’mores by campfire on the beach!

They then shared with us the art of catching ghost crabs. And yes, they actually caught one and let us check it out. Apparently these bad boys can see 360 degrees around their bodies, so you have to push some sand over them {they hide in the sand so this won’t hurt them} and then catch them by surprise. Be careful not to hurt the ghost crab, though, because you have to be quick as they can run 10 mph! That’s a lot faster than I expected for something with such short legs, lol.

Then the hosts used apps on their phones to show us constellations in the sky. I can’t definitively say that I have ever seen a planet until that night but now I can say that I have seen Mars and Saturn! How cool is that? The moon was so bright that it made the other stars pretty pale so we didn’t see much else, but it was such a gorgeous night – who could possibly complain?

Outer Banks Beach Bonfire & Stargazing Adventure #sponsored #HIOC #OBXnow

I have to say, though, the real highlight of this night was the director’s dog. Awww, he was such a sweetie {at least I think he was a “he”}. I wish I had a good picture of him to show you because I think you would instantly fall in love. If memory serves me correctly, I believe his name was Bruce.

Hatteras Island Ocean Center does close down in the off season and they are currently closed. In fact, they closed down just a few days ago so we got to hang out with them just in time! Anyone visiting the area should definitely stop by when they are open as they have all kinds of fun activities to do that are either really cheap or free. And don’t forget to pet Bruce. I really wanted to go to the bird watches that they have in the early morning a few days a week but didn’t make it. So perhaps that is something that I can do next time I visit.

This is a perfect activity for the whole family as I believe that s’mores and Bruce will definitely keep the kiddos entertained. Also, this activity lasts about 2 hours or really as long or as brief as you like. They are quite flexible with the schedule and that is great when you have kids. It also only costs $10 per person! I think that is pretty amazing. I was pleased to find that most of the things to do in the Outer Banks were really very affordable.

Check out the rest of my pictures from the night on Flickr.

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About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn is a full time travel and lifestyle blogger. Besides Cheap Is The New Classy, she also owns and writes for EatPlayRock.com, an entertainment site. Her interests include traveling, home decor, DIY projects, organizing her home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee {or two}. She currently resides in North Carolina with her dog, Daisy.


  1. Bonfires on the beach are the best. They are so relaxing. The sounds of the fire crackling mixed with the birds mixed with the waves. Heaven on earth! 🙂

  2. How fun! I’ve been to the Outer Banks, and it is absolutely gorgeous. I love the water and the sand. And the breeze is fabulous.

  3. I am so jealous! I would love to do something like this. I do not live anywhere near the ocean but I can imagine how much fun it’s got a be. Hopefully I want to my vacations I will be able to do this. How beautiful!

  4. I love bonfires on the beach. It is so peaceful. I’ve haven’t seen a ghost crab before.

  5. That sounds like so much fun! I live in a land-locked state, so beaches are few and far between here. That’s why this sounds so dang inviting!

  6. A late night trip to the beach sounds like quite the adventure. I know it’s something that would thrill my family!

  7. This looks like such a wonderful adventure!

  8. We like seeing the Outer Banks.
    But this is an unique idea of something to do there – very nice!

  9. Amy Desrosiers says:

    I could go for a nice bonfire about now. This place looks perfect for a chilly night.

  10. The Outer Banks is beautiful. I got to go last year and it was so much fun!

  11. I have a friend who vacations at the OBX every year. It is such a beautiful place to visit.

  12. Oh wow! That looks like such a peaceful and relaxing time! I love how you just dug a hole in the sand and threw some wood in and started a fire! Now I want to have a fire on the beach! 🙂

  13. What an amazing experience. I love visiting the Outer Banks! Those ghost crabs are pretty neat!

  14. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    I would love to be on that beach with a fire going. It looks like it was a beautiful night to look at the stars.

  15. Elizabeth Lampman says:

    This looks like it was a great night. There is nothing I like more then the beach at night with a nice fire. The stars are so beautiful to look at.

  16. Reesa Lewandowski says:

    The Outer Banks has grown over the years but you can still find those places to kick back and have to yourself. You look like you had such a great time.

  17. Catherine Sargent says:

    What a great way to spend the night. It would be so neat to have a bonfire on the beach. They don’t allow us to do that at our local beach.

  18. This bonfire activity looks like it was a wonderful experience! Being near the water is always such a treat for me, especially during the evening hours.

  19. A bonfire on the beach sounds like so much fun. I’ve never been to the Outer Banks before but it looks beautiful.

  20. I can’t believe how fast those crabs can scuttle. I had absolutely no idea at all. What a fun thing to do!

  21. What a beautifully choreographed evening complete with bonfires and ghost crabs! This is definitely an event I would love to experience with my kids and husband. Seems like such a bucket list type of experience! Being on the beach at night is nothing short of magical

  22. Wow, what a fun evening. I never heard of ghost crabs.

  23. My husband’s family loves the Outer Banks, I love a good bonfire! What a cool evening and ghost crabs!

  24. Sounds like a fun night! Stargazing with friends sounds like a great idea! And beach bonfire is the best!

  25. Looks like an absolute great time. I have actually been to the Outer Banks. Such a lovely place.

  26. aziel morte says:

    How fun is this, I would love to try a bonfire with beach and with my friends.

  27. My kids would get such a kick out of seeing the ghost crab. They love animals, and seeing them scurry off at such speeds would be fun. Looks like you had a wonderful bonfire with your family.

  28. That crab is beautiful! Very fitting name with its color

  29. Ooh how fun. What a beautiful time that would be. I’ve always wanted to do a bonfire on a beach, but sadly nothing like that happens around here. Your photos are lovely!

  30. Such gorgeous photos. I love that you got nice night shots, my camera won’t get them….not even on night setting.

  31. What a beautiful place to spend an evening. And a bonfire to boot. I would love to head to the outerbanks!

  32. How beautiful is this?! I love this and would love to go!

  33. Oh man, this looks like it was a blast! I love the beach at night!

  34. This sounds like a lot of fun, especially the bon fire and s’mores! I am not too far from NC, maybe my husband and I can make this a weekend trip!

  35. Wow. I haven’t done this in a long time. We live far from North Carolina, but I am sure we also have pretty beaches to here to enjoy a bonfire. I think star gazing is just awesome! Happy to know you had a great time in the Outer Banks.

  36. christina aliperti says:

    This sounds like so much fun. My son and his friends were recently invited to a bonfire party. They couldn’t make it but when they heard how everyone loved it they were sad that they missed it.