We love the Outer Banks, and we enjoy helping make our community fun for everyone. That is why we were excited to be able to sponsor the new Gem Mining exhibit at the Children @ Play Museum in Kitty Hawk, NC. It’s particularly special to us because our support assists the museum in continuing to be a self-sustaining organization. Designed for the inner child in all of us, this permanent exhibit gives everyone the chance to have a little fun as they sift through the rough in a mine sluice’s running water to search for beautiful gems, rare shells and fossils from around the world.

Dig into the fun!
Located outside the museum on its porch, this great attraction opened in mid-June and has been captivating visitors ever since. We all know that kids love to play in water, so this is an enjoyable way to spend some time while they play and learn a little about the wonders of nature. They use running water to sift through the dirt and sand while they look for their treasures. Parents can help their children sort through and identify their discoveries. Best of all, they get to take their finds home in a keepsake bag as reminders of their day at the museum.

We were thrilled to be able to provide both monetary support, as well as manpower to help assemble this gem mine exhibit. Custom-built by Sandy Creek mining company in Ohio, the exhibit allows visitors to hunt for:

  • 32 types of gemstones and minerals; including emeralds, rose quartz, pyrite, sodalite and more.
  • 20 types of exotic fossils and sea shells from the Indian Ocean and South Pacific, including shark’s teeth – wouldn’t that be a great find!


Explore for yourself!
Located at 3810 N. Croatan Highway in Kitty Hawk, NC, the Outer Banks Children @ Play Museum is a non-profit that was originally incorporated in 2007 by a group of committed parents. They wanted to provide a place for young children to explore, play and learn, and they have certainly succeeded. In addition to the Gem Mining exhibit, they also have a 25-foot replica of a charter fishing boat, a living swell, lighthouse, teddy bear hospital, grocery store, a Children @ Play Café and more!

For more information about the museum and the gem mining exhibit, please visit their website or call 252-261-0290. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm, with special family Movies on the Sound at 7:00 on Tuesdays through the summer.