Experience a new adventure in an old world at Roanoke Island Festival Park. This 25-acre historic site allows guests of all ages to experience first-hand what life was like for the first English settlers in 1585. Historic costumed interpreters are featured through Indian Town, the Settlement Site and the Elizabeth II ship to show and tell how the first settlers lived worked and played on Roanoke Island. For a hands-on history lesson, visit the Adventure Museum that features interactive exhibits that all ages will enjoy. The park also serves as a venue for concerts, events and weddings in the indoor theater or outdoor waterfront pavilion. Whether you’re enjoying the museum or concert, Festival Park offers a stunning location with piers, nature trails and picturesque views at every turn.
Elizabeth II – The centerpiece of the park is the 69-foot Elizabeth II, a 16th-century merchant sailing ship. The ship was inspired by the Elizabeth, one of seven in Sir Walter Raleigh’s 1585 expedition to establish England’s first New World colony. Costumed interpreters speaking Old English greet visitors with sea tales, legends, historical facts and answer questions about 16th-century seafaring. Kids love walking around on the decks and crawling down below to see what life was like on the ship.
Settlement Site – The Settlement Site is where guests can see and experience how the first English settlers lived when they arrived in the New World. Visitors can see the blacksmith at work and try their hand at woodworking, 16th-century games and more. Try on 16th-century armor, learn warfare techniques and some of the arts and craft skills needed to survive on Roanoke Island more than 400 years ago.
American Indian Town – Explore coastal Algonquian culture and history in American Indian Town. The town represents an American Indian community, similar to what the English explorers investigated and surveyed during their voyages. Explore interactive exhibits that focus on the developing relationship between the American Indian and English people during the late 16th century. Visit the ceremonial dance circle, longhouse and harvesting area. There are also three work shelters that include activities like cordage (rope) making, mat and basket weaving, net mending, food preparation, tanning hides, fishing, boat building and gathering.
Fossil Pit – Find ancient treasures, including shark’s teeth and coral, from a time long before the colonists arrived.
Roanoke Island Adventure Museum – The Adventure Museum features more than 400 years of Outer Banks history with highly interactive, multi-sensory, hands-on exhibits that are fun for the entire family.
Film Theater – The film The Legend of Two-Path tells the Native Americans’ perspective of how the arrival of the colonists changed their lives. The film is shown every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Film Theater.
The Museum Store – During your visit, find a special treasure at the Museum Stores. The only Outer Banks shop of its kind, it features historical gifts, collectibles, jewelry, 16th-century games, toys, snacks, books, clothing locally made items and more.
Boardwalks and Grounds – Enjoy wildlife in a natural setting while walking the boardwalk that runs throughout the park. Along the landscaped walks, native shrubs and flowers thrive in the sound and marsh.
Park hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. Admission is $11.95 for adults, $8.95 for ages 3 to 17 and free for children age 2 and younger. Military adults and seniors ages 65 and older pay $10.95.
The park is open from early March through December 31, closing in January and February each year.