Summer is nearly upon us and if you’re looking for a way to entertain the younger folks in your life, we have a lovely suggestion for you.

Fill a day with summer fun and spark their imaginations with the wild and wonderful history of our amazing area at the Barrier Islands Center, or as it’s often called, the BIC.

You might not think a historic building filled with ‘old’ things would have what it takes to fascinate a kid. But the Barrier Islands Center has a sort of magic to it. You’ll likely find that you and your young guests stay longer than you planned and find more than you expected.

Here’s our quick BIC for Kids Visitor’s Guide:

On the Lawn:
Older than Dirt:
Kids LOVE digging and exploring our ‘Fossil Pit’. Shells, sharks’ teeth, and who knows what other treasure they’ll find. *Pro tip: Leave the shoes or sandals on the grass. It’ll save you having very sandy shoes to empty out!

Cro-quet is O-K! Even if they’ve never played this quintessential lawn game, kids quickly fall in love with whacking the wooden croquet balls through the wickets. You’ll want to try your hand at it, too!

The Barrier Islands Center has recently completed a restoration of their 18th century Quarter Kitchen. Besides being an amazing bit of history to check out, it offers a beautiful brick patio—an ideal place for a picnic!

Inside the BIC:
Children of any age will be wowed by the enormous glossy aerial photos of our incredible Barrier Islands. Colorful maps and ‘what is that?’ kind of relics will draw you in as, room by room, you take a trip back, waaay back, through the adventurous history of our Barrier Islands. See photos and recreated room vignettes of historic places filled with antique curiosities. You know how kids gasp at a rotary dial phone—imagine showing them oddities like a gasoline-fueled clothing iron—this and more is at the BIC!

There are over 7,500 artifacts and, created just for kids, the BIC has a great self-guided tour: look for the cute and curious characters from the BIC’s own ‘Hog Island Sheep’ book series. The sheep appear on stickers (where you’d least expect them!) dressed in the clothes of the different occupations that make our Eastern Shore run—‘teacher sheep,’ ‘waterman sheep’…find them all!

So, what’s up there?
Ahhh, the attic. BIC has done an incredible job of turning their Almshouse’s attic into a great getaway that kids of all ages love. Climb the stairs and discover a Native American exhibit, and a trapping history exhibit with fur of mammals native to our area. Then there’s the original antique post office from Cobb Island Station and old fashioned toys that still intrigue ‘modern’ kids. Also in the attic, BIC’s famous and ever-so odd ‘twisted chimney.’ You’ve never seen anything like it—ask a friendly BIC guide why in the world it was built that way!

Ready to visit the Barrier Islands Center?
Plan to stay at least an hour or so. We also highly recommend BIC’s “Our Island Home” video. It’s about a half hour and a great way to set the stage for what you’ll be seeing at BIC.

The friendly folks at BIC are happy to help!

Phone: 757.678.5550

Tuesday – Saturday: 10AM – 4PM
Sunday and Monday: Closed

**Barrier Islands Center also offers classes throughout the summer,
many of which are tailored for kids.

Jewelry Making Workshop (Children and adults)
Saturday, June 22, 2019
1:30-3:30 PM
Cost: $30
Come learn some jewelry making basics. We will make one bracelet and a set of earrings. There will be a selection of beads to choose from. Supplies included. Please register by June 20th.

Learn to Sew: Beginning Sewing Class for Kids (8-12 years)
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
1- 3PM
Cost: $10

Learn to sew with members of Shore Can Sew, a neighborhood group of the American Sewing Guild. Children will learn the fundamentals of sewing – how to sew a running stitch, blanket stitch, and how to sew on buttons, and more!

SUMMER CAMP: Big B.I.C. Circus Camp (7-10 yrs)
Mon, July 8 –Fri, July 12, 9AM-12PM

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls… welcome to the greatest camp on Earth! The circus is coming to town, BIC style!

Learning to Sew with a Sewing Machine, Children & Teens
Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Cost: $10

Children and teens will learn the fundamentals of how to operate a sewing machine. Cost includes a sewing project.