Family-Friendly Activities in Wilmington, NC


Wilmington, NC, is a beautiful city that offers many fun activities for families with kids. Whether you’re visiting the beach, museum, or aquarium, there’s something for everyone. Many of these activities are suitable for the entire family. So, if you’re looking for family-friendly activities in Wilmington, we’ve got you covered.

Wilmington is one of the most popular beach vacation destinations in North Carolina. This vibrant city has much to offer with its historic riverfront and three island beaches. You’ll find plenty of family-friendly vacation experiences in Wilmington, making it an ideal all-in-one getaway destination that everyone will enjoy.

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Best Things To Do With Kids in Wilmington

Go to the Children’s Museum of Wilmington

Experience the magic and joy of childhood through playful and educational activities at the Children’s Museum of Wilmington. The museum offers various programs and events, from art and science to cooking and conservation. You kids will have a blast playing at the Children’s Museum of Wilmington.

Visit Cape Fear Museum of Science and History

The state’s oldest history museum has over 57,000 items dedicated to the region’s rich history, science, and culture. At the hands-on Space Place, you can try on an astronaut suit and discover how astronauts sleep in space. You can also learn about Michael Jordan’s early years in Wilmington and view several artifacts on display, including an unworn pair of 1987 Air Jordan 1 shoes.

Explore Wilmington Railroad Museum

Discover the legacy of the rail industry on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. Take your little ones to the Children’s Hall play area, where they can build their own model railroad. Watch over 20 model trains in action and explore a life-size caboose and a 100-year-old steam locomotive.

Check Out the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

Explore the wonders of the underwater world as you meet the 2500 animal residents at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. You’ll see diverse creatures, from alligators and stingrays to sea turtles and small-clawed otters. If you want an even more immersive experience, you can reserve tickets online for a guided, behind-the-scenes tour that will take you to exhibits and the animal holding area. Don’t forget to check out the on-site café and the outdoor interactive Adventure Reef play area.

Tour Battleship NORTH CAROLINA

A visit to Wilmington is incomplete without exploring the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA. Once considered the world’s greatest sea weapon during its commission in 1941, this ship played a significant role during World War II and took part in every major naval offensive in the Pacific. Today, visitors can explore the nine levels of living spaces, gun turrets, mess decks, and more. You can take a self-guided tour or make an online reservation for a 90-minute Second Deck Tour to learn about daily life aboard a floating city.

Make a Splash at Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park

Spend the day at the Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park, which includes a Water Park, Jungle Lagoon golf, laser tag, Grand Prix Go-Karts, a climbing wall, arcade games, a snack bar, and much more.

Photo by Kevin Dunlap on Unsplash

Stroll the Riverwalk

Take a family stroll along the nearly two-mile scenic Cape Fear River walkway. It’s the perfect place to grab a bite at an outdoor café or treat the kids at an ice cream shop. The Conlon Pier is the only spot along the Riverwalk that allows fishing. Riverfront Park at the end of the walkway offers plenty of waterfront green space, a playground, and a seasonal water feature.

Relax at Airlie Gardens

Explore 67 acres of stunning gardens, lakes, and wildlife at Airlie Gardens. Explore the hiking trails and visit the remarkable 500-year-old live Airlie Oak. Kids will love visiting the Native Butterfly House at Airlie Gardens to witness species like the Monarch and Common Buckeye, which opens seasonally for visitors.

Wander at the New Hanover County Arboretum

The New Hanover County Arboretum is the perfect place to wander. Explore 7 acres of seasonal gardens, including a water garden with hundreds of colorful Koi, a Japanese garden with an authentic tea house, and a children’s garden featuring a play area.

Take a Boat Tour of the Cape Fear River

Consider taking a boat tour to explore Wilmington from a unique perspective. Take a Sunset Harbor Tour while enjoying the wildlife and scenic beauty of the area. You may prefer the Eagle Island Narrated Boat Cruise to enjoy a cruise along the historic downtown and Eagle Island, or you’ll go under the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.

Tour Fort Fisher State Historic Site

Fort Fisher, situated at the southern end of Kure Beach, was the location of the largest land-sea battle of the Civil War. You can attend historical reenactments, tour the grounds, or visit the 16-foot-long 3D battle map that demonstrates the final hours of the battle.

Explore Greenfield Park

Greenfield Park has 250 acres of biking and walking trails, perfect for family exploration. Other amenities include playgrounds for different ages and abilities, a picnic shelter, and an accessible fishing dock.

Battle it Out at Crossfire Indoor Paint and Nerf Park

At Crossfire Indoor Paint and Nerf Park, you can enjoy a fun and safe experience regardless of outside weather conditions. The park has age-divided groups to ensure that all children can participate in the activities safely. Parents can join the GellyBall, paintball, and Nerf competitions or simply watch the action through a large glass window that provides a full view of the arena.

Book Your Vacation

Ready to book your family vacation? We recommend using Jessica Lieb with ET Family Travel to find you the best deal on your family vacation. Jessica can save you money on your trip. Plus, her services are 100% FREE FOR YOU!


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