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Kid Friendly Things To Do In Wilmington Nc

Best Things To Do In Wilmington North Carolina

Things to Do- Family Friendly Activities in Wilmington, NC!

Plan a weekend trip to Wilmington, a beautiful coastal destination in North Carolina where you can stroll along the Riverwalk, visit great museums, restaurants, gardens, breakfast spots, wedding venues and historic attractions like the USS North Carolina. Best things to do in Wilmington, NC with kids include the Wilmington Railroad Museum, the Cape Fear Serpentarium and the Children’s Museum of Wilmington. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.

Tour The Uss North Carolina

One of the most unique things to do in Wilmington is tour a battleship! USS North Carolina is the lead ship of the pair of North Carolina-class battleships and docked right in Wilmington, NC. The Battleship is open every day of the year for visitors to come and visit and learn all about the ship that participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific area of operations during WWII.

If you happen to be in town over the Halloween festivities, make sure to check out their spooky haunted ghost ship!

Transportation In Wilmington Nc

There is not much in terms of public transport in Wilmington, as with the rest of the United States. The best way to get around Wilmington is with your own rental car. Rental cars can easily be picked up at ILM. If you have never rented a car before make sure to check out our rental car tips to save time and money.

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Where To Stay In Wilmington With Kids

We rented a 3-bedroom vacation rental house in Wilmington, NC. Our rental house was in the Ardmore district, which was an 8 minute drive to downtown Wilmington. We didnt need to find a kid-friendly hotel in downtown Wilmington as most of our activities were along the coast.

One thing wed like to share, is that as we were driving along the beautiful coastline to the beach in the Fort Fischer Recreational Area, we were intrigued by the large number of vacation homes right on the beach. We promised ourselves that one day wed return and get a rental house on the beach at Wilmington Beach.

Shop At The Cotton Exchange

Kid

The Cotton Exchange is where you can find many boutique shops in Wilmington. Its located in the historic downtown area and is best visited on the weekends when you can see the place come alive.

The vendors sell a ton of antiques, locally made products, and art. If you like shopping for unique finds, this is one of the best things to do in Wilmington!

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Things To Do In Wilmington Nc: Poplar Grove Plantation

Poplar Grove Plantation is one of the oldest peanut plantations in the state of North Carolina and has been open to the public as a museum since 1980.

Built by Joseph Mumford Foy in the 1850s, the plantation is located on Topsail Sound Plank Road in Scotts Hill and is dedicated to preserving and conserving the homestead of a successful farming family and showcasing the workings of a typical 19th century working community.

The current Manor House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is surrounded by 835 acres of landscaped gardens, both of which can be explored on guided tours through the property.

Poplar Grove Plantation is also home to a farmers market and an animal sanctuary, and it plays host to several festivals throughout the year.

10200 US-17, Wilmington, NC, Phone: 910-686-9518

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Historic District In Downtown Wilmington

The historic district is a pretty area of 19th-century buildings in compact, walkable downtown Wilmington. In fact, one of my favorite things to do in Wilmington is walking around the historic center to discover its gorgeous architecture and cheerfully painted locally-owned shops and terrific Wilmington restaurants. Instead, the vibe is funky Main Street, USA.

We also enjoyed the beautiful residential neighborhood just a short walking distance from the shops. Lush gardens surround gracious 19th-century wood and brick houses. Many of Wilmingtons Bed and Breakfast inns are located in this neighborhood, and we stayed in two.

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Stand Up Paddleboard At Wrightsville Beach

Stand-up paddleboarding is one of the most fun things to do in Wilmington. Wrightsville Beach was my favorite beach to go to as a college student. It has an entirely different vibe at Wrightsville Beach than at Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. I find it a bit cleaner and less crowded than Carolina Beach especially during the summer months . However, Kure on the other hand, remains more secluded though it is quite far from the city of Wilmington.

Of course, you can travel to Wrightsville and lounge around, but Wrightsville SUP offers everyone the chance to try to stand up paddleboarding. Rentals start at $35, or you can take lessons. If you think youll be stand-up paddleboarding more than once, it might not hurt to invest in a stand-up paddleboard. We did, and it makes our summers that much more amazing. Take a look at the best inflatable stand-up paddleboards.

Week Of December 20 2021

Wilmington, NC- Things to Do and Attractions
  • Friday, November 26th – Wednesday, December 22nd

Ring in the holiday season with this magical display of lights, greenery, and gorgeous local scenery with this month-long event that brings plenty of spirit to the season. The Enchanted Airlie celebration is an opportunity to discover how beautiful and glittering this beloved local landmark can be during the holidays, thanks to a dazzling array of lights, and plenty of activities that will leave young and old visitors alike grinning from ear to ear.

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Carolina Beach Lake Park

Young visitors who want to try a new watersport can head to the 10-acre Carolina Beach Lake Park, which is always nice and calm, and which features seasonal pedal boat and kayak rentals, which are both easy to maneuver around the gentle waters. The site is also a venue for a number of summertime events, including weekly outdoor concerts, outdoor movie nights, and regular fairs and festivals.

Have A Coffee At Bitty And Beau

Bitty and Beau was not around while we were in college, but it has become a well-known national sensation and for a good reason! The coffee shop was opened by a local couple who have two children with Down Syndrome.

To combat the high employment rate for individuals with IDD and other disabilities, the Wrights opened up the first Bitty and Beau in Wilmington and employed people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

They now have two locations and employ over 60 people between the two coffee shops. Oh, Amy Wright also won CNNs Hero of the Year.

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Whitewater Rafting On The Nantahala River

For the family that likes a bit of an adrenaline rush, theres nothing like whitewater rafting, and the teamwork aspect bonds parents and children in a special way. Nantahala Outdoor Center and other local outfitters offer half-day excursions, or full-day trips with lunch. After conquering the river, grab street tacos and other mouth-watering fares on Big Wesser’s patio.

Best when kids are:

Head To Downtown Wilmington Nc

Pin by NC Tripping

Enjoy a different perspective of the Cape Fear region thats also brimming with fun with a visit to the famed Wilmington downtown area. The Wilmington Riverwalk along Water Street is a good place to start, as this wide boardwalk bypasses many of Wilmingtons top sites, including The Cotton Exchange, the wide Cape Fear River, and the impressive USS Battleship North Carolina which is anchored along the riverfront borders. Multiple kid-friendly tours are available which include boat tours, trolley / carriage tours, bike tours, and even Segway tours, for visitors who want to fully explore the historic Port City.

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Cape Fear Museum Of History And Science

Cape Fear Museum

Theres nothing to fear at the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, one of the top 10 museums in North Carolina.

With tens of thousands of pieces from different disciplines, this museum brings scientific and historical concepts to life.

Come here if youre looking for educational places to visit while in Wilmington.

The Cape Fear Museum of History and Science is particularly great if you want to find out more about Wilmington and North Carolina.

The museum really covers a lot of ground and helps you appreciate the regions history and development.

Science lovers will adore areas like its dinosaur exhibit, and families with young children can have a great time in the play area.

The Cape Fear Museum of Science and History is one of the best experiences you can have in Wilmington.

Its open from Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, college students, and military members, and $5 for youths, ages six to 17.

Address: 814 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401, United States

North Carolina Museum Of Natural Sciences

Yes, the rumors are true: General admission is free to this natural sciences museum, which is the largest of its kind in the Southeast. Your family will enjoy unlocking some of the mysteries of the universe not to mention that dinosaurs are just, well, awesome. And your kids will be wowed beginning with the walk from the parking lot, as they approach the massive, three-story world globe, known as the Daily Planet. Its the centerpiece of the Nature Research Center, an 80,000-square-foot wing of the museum that opened in 2012 with the goal of inspiring a new generation of young scientists.

Best when kids are:

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Listen To The Ghost Stories From A Historic Port Town

These days Wilmington is very much a vacation destination, but that wasnt always the case. Wilmington was, and still very much is a port town. The city was settled by European Americans along the Cape Fear River back in the 16th century.

A lot of action happened in Wilmington in those years, particularly in the downtown area near the river. If you feel like stepping back in time you can get spooked on a Ghost Walk of Old Wilmington. Its one of the best things to do in Wilmington, NC at night, and perfect for anyone willing to hear some chilling ghost stories.

If you want a little drink with your story, check out their haunted pub crawl!

The Secrets Out About The Port City And Rightly So Here Are The Best Things To Do In Wilmington North Carolina Over A Long Weekend

Visit Wilmington, North Carolina

Once a quiet beach town on North Carolinas coast, Wilmington has flourished into one of the coolest travel destinations in the South. With its reinvigorated film industry, UNCW campus and temperate climate, the area has broad appeal.

From sandalled sun-worshippers to urban creatives, Wilmingtons a mix of hip and hometown that just seems to work. Three days wont feel like enough time here, but these suggestions will give you somewhere to start and plenty to come back to.

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Where To Stay In Wilmington

You are definitely going to want to make it a weekend or more, so of course, we have some recommendations on where to stay in Wilmington!

Note: Special thanks to Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau for hosting us during multiple stays. All opinions within this section and the remainder of this article are our own.

If you want a beautiful hotel experience in the heart of downtown, then definitely check out Hotel Ballast. Right along the riverfront, the views of the Battleship North Carolina are stunning when the sun rises.

Another popular place to stay in Wrightsville Beach is Blockade Runner. Overlooking the channel and in a less populated area than downtown, it is easy to get to the beach and relax from one of their stunningly comfortable rooms.

If you are traveling as a family and want a more private experience, then there are plenty of charming Airbnbs in Wilmington that we can suggest!

This quiet carriage house is remote but absolutely adorable. Its perfect for a couple or small family who are wanting to get away from it all.

There is also no shortage of beautiful oceanfront accommodations. This condo along Kure Beach is perfect for a family or even a romantic getaway. Enjoy sunrise over the ocean waves and still be close to all of the wonderful things to do in Wilmington!

Ready To Explore These Things To Do In Wilmington

You might first think of Wilmington as the gateway to beautiful beaches and delicious restaurants. While it definitely is both, we think youll find that there is also a lot of other stuff to do!

Whether you are looking to learn more about history, spend time outdoors, fish, or find kid-friendly attractions, Wilmington is the perfect vacation spot all year long!

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Practice Yoga On The Beach

If you like to do yoga and like to go to the beach, Wilmington is perfect. You can easily bring your own mat to the beach to practice yoga with the sound of the ocean waves. Or if you prefer an instructor and a class there are plenty of those too.

Wilmington Yoga Studios and Longwave Yoga both offer yoga retreats, beach yoga, and SUP yoga. If you head to Wilmington Yoga Studios, be sure to check out Tidal Creek Coop on the floor below for healthy food. See our favorite travel yoga mats for practice before you go.

Week Of December 13 2021

Family Travel in Wilmington, NC
  • Friday, November 26th – Wednesday, December 22nd

Ring in the holiday season with this magical display of lights, greenery, and gorgeous local scenery with this month-long event that brings plenty of spirit to the season. The Enchanted Airlie celebration is an opportunity to discover how beautiful and glittering this beloved local landmark can be during the holidays, thanks to a dazzling array of lights, and plenty of activities that will leave young and old visitors alike grinning from ear to ear.

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Rent A Beach Cruiser And Ride Around The Beach

There is just something iconic about riding a comfortable beach cruiser on the beach.

Wrightsville Beach Bikes and Boards will get you all hooked up for a day with a cruiser. Daily Rentals start at $25, and Weekly Rentals run $75, so if you stay for more than three days, its probably worth it to go for the week. Its important to note these bikes are not for the sand. For that, you will need a fat bike.

If you want to rent a bike at Carolina Beach check out Pleasure Island Rentals. They are a bit cheaper, starting at $15 per day.

Check Out The Local Museums

The Wrightsville Beach Museum of History is a great local stop for visitors of all ages, thanks to a collection of fun exhibits that examine different components of this regions rise to fame from bathing suits and antiques, to surfing and brushes with hurricanes. Nearby Wilmington also has a host of kid-friendly museums, which includes the Childrens Museum of Wilmington, , the Cape Fear Museum, , and the Wilmington Railroad Museum, All of these museums have hands-on, interactive, and / or fascinating programs and displays that are designed with kids in mind, which makes every outing engaging and fun for museum patrons of all ages.

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Dinner And Movie Night

One of my absolute favorite things to do when I was in college was hit up dinner and a movie at Mayfaire Town Center. I know you can do this just about anywhere in the United States. Still, to me, there is just something extraordinary and nostalgic feeling about going to Mayfaire Town Center, plus its perfect for when the weather is crap.

Mayfaire is an upscale shopping center in Wilmington. Its got your upper-class staple shops like Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn, but its also got your everyday places to shop like Michaels. Also, they have one of the few H& Ms in the state of North Carolina. To me, its not about the shops its about having a drink at the Fox & Hound before catching the latest movie in a lovely theatre. The cinema now features reclining chairs and couches.

Schools Out For Summer Or Is It

Explore Wilmington, NC Area Museums

Frequently ranked No. 1 on TripAdvisor.coms list of most-recommended things to do at Carolina Beach, Tony Silvagni Surf School is one school that kids will actually get excited about. Tonys surf camps run from April through September and feature an unheard of 2:1 student to teacher ratio. Campers receive hours of professional surf instruction, but also benefit from learning about water safety and surfing etiquette. Odysea Surf School offers a variety of surf and standup paddleboard lessons. Join a small group or request a private lesson.

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Beach Day Becomes Beach Play

With 20 lifeguard stands covering three miles of beautiful beach and lifeguard season running from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Carolina Beach is a great place for kids to play safely. Many of the beach access locations are suitable for strollers and offer convenient parking, concessions and public restrooms with showers.

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