Located along the famous beaches of North Carolina and boasting mild temperatures all year long, Wilmington, NC is synonymous with family-friendly fun. No matter the time of year, there’s always a beach to visit, something fun to do, or an interesting place to explore. To kickstart your family-friendly adventures in Wilmington, we’ve compiled this list of our top favorite attractions!
Family-Friendly Things to Do in Wilmington, NC
1) Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours
Want to learn about the beach from a naturalist’s perspective AND have a whole lot of fun while you’re at it? Head out on a guided scenic tour of the Carolina Coast for a birding, fishing, shell-collecting, or sunset adventure that the whole family will enjoy. There are even a few tours geared especially to kids. Book a reservation for an Eco-Scavenger Hunt, Guided Beach Eco Tour, or Pirate Island Treasure Hunt and your kids will have a blast.
Named one of the top boardwalks in America by Budget Travel, the Carolina Beach Boardwalk brings a smile to everyone’s face who visits. There are seaside amusement rides, classic arcade games, weekly fireworks, festival food, gift shops, beach swings, and more. Everyone in the family can spend hours here and never get bored.
This famous ship that fought in every major naval battle in the Pacific Theatre during WWII is now a museum that inspires awe in kids and adults alike. Experience the daily life of the ship’s crew from 1942 and explore the galley, engine room, and other areas. Kids even get to steer the ship, start her engines, and fire the guns!
4) Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park
Grab your sunscreen, bottled water, and comfiest shoes, because this expansive, fun-filled park will keep you busy for hours. Kids (and kids at heart) will love the water park in the summers with its splash pool, million-gallon wave pool, lazy river, and extreme water slides. Parents and grandparents will appreciate the slower pace of the mini golf course, and older kids will run for the go-karts, climbing wall, and arcade games.
Kids who love trains (and their parents!) will be excited to explore a real life-size caboose, boxcar, and 100-year-old steam locomotive at this specialty museum. Learn the history of the railroad and see one of the most acclaimed railroad models in the world!
6) Children’s Museum of Wilmington
Housed in three historic buildings in Downtown Wilmington, the Children’s Museum is a premier destination for learning through play. There are interactive exhibits, camps, and weekly programs where children can explore their natural curiosity.
7) North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
Always a crowd pleaser, the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher features unique aquatic habitats and animals from North Carolina and around the world. See interesting animals up close and personal — like sea turtles, sharks, sea stars, and horseshoe crabs.
It may seem unlikely, but one of the funnest things to do on the Carolina Coast is visit the Ice House! This indoor skating rink offers recreational ice skating, lessons, figure skating, hockey, parties, camps, and more.
9) Fort Fisher State Historic Site
Come explore one of the most significant battlegrounds of the Civil War. Take a guided tour and walk on the same grounds where Union and Confederate soldiers clashed, or simply follow the trail and learn the site’s history through exhibit panels and photos along the way.
If you’re interested in moving to Wilmington, or investing in a new home here so you can take advantage of all these great activities whenever you’d like, stop by any of our new home communities throughout the area. We’d love to show you around!