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Traveling with kids can be fun if you know what to do and how to keep them entertained!
While in Wilmington on vacation make sure you check out the following attractions..
The Bellamy Mansion Museum: The Bellamy Mansion Museum is located on the corner of Market and Fifth streets.The home was completed in 1861 by Dr. John Dillard Bellamy and Mrs. Eliza MchIlhenny Harrison Bellamy. Children of all ages will find the content of the tour fascinating. The tour starts in the carriage house with a video that shares the story of the home. From there you are lead by a very knowledgeable guide into the beautiful home. You immediately feel yourself surrounded by history. The entire home is open for viewing. The guide tells many humorous and factual stories about the family and their experiences during the American Civil War. Children will enjoy visiting the children's floor and hearing about the mischief the Bellamy children often found themselves in. The tour includes a climb up the stairs to the observatory located on the roof. Visitors are treated to a view of downtown Wilmington. The final part of the tour includes the servant's quarters and authentic antebellum bathrooms. Not only is the tour interesting, but North Carolina history students get a true to life experience with antebellum life. Admission is ten dollars for adults and five dollars for kids ages 8-12. Group rates are also offered. The home is open Thursday through Sunday from one o clock until five o clock.
Jungle Rapids located on Oleander Dr ...Water park is open during the spring/summer along with miniature golf.. and if it gets too hot you can venture inside and enjoy arcade type games and there is even a gigantic jungle gym area for the wee little ones. They also have go carts and a track. You don't have to worry about bringing food as they have their own snack bar. Our family favorite is go carts and the jungle gym for the 4 yr old. It is very expensive! The small water park cost around $30, then you have to pay for any other activity separate; go-carts $7, laser tag $7 per each play. The employees are also young and don't enforce the safety rules. It would save lots of money to just go to the beach.
Wilmington's Children Museum downtown Wilmington... If you are looking to entertain the kids and educate them at the same time, visit the museum. There is a toddler area specifically for the little ones, an International Diner, science room, dress up & sand room, pirate ship, gravity wall... so much more. Located in my favorite area of Wilmington which is downtown... after the museum you may want to visit the below attractions...
The Battleship of NC is one attraction you must visit! It takes you back in time and although the kids may whine about going, once they get there they may not want to leave! You get a feel for what it was like during World War II during fierce combat. The kids can enjoy activities and games while adults envision life aboard through soldiers' uniforms, verbal accounts of life at sea, and momentos .. Walk the decks and explore. You won't regret this one. It gets hot, wear a hat and sun screen, also carry water.
Serpentarium! The thought may make your skin crawl but the kids will love it.. Everyone has a child or adult in the family fascinated by creepy, crawly snakes! There are more than 100 species awaiting to creep you out. You get to experience the black mamba, vipers, king cobras, taipans, pythons, crocodile and a 6 foot monitor! If that's not enough to satisfy your animal lover than you may want to visit the next one! The Serpentarium is located at 20 Orange St in historic downtown Wilmington. 910 762 1669
The Totem Inn Zoo located on Carolina Beach Rd going towards Carolina Beach is said to be the largest zoo in Eastern North Carolina. While it is not as big as many zoos, it still houses some of the most amazing animals from a White Tiger to a Giraffe. Enjoy your walk around, feed the goats, and make friends with all the animals. I don't enjoy visiting zoos as do other adults but the kids will! I would definately visit the following first before making a trip to the zoo...
NC State Aquarium at Ft. Fisher boasts many diverse species of aquatic life from around NC to the depths of the ocean surrounding us. When you enter at first you will be in what I call an indoor forest! It was created to replicate foliage and creatures found in our surrounding areas. You will get a view of some of the fish that are found in our fresh water areas to box turtles nestling in the leaves. Make sure you get a glimpse of the tadpoles and alligators! When you enter the main part of the aquarium you will be greeted by an actual hands on display of sea life that you can touch! Make sure you stop by and get your hands wet! Keep walking to explore the many displays of salt water fish, jellyfish, sharks, eels, sting rays, tropical fish, and get an incredible view of the gigantic fish tank. .. I can't begin to count how many species are in that tank! If you are lucky the divers will do a demonstration. Make sure you check out the auditorium and watch a film on sea life. You will walk away with some new interesting facts! I can't say enough about this attraction! It boasts educational, entertaining and worthwhile information for the kids and adults!
Take a ferry ride from Ft. Fisher to Southport, NC! It's only $5 and it's about a 1/2 hour trip on a huge ferry that you park the car on. You can feed the birds following the boat or simply take the steps and hang out on the deck and take in the sights. When you get off at Southport, you enter a quaint town filled with history and attraction. Follow the signs and enter Southport.. take a trip down towards the waterfront and enjoy swinging and having some ice cream! When you walk the downtown area you will find the Christmas House filled with gifts in an old historic home, a favorite hot dog restaurant where you will find a delicious lunch, the Bull Frog store where gifts inside are unique and fun! You will find anything from old fashioned licorice to frogs that dance! It's not the most exciting for kids but it makes for a relaxing trip where you can entertain them,too.
Paint Pottery! Why not? Paint something unique, make your own souvenir and enjoy family time. The kids love it! Wilmington offers a few different places. Here are two local favroites!.. Firebird at 203 Racine Drive or Paint & Play at 4607 Wrightsville Ave! Check them out and enjoy !
Fit for Fun Center is an indoor gym and education center designed to let the kids use their imaginative play skill to enjoy themselves and tire them out! It is a perfect destination for a rainy day! It's a center where the parents can be involved in play or can sit down and enjoy watching the kids paint, drive around, jump in the ball pit or just go wild!
Did you say you wanted to do activities that are free? There are so many free attractions and things to do here it will fill your day up! Check out Wilmington's parks. We have Greenfield Lake which is right outside downtown Wilmington on Third St... We are talking about 5 miles of walking paths and bridges, picnic area, ampitheater, entertainment and paddle boats! I won't forget the swings and slides for the kids.. or tennis courts for everyone!
There is also Hugh McRae park on College Rd. towards Oleander Dr. Inside you will find a beautiful pond area filled with turtles and some ducks. The landscaping is kept beautiful and it's a relaxing site. There are 2 park areas, multiple picnic areas, tennis court and acres of natural areas. The new park off of 17th St. extension near College Rd. is fun as well with a walking path, and a deck area to look out unto the water, a park area for the kids, areas for the dogs, and indoor area for festivities and to just chill out.
You have to check out Carolina Beach State Park in Carolina Beach. After you go over Snow's Cut bridge you will make a right after CVS. The signs will soon come up pointing you in the direction of the park area. Here you will be able to camp out, walk the nature trails or go crabbing near the boats!
You can never forget the beaches! Wrightsville, Carolina and Kure! Walk the Cape Fear River downtown and check out the shops and sights. Horse drawn carriages and trolleys around you and lots of restaurants to tempt you! We also have piers to walk on with the kids and check out the ocean and the many people fishing! Walk out to the end and look down ! Catch a ride on the Henrietta, walk the haunted pub crawl or just enjoy day after day at the beach! Don't forget to take that 4x4 out on the North end of Carolina Beach, park it near the waves and go sea shell hunting!!!