Looking for ways to stay cool without missing out on the fun? Wilmington offers a variety of options for the whole family to enjoy indoors and outdoors. From water park adventures to air-conditioned museum explorations, here are some refreshing ways to keep cool in Wilmington:

Splash Zone

Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park is a waterpark wonderland offering wet and wild adventures for the whole family. Relax in the lazy river and wave pool while the younger ones splash around in the kiddie area or zoom down one of the two body slides. For a bigger thrill, try the Rapid Racer, Sidewinder or Volcano slides. During pool breaks, explore the dry park which has plenty to offer, including Jungle Lagoon Mini Golf, laser tag, go-karts, an indoor playground and a lively arcade. Long Leaf Park's splash pad is the perfect spot for kids to cool off after visiting the playground or attempting the park's ninja obstacle course.


Cruise along the Cape Fear River with Wilmington Water Tours or Cape Fear River Boats at sunset and enjoy the coastal breeze as the heat fades. For unmatched views of the Riverwalk, BrewBoat is a 100% green paddle boat that harnesses pedal power to propel along the waterway. Take a break from pedaling and let the solar-powered engine lead the way& Find shade at Greenfield Lake Park where you can also rent a paddleboat, kayak or canoe from Cape Fear River Watch's onsite boathouse. Wilmington Outdoor Adventures offers a guided kayak tour of Greenfield Lake and surrounding undisturbed habitats, including Masonboro Island Reserve and Eagle Island.


Museums and More

Explore the wonders of history and science at the Smithsonian-affiliated Cape Fear Museum of History and Science. Wander through engaging exhibits where you can dig for dinosaur fossils like a paleontologist, try on a spacesuit like an astronaut and compare heights with a 20-foot-tall ground sloth replica. As North Carolina's first history museum, the museum also offers the Michael Jordan Discovery Gallery and other educational programs to engage kids in the region's culture and history.


The Children's Museum of Wilmington is the perfect spot for young explorers to ignite their imaginations with interactive exhibits and activities teaching art, science and culture in fun and captivating ways. Train enthusiasts will love the Wilmington Railroad Museum. Explore a real caboose, ring the bell of a 1911 steam locomotive and interact with model trains and exhibits for all ages.


For art lovers, creativity is on display at the Cameron Art Museum, where rotating exhibits celebrate art of all kinds. On museum grounds, visit the shaded USCT Park and Boundless, a life-size bronze sculpture where USCT once fought. Step inside Art in Bloom Gallery to discover an original selection of paintings, ceramics, photography and various other mediums created by international, national and emerging artists. Cool off with a glass of wine from Bottega Art and Wine and explore the diverse collection of sculptures in the courtyard. Located within the historic Block Shirt factory in Wilmington’s South Front District, theArtWorks is a distinctive gallery space and village where artists open their studios to the public every Saturday. Visit more local galleries during Fourth Friday Gallery Nights to explore the city's creative cultural scene and connect with local artists. Find participating galleries with the help of this map, along with printed copies at participating locations.

Travel back in time and admire the architecture of Historic Downtown Wilmington, where Bellamy Mansion Museum of History & Design, Latimer House Museum and Burgwin-Wright House Museum offer glimpses into the city's rich past. Marvel at the grandeur of Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts, one of America's oldest and most stunning theaters, where guided tours offer insight into its storied history.


Indoor Adventures

Get airborne at Sky Zone Wilmington, where you can bounce and soar on angled-wall trampolines, dive into an Olympic-sized foam pit or engage in epic trampoline dodgeball battles. Flip N Fly is another indoor trampoline park featuring a professional ninja course, as well as trampolines and obstacle courses for the ultimate gravity-defying adventure.


Perfect your swing at Rounds Golf and Lounge, where virtual reality golf simulators let you tee off at world-famous courses and take lessons from a pro. Backspin Social is Wilmington's largest indoor golf facility and also features simulators where you can explore courses from across the world. Or, battle it out in a climate-controlled environment at Crossfire Indoor Paintball and Nerf Park.

Cool Treats

Satisfy warm weather cravings for a cold treat and indulge your sweet tooth at Boombalatti's Homemade Ice Cream, a family-owned gem offering 26 flavors of fresh ice cream. For a memorable dessert experience, head to The Crazy Mason Milkshake Bar Wilmington. The handspun milkshakes are served in keepsake Mason Jars, overflowing with sweet confections piled high. Visit Lazy Jack's Ice Cream Shack for unique treats like their signature Ice Cream Nachos – waffle cone chips piled high with ice cream and drizzled with your favorite syrups. If you’re craving gelato, try the award-winning GelaRto which offers more than 40 rotating flavors, along with sorbet and other treats, along the Riverwalk.


From water parks to museums and indoor adventures, Wilmington offers plenty of ways to cool off this summer.