Kid Friendly Attractions Deliver on Family Fun

Nothing makes a vacation more fun than spending time together with family. Wilmington and our Island Beaches offer many ways to keep kids of all ages excited, engaged and entertained while you create family memories. From adventures aboard river boats, to steering a WWII battleship, to giant slides at a water park, a trip packed full of family fun for kids and adults alike awaits.

Ahoy Matey

Hop aboard one of the area’s many water tours and scenic cruises. Live the pirate life for a day aboard a swashbuckling Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours adventure through the area's coastal waters, stopping to dig for treasure on uninhabited Masonboro Island. For a different kind of adventure, add stand up paddleboards or surf boards to your cruise with Epic Excursions. Cruise down the Cape Fear River taking in views of the Wilmington River District while trying to spot wildlife in their natural habitat. Experience southern hospitality and enjoy history mixed with adventure aboard a Cape Fear Riverboats cruise or Wilmington Water Tours.

Boardwalk and Amusement Rides

The kids probably won’t care that the Carolina Beach Boardwalk made Budget Travel’s list of America’s Most Awesome Boardwalks and has recently been recognized by the likes of CNN, FOX News and USA TODAY. But they will be excited by the seaside amusement rides, classic arcade games and fireworks that take place weekly during the summer.

Enjoy a hot, fresh, hand-made donut at Britt's Donut Shop, a staple of the boardwalk since 1939. Stop in at the Fudgeboat where a variety of fudge flavors are displayed on a vintage wooden boat hull. Shop a variety of gift shops, swing on the bench swings and let the children play at the lifeguard-protected beach during the summer months. Hop on-and-off the Boardwalk and sway to the sounds of beach music at the only beach music festival actually held on the beach in North Carolina, The Carolina Beach Music Festival, which normally takes place the first weekend of June.

Hands-On History 

Take the kids on a history adventure they will never forget aboard the Battleship NORTH CAROLINA, a heroic ship that fought in every major naval offensive in the Pacific of WWII, earning 15 battle stars. Envision the daily life of the ship’s crew in 1942 with the whole family as you explore areas of the ship including the galley, engine room and more. Let imaginations run wild as the kids get hands-on by steering the ship, starting her engines and even firing the guns.

Watersport Adventures

Grab a paddle and find a new family-favorite hobby as you experience our plentiful watersports activities. Learn how to hang ten during a surf lesson for the whole family. Try out one of the world’s fastest growing sports with a stand up paddleboard (SUP) lesson or let the moonlight guide you on an LED SUP tour. Spend time in the great outdoors as you kayak along the Cape Fear River. Or, see who can reel in the biggest catch on a fishing charter adventure.

Welcome to the Jungle

Round up the family for an action-packed day at Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park, where there’s an attraction for every member of the family to enjoy. Make a splash with a trip to the water park which features a kiddie splash pool, million gallon wave pool, lazy river and fun-filled water slides including Volcano Mountain and the Side Winder. Face off in friendly competition at Jungle Lagoon Mini Golf, Grand Prix Go-Karts or at the Laser Force Arena. The fun continues indoors with a climbing wall, Kids Jungle indoor playground area and 100 arcade games.

All Aboard for Museum Fun

There’s no shortage of things for kids to touch, see and do at Wilmington’s kid-friendly museums. Kids can be a conductor for the day at the Wilmington Railroad Museum as they learn about the history of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, romp in the Thomas the Tank Train play area, see model trains in action and explore a life-size 100-year-old steam locomotive. Creativity comes alive at the Children’s Museum of Wilmington where children learn about arts, science and culture through hands-on exhibits. The Cape Fear Museum of History and Science offers engaging exhibits including the Michael Jordan Discovery Gallery and a 20-foot-tall giant ground sloth.

Explore Indoors

Take a break from the heat with exhilarating indoor activities perfect for the whole family. Bounce the family over to DefyGravity for high-flying trampoline fun, including one of the largest trampoline dodgeball cages in America, or hop to the 28,000 square feet of trampoline fun at Flip N Fly trampoline park in Mayfaire Towne Center. Enjoy a thrilling time at Crossfire Indoor Paintball Park, North Carolina's only indoor paintball park, where even the younger kids can play Nerf Warz. Located in a 10,000 square foot cityscape, Battle House Tactical Indoor Laser Tag allows adults and kids 8 and older to live out thrilling video game scenarios.

Venture Under the Sea

Immerse your children in the underwater world at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Feel the smooth or scaly skin of aquatic animals in touch tanks, meet a rare albino alligator and watch a loggerhead sea turtle glide through the water. Sign up for a unique experience with a Fins and Family Tour (ages 3+), Behind the Scenes Tour or venture out to the nearby beach for a Surf Fishing Workshop, with all equipment and bait provided (ages 10+). Families are flocking to see the current Lorikeet Landing Exhibit running through Sept. 30. Exotic, colorful birds wisp around and feed from your palm, a magical experience where fins and feathers flock together.