Kids Activities in Cape Fear

Story and photo by Lois Carol Wheatley

Consider the playground. You've got your swings, your see-saws, your sliding boards and your jungle gym. At a really primo playground you get some kind of water play.

Now that's what it takes to entertain a five-year-old. It takes way more than that to amuse a ten-year-old and, by the time you're an adult, you're looking for sufficient diversions for all ages because that's what you've got in the back seat of the SUV, whining that they're bored.

Wilmington is a world-class playground with built-in water play at the beaches, inland waterways, marinas and fishing piers. And when the kids eventually come out of the water and start looking around for the next big thing—particularly if they noticed some roadside attractions through the SUV windows—this town is ready for them.

Can we play miniature golf?

I think I saw a zoo.

Justin went to a baseball game when he was here last year.

As a responsible parent, you came prepared with a few ideas of your own, things to do that look like fun but slip in that subtle educational component where the kids least expect it. Two prime examples of this are the Childrens Museum and the Cape Fear Museum, where hands-on exhibits and activities are all over the place. And don't forget the Wilmington Railroad Museum, also downtown.

Is it mostly boys who like the snakes at the Cape Fear Serpentarium, and are girls more likely say "ewwww"? And by the way, that zoo you saw on the way to Carolina Beach is called the Tregembo Animal Park. Continue straight on that road to the southern tip of Pleasure Island and you will come to the Fort Fisher Aquarium.

For horseback riding, try Boots N Saddles or Hanover Stables.

Do they want to learn to surf? Check out Wrightsville Beach's Surf Camp, Surfing Camp, Indo Jax Surf School, JC Surf Camp, or Surf School North Carolina.

Did they bring their skates and skateboards? Go to the Greenfield Grind Skate Park.

The miniature golf course in Wrightsville is Jungle Rapids, and all kinds of water play goes along with that. For video games see Power of Play, Monkey Joe's, or go hang around the arcade at Carolina Beach during the summer months.

You should probably check the schedule to see if you can catch a Wilmington Sharks baseball game at Legion Stadium or a Sea Dawgs basketball game at Schwartz Center.

For the military-minded, costumed docents conduct tours and reenactment soldiers fire the cannons at the Fort Fisher Historic Site and Moore's Creek Battlefield.

The New Hanover County Library has good stuff for kids. Check the schedule and, while you're at it, check out some kids books.

Carolina Beach Lake Park has free outdoor movies on Sunday nights, Memorial Day through Labor Day, the same time frame for fireworks on Carolina Beach's boardwalk on Thursday nights. Also outdoor summer concerts—well, maybe those are aimed a little more toward parents who have had a rough day running the kids all around.

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Kids Activities in Cape Fear

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