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How To Keep Your Kids Entertained

Things to do with kids during summer

These summer days are so welcome—but sometimes they last so long! If it’s too hot to send the kids into the back yard to play, and they’ve had enough screen time, parents start searching for new, fun summer entertainment for the kids.

Luckily, there are a lot of options in Wilmington. Whether you’re visiting Wilmington or are a year-round resident, here are a few ways to entertain your kids this summer—and have some fun yourself!

Take the Kids to Airlie Gardens

Activities for kids at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington

There’s plenty of entertainment for kids at Airlie Gardens.

  • Butterfly Release: On Tuesdays through mid-August, educators in the Butterfly House help kids learn about butterfly life cycles. Afterward, butterflies are released into the garden.
  • Educator in the Garden: On the third Thursday of each month, educational staff hosts displays and activities about Airlie wildlife and flora.
  • Take kids for an educational walk and let them get some exercise on the 67 acres of Airlie grounds!
  • Friday night summer concert series

Carolina Gymnastics Academy Keeps Kids Rolling

Carolina Gymnastics Academy in Wilmington NC.

Carolina Gymnastics Academy has been helping children with physical development since 2000.

Fort Fisher Aquarium is a Kids Favorite

The aquarium is fun all year long, but summer is the best time.

NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher

  • Special tours and activities are available all summer long. Tours allow kids to look behind the scenes, explore canoeing or surf fishing, go crabbing n the salt marsh, or do fun fishy activities and crafts.
  • Weeklong summer camps are set up by age group. Kids learn about the coastal environment and animals along with kids their own age.

Cool Off at Jungle Rapids

  • Buy a pass to the water park for a great way to keep kids entertained and wear them out!
  • Don’t miss the go-karts, mini golf, and Sky Tower.
  • Jungle Rapids even has indoor activities like mini bowling, rock wall climbing an arcade, and laser tag.

Visit Poplar Grove Plantation for Hands-on Experience at the Stables

Poplar Grove Plantation in Wilmington, NC

Poplar Grove Plantation is one of the oldest existing peanut plantations in the country.

The Stables at Poplar Grove are home to pigs, goats, ducks, horses, sheep, cats, hens, and roosters—perfect for kids to learn about farm life.

  • Barnyard tours are scheduled at 1 a.m. Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays—call for details.
  • The Animal Sanctuary at Poplar Grove operates as an equine rescue program for horses needing sanctuary and rehabilitation.
  • Pack a picnic. There’s a playground area, picnic tables, and a nature preserve with shady walking trails.
  • A Farmer’s Market with crafts and food is open Wednesday mornings into November.

Get in on the Acting with Thalian Youth Theater

Thalian's Youth Theatre Program

Thalian Associations’ Youth Theater Program produces five productions annually with performers ages 7 through 18.

Tregembo Animal Park is a Summer staple

Get the kids learning about animals at Tregembo Animal Park. With more than 130 kinds of animals, it’s a great way to keep your kids entertained this summer.

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