Our Favorite Summer Activities in Wilmington NC for Kids

When school’s out and the kids start getting restless, the old song “There’s nothing to do” starts up. But in Wilmington, NC, this is never true. Not only does our area abound in natural beauty, water, and parks, but we have so many summer activities to keep kids busy!

Arm yourself with a few of these activities to keep kids active this summer. And have fun—we’re all only young once!

Cameron Art Museum Camp for Kids

Kids will love art exploration at Kids at Museum Camp this summer. Their interactive camp for kids provides an imaginative and nurturing environment for your young artists to explore the museum. Children 5-12 will be introduced to an assortment of materials, techniques and ideas in a variety of mediums. The culmination of each camp session ends with a Campers Art Reception for family and friends where they can show off their works of art.

Museum of the Bizarre

Gracie the two-headed calf from The Museum of the Bizarre in downtown Wilmington, NC.

Wacky, weird, and unique, the Museum of the Bizarre is perfect for curious kids. Skeletons, mermaids, a two-headed sheep, and hands-on exhibits are fun for kids and adults alike. It’s something different in downtown Wilmington—great for a summer activity for kids!

Cape Fear Riverboats

The John Knox boat is available for Cape Fear River tours.

Take your kids out for a riverboat ride! At just $5 for kids 2-12 and free for kids under 2, it’s a perfect summer activity for the family. A chance to cool off on the water and learn, too. One-hour narrated sightseeing cruises on three different Cape Fear riverboats teach kids about the importance of the Cape Fear River, local marine, bird and animal life, and a history of the Wilmington area.

Jungle Rapids

Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park in Wilmington NC aerial view.

There’s nothing more fun for kids on a hot summer day than a trip to Jungle Rapids Water Park. When the kids have had enough slipping and sliding, there’s plenty more to do: Bounce houses, an arcade, a rock climbing wall, go-carts, laser tag, jungle golf, mini-bowling, and more!

NC Aquariums

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Luna the Albino alligator, hands-on touch tanks, and two-story diving tanks filled with Wilmington-area fish are part of the fun at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Check out baby sea turtles, outdoor adventures, and behind-the-scene tours. Hint: The aquarium has kid camps in summer, too.

Pleasure Island Movies

Every Sunday evening in summer, you can pack up the kids and enjoy a summer Movie at the Lake in Carolina Beach. Bring your beach chairs and a cooler; this event is family-friendly, and the movies are all kid favorites.

Surf City Movie in the Park

In Soundside Park on Topsail Island, find summer movies for kids all summer long. These Thursday night specials in Surf City are sited near a playground, and other kids’ activities include a bounce house, arts, crafts, and face painting.

Tregembo Animal Park

Tregembo Animal Park

Take your kids to Wilmington’s zoo this summer. Tregembo Animal Park features more than 100 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. You’ll see a porcupine, snow macaques, a white Bengal tiger and a two-toed sloth, lions, giraffe, and a peacock.

Railroad Museum

Wilmington Railroad Museum

Cool off this summer—take your kids to the cool Wilmington Railroad Museum. Explore operating model trains in fun layouts and trace the development of railroads in the Wilmington area. There’s a Thomas the Tank train play area and a real caboose, boxcar, and 100-year-old steam locomotive.