The 10 Best Educational Activities for Children in North Carolina!

In the Old North State, you’ll find a variety of activities for children to enjoy—from the scientific, to the artistic, to the historic. North Carolina knows how to make learning fun with its fascinating museums, hands-on science centers, and family-friendly art spaces. Here are the 10 best educational activities for children in the state. 

1. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh, NC

This museum is the largest in the Southeast. It has come a long way since its establishment in 1879, and in 2014, was awarded the highest honor of a National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Children can view beautiful, thought-out displays, hands-on labs, and interactive learning. The museum has free admission with the option to donate, and a café to enjoy lunch. Although family oriented, the museum will appeal to adults and children alike!

2. North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC

Any children who love art will adore the North Carolina Museum of Art. The museum has both a permanent collection and new displays so every time you visit, you will see something new! The permanent collection includes European paintings of the Renaissance until the 19th century. View the beautiful collection on a day out with the kiddos at the North Carolina Museum of Art. 

3. USS North Carolina, Wilmington, NC

History fan or just a fan of boats, a great weekend activity is visiting this battleship of North Carolina. Opened October 1961, the battleship is restored from the second World War. This Historical Landmark has nine levels to explore. Open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., wear your most comfortable shoes and get ready to climb and walk this historical landmark. 

4. SciWorks, Winston-Salem, NC

This science museum of Winston-Salem offers live animals, planetarium shows, hands-on activities, interactive exhibits, and music. Have a blast with the variety of activities that can be enjoyed by everyone—young and old. Parking is free, adult admission is $11, those aged 3-19 is $9, seniors (those 62 or older) is $9 and children two and under get in free. Annual memberships are also available. 

5. Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson, Winnabow, NC

This port, located on North Carolina’s Cape Fear River, was demolished in 1776 when the British invaded. Civil War-era, Fort Anderson would be built on top and would defend the Cape Fear during this time. Everyone is free to explore the beautiful ruins of the destroyed down. Outdoor exhibits give visitors of Brunswick Town a look into the historical, colonial town and fort.

6. Museum of Coastal Carolina, Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Is your child an animal lover or a huge fan of the ocean? Then Museum of Coastal Carolina is a must-visit. Displays of both ocean and beach life, and tides are available. There is a touch tank and feeding for children to get a hands-on experience and to watch the sea creatures of the facility snack! The Museum of Coastal Carolina is fun place to learn and if you’re in town for long enough, stop by and enjoy the Ingram Planetarium nearby. 

7. Ingram Planetarium, Sunset Beach, NC

Show your receipt from the Museum of Coastal Carolina here and you will receive a $2 discount off your planetarium admission. At the Ingram Planetarium, take a couple of hours under the starts to learn about the universe around you. The staff are lovely, several movies at the planetarium are available for viewing and spend some time in the science half to interact with many interactive exhibits. 

8. The Children’s Museum of Wilmington, Wilmington, NC

Are you and your family ready for a day of play? Here, “Children will learn through play and parents will learn how to play again!” Spend some quality time exploring the Art Studio, Forest Friends Toddler Treehouse, Grocery Store, the Imagination Playground, International diner, Toothasaurus, Science Research Center, Port of Call, Sea and Me, Teddy Bear Hospital, Lego Train Exhibit, and Outdoor Courtyard. With plenty of exhibits to play with and learn from, you may find yourself absorbed in the Children’s Museum of Wilmington for hours. Inexpensive admissions and a day full of memories to be had! 

9. Lynnwood Park Zoo, Jacksonville, NC

Animal lovers will enjoy all that Lynnwood Park Zoo of Jacksonville has to offer. Built on 10 acres with a half-acre pond, the zoo has been open since 1990. The zoo offers over 80 different exhibits with different animals: reptiles, birds, mammals and more. Great, informative staff with enthusiasm are guaranteed to make the trip! 

10. Marbles Kids Museum, Raleigh, NC

An inexpensive learning adventure, Marbles Kids Museum is a place to “imagine, discover and learn.” Exhibits include “Stepnotes,” which is a staircase transformed into a piano with colorful lights, “Kid Grid,” which is a kid-inspired power grid, and “Art Loft,” which is a place to paint, draw, and sculpt. At $5 admission, step into a world of the play with the kiddos to learn and explore. 

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