For the Young At Heart: Review of Wilmington’s Children’s Museum

THE HEARTS: Variety of Activities, Fairly priced

THE FARTS: Parking (depending on time)

Young At Heart says…..

Ahoy Mattie! Today we are off for an adventure to The Children’s Museum in Wilmington, and what an adventure it will be. This treasure chest of gems has rooms filled with wonderful things to do, explore, and interact with for children up to the age of ten (not counting YAH..I will always be a child at heart).

With two six year olds, we headed out to the museum mid day. Traffic was lighter than expected but I must admit, parking was a bear. We wound up finding a parking lot around the corner from the museum, paying $5 for the day. Meter parking is available but we couldn’t find any available within walking distance on this particular day.

The cost to get in is $8 ea. for adults and children. One might strongly consider membership if you are a local or return for more than one visit (and you probably will if you are here for the entire summer). And don’t forget to mention if you are military or a senior, both offer $1 discounts.

Upon entering the museum, one is greeted by a friendly local who can give you an overview of what is available to dabble in for the day (they do offer intriguing options such as playing in the mud but unfortunately on this day mud wrestling was out for me). My imagination burned wild! From becoming Captain YAH to doctor YAH, I was able to vicariously explore their wonderful rooms: pirate ship, camp site, doctor’s office, dentist office, arts and crafts room, grocery store, restaurant and the list goes on. And that’s just a dabbling of the inside stuff to do here. I could tell from the excitement in my great neice and nephew that they were also having a “shimmer me timbers” good time.

And the best for YAH….we spent over 2 1/2 hours there. I’m happy to report that they do have a fee based refueling station including a good selection of coffee for adults and healthier drinks and snacks for the kids. And last….do check in with their gift shop….we purchased two t-shirts for the kids. Their mom is planning on making a memory quilt some day from all their t-shirts.

Ah Matties…YAH definitely recommends an excursion to this pearl of a place during the hot summer months here in Cape Fear!

Painted KISS,


Young Old Fart says…

I unfortunately didn’t get to experience the “sheer awesomeness” (as stated by BOTH my cousins and my 53 yr old mother) that is The Children’s Museum. My day consisted of my 9am-2pm part-time job at UNCW, reading Sophie Kinsella gems, and munching on delicious Dove dark chocolate. While I am disappointed I didn’t get to be a doctor, pirate, and artist all in one day, my cousins brought back mile-wide smiles, stinky feet, and a priceless souvenir…

that is now proudly taped to my fridge.

Kittens and fudge,



Under The Sea: Review of Fort Fisher Aquarium

THE HEARTS: good for all ages, air conditioned, handicap accessible, lots to see and experience, cute gift shop, close to Wilmington, decent admission prices, offers membership and volunteer/internship opportunities

THE FARTS: unhealthy food located outside, only features NC wildlife, not good for a full-day outing, depending on the age it may be a one-time stop

Young At Heart says…

What to do? What to do? My son, his wife and our lovely grand baby were coming to Wilmington. The catch? My grand daughter is just 14 months old and of course I want to spoil her. I mean, really, what else are grandparents to do? So immediately I start compiling a list of “to do’s” for the Cape Fear with a 14 month old in toe. The list was short….very short. I mean it is like 100 degrees here of late with high humidity and we do come from northern blood stock, so we aren’t that tolerant of humidity just yet. Immediately the Children’s Musuem came to mind but she is too young for that (I’ll save that review for a later date when I take my great niece and nephew there). Possibly the beach I ponder? But then I remember my children around that age and all I imagine is the sand in the eyes, nose, and eventually the mouth….that’s out. So finally, after much thought and research (and I do mean much research…we are talking a 14 month old that is now just finding her independence with walking unaided), I came up with this short list: The Aquarium and the zoo (post to follow in the future). So off we go under the sea…

I will say that I was more than pleasantly surprised by the fine job they did with The Aquarium. First, it was air conditioned which in this heat was a BIG plus! Second it was truly handicap accessible which was great for me but even greater for Isabelle being she was in a stroller.  Their was lots to see and experience there and I have to say that the entire group (5 adults plus Isabelle) really enjoyed it. From the beautiful two story aquarium…

to the touchy feely hands-on exhibits (just kidding),

we all had a grand time. This place is suitable for any age I am happy to report! From weebies to seniors there is plenty to watch, touch and enjoy. We all had a wonderful day under the sea!

Fishy KISS,


PS….the intern giving the octopus lesson was fantastic….who woulda thunk that an octopus has the mind of a 4 year old.

Young Old Fart says…

While I agree with YAH that Ft. Fisher Aquarium in Kure Beach is a fun activity, there are some things I think need to be pointed out. One, it’s about a twenty-five minute drive from Wilmington (if you live near Monkey Junction, if you live closer to Wrightsville it will be much longer). Second, I can’t see anyone spending more than an hour at this aquarium. Don’t get me wrong, it has beautiful natural exhibits that showcase NC’s wildlife, however, it really isn’t meant for a full-day outing. Also, don’t expect seals and whales, like I mentioned before it is really just a sampling of the local animals. As far as food goes, they have the unhealthy stop-your-heart kind (i.e. ice cream, pretzels, fries, etc), all located outside (in the heat…). The gift shop is really cute and a fun highlight…I would definitely grab SOMETHING to remember the day by. Admission is $8 for 13yrs-61yrs, $7 for 62 and older, $6 for 3yrs-12yrs, and free for anyone 2 and under. IMHO, if you plan on having lots of company, or you have grandchildren/children I would buy individual membership for $30 that allows free admission for two adults on the card and their children/grandchildren under 18…now THAT’S saving some moolah. Finally, being the college student I am, I truly appreciate the fact that the aquarium offers volunteer/internship opportunities…PERFECT for my fellow Seahawks interested in marine bio (the most popular major at UNCW).  All in all, while staring at hungry crocs that are sizing me up for dinner isn’t my favorite way to spend the day, I am sure the kiddies will adore molesting a stingray.

Kittens and fudge,