Because Wilmington is a small city, its attractions are just the right size and scale for toddlers and preschoolers! One of our favorites when our sons were younger was the Delaware Museum of Natural History, which was recently remodeled. Our sons love roaming through the museum to look at the dinosaur skeletons, the wide variety of animals, and the under-the-sea exhibits. They especially loved playing in the museum’s activity area. The museum is just the right size for little kids’ attention spans – you can see it all and still get home in time for the afternoon nap!
Another of our favorite spots in Wilmington is the Brandywine Zoo, where our boys love to visit the tigers, gaze at the enormous Andean Condors, and watch the river otters play from both above and below the water. Best of all, the zoo offers great programs for kids of all ages. My 11-year old son still has fond memories of the toddler and preschool classes we took at the zoo.
For both the museum and zoo, consider becoming a member. Annual fees are inexpensive and allow you to visit as often as you like, but you also get free or reduced admission to hundreds of partner museums, zoos, and aquariums across the country! Whenever we go on vacation or visit family in another city, we use our local memberships to explore new museums and zoos for free.
If you want to enjoy the beautiful weather and stay outdoors, head to Hockessin to the Ashland Nature Center. Admission is free (though donations are welcome), and you can spend a wonderful summer day hiking its trails and playing in the streams – that’s classic summer kid fun! Ashland also offers great classes year-round and summer camps for kids of all ages, at reasonable prices.
Suzan Jackson is a freelance writer and mother to two boys, ages 11 and 14, near Wilmington, DE. To read more of her writing on family travel, visit www.travelfamily.net.