Delaware may be one of the smallest states in the country, but it’s packed with kid-friendly activities to enjoy.
Whether you’re looking for historic forts, busy beaches or must-try restaurants, this unassuming state makes for a great family vacation destination on the east coast.
If you are looking for the best things to do in Delaware with kids, this guide to the best family-friendly attractions in Delaware for kids includes 20 fun and unique places to visit.
Located on the eastern seaboard, this humble state offers families a low-key coastal experience. The first state in the United States, Delaware is also the second smallest state. Covering less than 2,000 square miles of land, the entire state of Delaware could fit in Yellowstone National Park – nearly twice!
The tiny state is also famous for its beautiful beaches, salt water taffy, and being the home state of US President, Joe Biden.
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Best things to do in Delaware with kids
If you’re planning a trip to the “First State” and looking for the best places to visit in Delaware on a family vacation, here are some of the best places and things to do in Delaware with kids.
1. Take a stroll along the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk – Rehoboth, Delaware
Expect to experience tons of fun on the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk. It’s the perfect place to savor the “beach town” vibe, teeming with so much life and activities to enjoy.
This mile-long boardwalk is filled with people from all walks of life, making it one of the liveliest places you can visit in the state. You can book a guided kayaking excursion, rent a bike or a paddleboard, shop for custom shirts and enjoy a bucket of fries.
Kids can also enjoy carnival rides and food treats along the area. Events, fitness competitions and other fun activities throughout the year fill this boardwalk – making it a must-visit along the Delaware eastern shore.
2. Grab Lunch at the Famous Jimmy’s Grille – Dewey Beach, Delaware
Indulging in local cuisine is one way to better appreciate Delaware. Jimmy’s Grille, located in Dewey Beach just south of Rehoboth Beach, is an underrated restaurant offering almost everything the state is proud of — freshly caught seafood and mouthwatering treats such as saltwater taffy and special fudge.
All-American staples are also available in this old-fashioned diner, making it a perfect place if you have picky eaters or kids who have more particular food choices.
Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast platter or a satisfying afternoon snack,
Jimmy’s Grille has got you covered. Remember to order the most famous menu item — slippery Dumplings.
3. Explore the outdoors at Cape Henlopen State Park – Lewes, Delaware
This 5,193-acre beach park in Sussex County is the perfect place for outdoorsy families.
This park features recreational activities and attractions, including the Seaside Nature Center. If you want your kids to get up close and personal with marine life, visit the touch tank, enjoy the 24-hour access to fishing in Delaware Bay and bike the look trail.
The state park is located on a former military base, so, take note of the old military observation towers along its sandy beaches and trails.
To cap off a day of activities, settle in the park’s campground and enjoy a fantastic night in nature.
4. Go back in time at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village – Dover, Delaware
The state of Delaware is brimming with a rich history of agriculture. If your family wants to take a trip down memory lane of farming, visit the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village, located in the capital city of Dover.
This museum is home to over 4,000 artifacts, ranging from old butter churners to tractors.
You can also delight in a small farm village with features reminiscent of the 1890s — windmills, a train station and a barn.
5. Learn through Immersive Play at Delaware Children’s Museum – Wilmington, Delaware
If you’re looking for a place that provides immersive activities in Delaware for kids, don’t miss out on the Delaware Children’s Museum. This fun museum features various hands-on exhibits focusing on science, technology and math.
Families will also enjoy exciting attractions like giant slides, building blocks, basketball hoops and other activities that spark creativity.
More importantly, the museum lets you reignite your childlike wonder and join your kids in the fun, making it one of the best places to visit in Delaware for families.
6. Have a scary good time at Frightland – Middletown, Delaware
Who says you can’t have a spook-tacular time in Delaware? In Frightland, every day is Halloween. Situated in Middletown, this place is one of the nation’s Top 10 Scariest Haunted Attractions.
It has eight haunted attractions you can choose from, including a haunted hayride, zombie prison, cemetery, and a haunted manor.
Apart from the haunted spaces, you can enjoy carnival rides and snacks as you and the kids have a great time inside Frightland.
Expect longer lines on Saturdays. Purchase tickets online and book a weekday schedule to maximize your time.
7. Go for a horse ride and feed the ducks at Carousel Park – Pike Creek, Delaware
Carousel Park is a delightful family attraction in Delaware’s New Castle County. This park boasts a picturesque lake, rolling hills and an equestrian center where you can take horseback riding lessons or simply watch the horses and other animals, like goats and llamas.
Families can enjoy a leisurely stroll around the scenic walking paths and lake, or visit the stables, in an area set up to look like an old wild west town with vintage building facades.
The park also features a large dog park, for those traveling with their pets.
8. Develop a love for art at the Delaware Art Museum – Wilmington, Delaware
Founded in 1912, the Delaware Art Museum is home to 12,000 pieces. Its collection of pre-Raphaelite art is the largest outside the United Kingdom.
There are a lot of pieces to admire and talk about with your family. It’s the best place to inspire your children to appreciate and even ask questions about art.
The museum has a lively atmosphere because tour groups constantly wind through hallways while events happen in other parts of the museum.
9. Fenwick Island State Park – Fenwick Island, Delaware
Plan your ultimate beach getaway in Fenwick Island State Park located in the southeastern corner of the state.
Aside from swimming, expect to enjoy activities such as kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding. The park is open year-round so that you can enjoy fun activities regardless of time and season. Don’t miss the DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum, where your family can see actual artifacts recovered from shipwrecks and colonial sites.
Remember to admire and take a picture of the sunset in the Assawoman Recreation Area.
There will be a lot of fun activities waiting for you — just make sure if you are visiting during the summer months to protect your family from sunburns with eco-friendly sunscreen, sunglasses and an umbrella.
10. Test your limits at Go Ape – Bear, Delaware
If your family is in the mood for adrenaline adventures, Go Ape is the way to go. This place has a list of outdoor activities in all shapes and sizes. You can enjoy zip lines, Tarzan swings and other obstacle courses while admiring nature. There are also high ropes courses for kids and bouncy nets for all ages.
For adults, there’s axe throwing and treetop adventures suitable for you, as well. There are a lot of challenges to experience — make sure to get proper sleep so that your competitive mindset is ready.
11. Chow down at Purebread Deli – Pike Creek, Delaware
This homegrown, family restaurant is a must-visit for many reasons. First, the menu comes with sandwiches named after dog breeds. You can expect kids to have a lot of fun choosing food from their unique selections – like the Great Dane, Chihuahua, and the Doberman.
The regular menu also features vegetable-based sandwich options guaranteed to satisfy your child’s craving for the day. Remember to try the restaurant’s hot chocolate, fudge brownies, fruit salad and cinnamon twists.
12. Have lunch on the water at Harpoon Hanna’s Tiki Bar – Fenwick Island, Delaware
Another great place to eat in Delaware with kids – if you’re in Fenwick Island, don’t miss out on the chance to visit Harpoon Hanna’s.
The restaurant serves brunch, lunch and dinner options, making it the perfect spot to grab anything from large servings to finger foods.
Harpoon Hanna’s offers a kids’ menu featuring chicken fingers with honey mustard, grilled cheese and a mac and cheese bowl. Each item on the menu comes with a side of your choice — coleslaw, applesauce, veggies, fries or mac and cheese.
13. Make a splash at Killens Pond Water Park – Felton, Delaware
If you’re visiting Delaware during summer, Killens Pond is a state park that boasts one of the best things to do in Delaware with kids. The park, located in Kent County, features a family-friendly water park complete with twisting waterslides, a kiddie pool and other fun activities.
The Killens Pond State Water Park also features bubblers, small slides and groundwater jets for toddlers to enjoy.
The water park also has a beach volleyball area where you can take a break from water activities and enjoy playing this sport as a family.
14. Hagley Museum – Wilmington, Delaware
On the banks of the Brandywine River in Wilmington, Delaware, the Hagley Museum is a captivating journey into America’s industrial past.
Once the site of the du Pont family’s pioneering gunpowder works, Hagley preserves the history of innovation that started there.
Visitors can explore the historic powder yards, where water wheels once powered mills. You can also tour the du Pont ancestral home, which gives you a glimpse into the family’s life.
The scenic beauty of the Brandywine Valley enhances the experience as you walk the grounds of the Hagley Museum.
15. Visit an old mansion at the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library – Winterthur, Delaware
Another great place to delve into the history of Delaware with kids, the Winterthur Museum is a delightful mansion housing a collection of American decorative arts. You’ll also find 60 acres of naturalistic gardens and over 150 rooms with historic displays.
Additionally, Winterthur Museum also offers family-friendly activities. The place comes with adventure packs and an interactive space. On holidays, kids can enjoy a special brunch with Santa Claus.
Revel in the beauty of colorful flowers and well-maintained gardens while children play in the Enchanted Woods. Every spot in this place looks straight out of a postcard. Remember to take a lot of photos.
16. Meet the animals at the Brandywine Zoo – Wilmington, Delaware
This small zoo in Wilmington, Delaware, is a must-visit if your kids adore animals. It is home to animals from all over the world — tropical Asia, the Americas, Australia, Africa and the Pacific Islands.
Brandywine Zoo’s mission is to help people deepen their love for animals. They offer educational classes, workshops and other programs to widen people’s knowledge about the natural world.
You and your family can expect to see a red panda, white-faced saki, bald eagle, snakes and
different lemur species, including their newest addition to the family — a baby crowned lemur.
17. Hit the beach at Bethany Beach – Bethany Beach, Delaware
Bethany Beach is a cute seaside town known as the “Quiet Resort”. It is located along the Coastal Highway in southern Delaware near Fenwick Island.
Bethany Beach is a tranquil escape with a beautiful boardwalk, lined with quaint ice cream and frozen custard shops, seafood restaurants, and vacation homes.
With clean, family-friendly beaches isn’t an ideal summer destination for those looking to play in the sand and bask in the sun. With a strong sense of community and a commitment to preserving its natural beauty, Bethany Beach provides a welcoming haven for those seeking a relaxing coastal getaway along Delaware’s stunning shoreline.
18. Air Mobility Command Museum – Dover AFB, Delaware
If your child is fascinated by aircraft, they’ll have the best time at the Air Mobility Command Museum. Located on the Dover Air Force Base, you’ll find more than 30 aircraft of different sizes that all served different roles in the U.S. Air Force.
It also houses an artifact collection focused on the history of the U.S. Air Force and WW1. The museum offers video and panoramic tours of old airplanes, giving you an experience you’ll never find elsewhere.
The best part? Admission and parking is free every Wednesday to Sunday.
19. Grand Opera House – Wilmington, Delaware
Also known as The Grand or Masonic Hall and Grand Theater, this four-story building in Wilmington features an awe-inspiring architecture reminiscent of an era of full-length ball gowns.
Watching musicals, symphony orchestras and dance performances helps your kids develop their appreciation for the Arts.
If your family is looking for a classic yet entertaining way to spend the weekend, check out the schedule of acts on their website. Ensure that you choose something that all ages will enjoy watching.
20. Fox Point State Park – Wilmington, Delaware
Are you looking for a place for an afternoon picnic? Head over to Fox Point State Park, situated along the Delaware River.
Huddle in a picnic area beside the scenic river view and let your kids play on the playground. There’s also the Riverview trail, where you can bike or hike as you admire nature, ships and trains.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the sky, for you might just see a beautiful bald eagle.
Conclusion: Visiting Delaware with kids
These are just some of the many attractions to visit in Delaware. With this guide, you can create an itinerary your kids will enjoy.
From the sun-soaked beaches of Bethany to the historical wonders at Hagley Museum, the First State offers a tapestry of adventures that cater to every age and interest.
Whether you’re building sandcastles, exploring nature trails, or taking a nostalgic ride at Carousel Park, Delaware proves that big fun comes in small packages.
Delaware may be compact, but its charm and diverse attractions make it a giant in family-friendly adventures.
About the author of this guide to the best things to do in San Francisco with kids: Cora Gold is the Editor in Chief of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. She loves to write about travel, family and adventure. Follow Cora on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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