8 Unique Museums to Explore Downtown

Posted Jun 21st, 2019 in Weekend Wish List


If you’re looking for family-friendly, interesting things to do, museums are a great place to start. In Downtown Wilmington, we are fortunate to have several museums devoted to the procurement, care, study and display of objects of lasting interest or value, each with a unique focus.

Wilmington Railroad Museum
Celebrating 40 years in Downtown Wilmington at the Nutt Street end of the former railroad, this museum is a classic example of how big things emanate from small places. In 2011, model railroaders from the museum broke the record for the longest model train, an event that was certified by Guinness World Records. ™ Learn about this and other fascinating railroad tidbits and play with working model train sets that have exciting features to make the miniature worlds come alive. Outside, explore a goods wagon and a real caboose.
Hours: Mon-Sat, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sun, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

Museum of the Bizarre
This museum of curiosities is low-cost fun, some say creepy and mysterious, with interactive elements and definitely entertaining. You’ll find everything from a lock of Alexander Hamilton's hair to Harry Houdini's Ouija board, a crystal skull and artifacts from famous horror movies. The mirror maze and laser vault maze add to the fun.
Hours: Daily, 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 

 

 

The Children’s Museum of Wilmington
Children up to the age of 10 can have a blast with more than a dozen themed exhibits including a pirate ship, tree house, community market, doctor and dental office, craft area, indoor playground, outdoor courtyard and much, much more for young people to explore! Look out for the new kid power exhibit opening July 19th
Hours: Mon-Sat, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sun, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

 

The Cape Fear Museum of History and Science
While a little outside the central business district, great things are happening here. The upstairs gallery space that has been closed for repairs since Hurricane Florence will re-open Thursday, June 27. An open house event will showcase the redesigned 20th-century gallery and the new Dinosaur Discovery exhibit. From 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. there will be light refreshments, a food truck and more. In addition, enjoy a special planetarium show and make new discoveries on a scavenger hunt. Admission is FREE through June 30.
Hours: Mon-Wed & Fri, Sat, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sunday, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

Bellamy Mansion Museum
Explore this original 10,000 square foot, antebellum mansion house with carriage house and slave quarters and hear stories of the Bellamy family and their enslaved workers. Guided tours are on the hour or you can take a self-guided tour. Be sure to attend Jazz at the Mansion for one of the monthly concerts on the lawn throughout the summer. Also, look out for the 25-year anniversary Birthday Bash, September 7th.
Hours: Mon-Sat, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sun, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

Latimer House Museum

Visit Latimer House, which is over 200 years old, and learn about the lives of three generations of the Latimer family during the Victorian era. You can see dozens of 19th-century furniture pieces and over 600 other historical objects throughout the 14-room house. Guided tours are hourly. Tickets can be reserved or purchased on-site.
Hours: Mon-Sat, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Closed Sundays.


 

Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens

Built in 1770, the Burgwin-Wright House is the only structure in Wilmington from the colonial era open to the public. Here, you can see architecture from the Georgian era and experience what life was like in pre-revolutionary Wilmington. The interior is filled with hundreds of 18th and 19th-century antiques. Outside, you can see the remains of the old city jail and wander through the colonial-style gardens. Tickets can be purchased on-site for the hourly, guided tours.
Hours: Mon-Sat, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Closed Sundays.


Triple Tickets are also available for $30 + tax that grant admission to the Latimer House, Bellamy Mansion, and Burgwin-Wright House. Triple tickets are valid for one week after purchase.

The Wilmington Film Museum

This temporary exhibit, which opens 1:00 p.m., July 4th at the Hannah Block Historic USO, is dedicated to the preservation, promotion and education of film and television history in the Cape Fear area of NC. This summer’s FREE event will include local film history, sports movies and a ‘tools of the trade’ artifacts exhibit.
Hours (for HBHUSO): Mon-Thurs, 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Fri, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sat, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Closed Sundays.

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Bellamy Mansion
503 Market St
Wilmington, NC 28401

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Burgwin-Wright House
224 Market St
Wilmington, NC 28401

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Cape Fear Museum
814 Market St
Wilmington, NC 28401

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The Children's Museum of Wilmington
116 Orange St
Wilmington, NC 28401

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Latimer House
126 S Third St
Wilmington, NC 28401

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Museum of the Bizarre
201 S Water St
Wilmington 28401

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Wilmington Railroad Museum
505 Nutt St
Wilmington, NC 28401

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