Cheap and Free Things to Do in Wilmington

Kids Running on the Beach - Cheap things to do in Wilmington, NC
The Wilmington area has so much to offer even if you’re looking for something fun to do on the cheap. We have beautiful nearby beaches and many wonderful parks each with a little something different to enjoy. If you live in New Hanover County, you can visit some of our area attractions for free once a month. Here are some ideas on free or cheap things to do around Wilmington that are a lot of fun.

Nearby Beaches: Pack up your beach gear and a picnic lunch and spend the day at one of our nearby beaches. If you visit Kure Beach you may even be able to find a free parking spot and enjoy a relaxing day on the sand without shelling out a single quarter for parking meters. At Wrightsville Beach, unless it’s winter, you will pay for parking. But even with the steep parking rates ($2 per hour/$12 per day) it still makes for a cheap outing that’s really worth it.

Public Parks: We have many beautiful public parks in Wilmington that offer lots of fun things to do for free or at least really cheap. Check out these Wilmington parks when you’re looking for something fun to do on a nice day.
Hugh MacRae Park: Hugh MacRae Park is located at the corner of College Road and Oleander Drive. It’s a large park where you can take advantage of tennis courts, a dog park, two playgrounds, a 1.5 mile walking/jogging trail around the entire park, and a duck pond.
Greenfield Park: Greenfield Park is located close to downtown at Carolina Beach Road and Burnett Boulevard. This is a sprawling scenic park with a 5 mile trail that encircles Greenfield Lake. You can enjoy fishing or wildlife watching from shore or the dock. You can also rent paddleboats, canoes, or kayaks for just $10 per hour. Greenfield Park has tennis courts, a playground, and picnic areas. It even has a nice skateboard park that’s only $2 to skate.
Smith Creek Park: Smith Creek Park is in the Ogden area and has a beautiful lake with crystal clear water. There is a dock and a place to launch kayaks if you bring your own. It has a 1.7 mile trail and a great new playground.

New Hanover County Resident Free Admission Days: If you are a resident of New Hanover County, once a month you can take advantage of free admission at Airlie Gardens or the Cape Fear Museum, just make sure you have a picture ID to show when you enter.
Airlie Gardens: This is a gorgeous place to enjoy a leisurely walk through some amazing gardens. The first Sunday of each month is County Free Day, so there is no admission fee for county residents.
Cape Fear Museum: The Cape Fear Museum of History and Science is the North Carolina’s oldest history museum. It’s interesting and a lot of fun for both adults and children. The museum also offer County Free Day on the first Sunday of the month, so no admission fee is required for residents.
Please note that pricing and policies may have changed since this article was published.
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Attractions and Things to Do in Wilmington, NC
Entertainment Options in Wilmington