National Parks / Natural World in JACKSONVILLE with kids

The world has some incredible natural wonders, and luckily for you, Jacksonville has some incredible places to visit with kids right on your doorstep….and you won’t want to forget your camera!

The national and state parks in and around Jacksonville, North Carolina offer an incredible variety of experiences for children.  Some parks protect a unique and diverse wilderness, teeming with wildlife which is always a thrill for kids!

Some parks protect incredible fascinating and significant historical sites, where the family can go back in time through American history…who says the learning as to stop on a family day out!

Even the city of Jacksonville itself has smaller parks perfect for a quick trip into nature.  You don’t even need to leave the city to have that park experience - and kids LOVE them!

Shut those televisions off and put those computer games away….the great outdoors is calling and it’s calling YOU!

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  • Hammocks Beach State Park

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    (22 miles) Swansboro

    Venture to Bear Island and reward yourself with vivid memories of one of the most unspoiled beaches on the Atlantic coast. Accessible only by passenger ferry or private boat, there's just one thing ...

  • Cliffs of the Neuse State Park

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    (39 miles) Seven Springs

    At the turn of the century visitors flocked to the area. They drank mineral water from local springs to cure their ills and they took riverboat excursions to the cliffs. Things have changed since ...

  • Singletary Lake State Park

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    (52 miles) Kelly

    Bring your group to Singletary Lake State Park and enjoy group camping in a land of mysterious origins. A portion of the unique Carolina bay ecosystem found nowhere else in the world, Singletary Lake ...

  • Goose Creek State Park

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    (59 miles) Washington

    Giant, old oaks draped in Spanish moss welcome you to this special world where broad, lazy Goose Creek joins the Pamlico River.

  • Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

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    (61 miles) Kure Beach

    Enjoy a leisurely day at the ocean shore. Comb the beach for sea stars, keyhole urchins and whelk shells. Or, simply lie back on the sand and enjoy the aerial acrobatics of seagulls, terns and brown ...

  • Jones Lake State Park

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    (67 miles) Elizabethtown

    Venture to Jones Lake State Park and view one of the greatest geological mysteries of the eastern United States the phenomenon of the Carolina bays.

  • Lake Waccamaw State Park

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    (68 miles) Lake Waccamaw

    The cool, tea-colored waters at first appear similar to other lakes in the area, but Lake Waccamaw is one of the most unique bodies of water in the world. You will find here species of animals found ...

  • Raven Rock State Park

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    (93 miles) Lillington

    Spend some time at Raven Rock State Park and let nature refresh your spirit. feeling you are likely to experience at Raven Rock is one of renewal. Here, the forest reigns as each year the timeless ...

  • Pettigrew State Park

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    (93 miles) Creswell

    With more than 1,300 acres of land around Lake Phelps and more than 3,000 acres along the Scuppernong River, with an additional 16,600 acres of water, Pettigrew State Park is an ideal blend of ...

  • Crowder District Park

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    (95 miles) Apex

    33 acres of park fun in North Carolina, with playgrounds, sports, walking trails and a pond! Great kids fun!

  • Check out other fun things to do below...

  • Childrens Museum of Wilmington

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    (46 miles) Wilmington

    Features include teddy bear hospital, under the sea area, arts zone, grocery store roleplay, imagination circus and a lot more. Aimed at 10s and under.

  • North Carolina Maritime Museum Beaufort

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    (47 miles) Beaufort

    Kids can get lost in the world of maritime heritage and shipwrecks, even learn how to fish or enjoy boatbuilding classes! Ahoy maties!

  • Sampson County History Museum

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    (49 miles) Clinton

    A historic museum in North Carolina where you can search through your own life, and your place in history!

  • Greenville Museum Of Art

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    (57 miles) Greenville

    Fascinating art collections and exhibits in this Greenville Art Museum, for those creative, art loving families

  • Go Science

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    (58 miles) Greenville

    A great museum for kids where they can learn about the STEM subjects through interactive exhibits and programs, to encourage, inspire and motivate!

  • North Carolina Maritime Museum Southport

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    (67 miles) Southport

    Introduce kids to the story of the region of Southport and Cape Fear - the people and their relationship to the water. A fascinating insight into the maritime history of North Carolina, and the tales ...

  • Imagination Station Science Museum

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    (69 miles) Wilson

    Kids can enjoy fun through science and technology through dynamic hands-on science learning, plus some live exhibits at this North Carolina science museum!

  • Fascinate U Childrens Museum

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    (81 miles) Fayetteville

    offers a large number of fun and educational hands on exhibits and displays, plus Mini City where kids can enjoy equipped roleplay settings including deli, grocery, emergency dispatch and law court.

  • Marbles Kids Museum

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    (94 miles) Raleigh

    Imaginative and creative learning through play at this Raleigh children's museum, complete with interactive exhibits and an IMAX movies!

  • North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

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    (95 miles) Raleigh

    Lots of hands-on exhibits, highlights include the world's most complete Acrocanthosaurus dinosaur; Willo, the only dinosaur discovered with a fossilized heart. One of the many fun family places to ...

  • Lynwood Park Zoo

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    (1 miles) Jacksonville

    10 acres of animal fun in North Carolina, with over 80 exhibits filled with animals from all over the world! Family zoo fun in Jacksonville!

  • Day At The Farm

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    (29 miles) Cove City

    Hayrides, animal feeding, nature trail, guided tours , ice cream parlour, maze and picnic areas. One of the many fun family places to go if you're looking for things to do with kids in North Carolina

  • North Carolina Aquarium Pine Knoll Shores

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    (38 miles) Pine Knoll Shores

    From the mountains to the sea, this family aquarium will take you on an aquatic journey from the peaks to the Atlantic, with fascinating and educational programs and experiences for kids.

  • North Carolina Aquarium Fort Fisher

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    (62 miles) Kure Beach

    An underwater adventure for the whole family where they can journey along "The Waters of Cape Fear" and even touch sharks!

  • Alligator Adventure

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    (98 miles) North Myrtle Beach

    A snappy day out in the reptile capital of the world at this Alligator Adventure! With live shows and feedings, hundreds of gators and other animals galore! Great South Carolina animal fun!

  • Touchstone Farm

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    (98 miles) Temple

    For animal loving kids, Touchstone Farm in New Hampshire makes a fun day out where they can spend time with horses, as well as other farm animals

  • White Lake Water Park

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    (59 miles) White Lake

    Cool family water fun with lots of water activities to spend the day in, including pools, slides, a lazy river and for something different, even indy karting!

  • Fantasy Lake

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    (85 miles) Hope Mills

    Beautiful white sand beaches and water park fun on a 6 acre man made lake. Great fun with the family in North Carolina!

  • Cape Fear Riverboats

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    (46 miles) Wilmington

    Come aboard the The Henrietta III, one of North Carolina's largest riverboats, offering public lunch, dinner and sightseeing cruises from April through December and private event charters throughout ...

  • Jump in Jax

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    (9 miles) Jacksonville

    A fun indoor play center in Jacksonville for kids ages 1 -12, featuring a revolving series of inflatables including slides, obstacle courses, classic bouncers and more

  • Hullabaloo

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    (29 miles) Hampstead

    Hullabaloo is the Hampstead area's only indoor playspace for kids, with plenty of places to have fun, get active and use that imagination!

  • MegaPlay

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    (88 miles) Spring Lake

    Get ready for 6,700 sq ft of indoor play fun, with play structures, wave slides, and obstacle bridges....and the list goes on! Playtime fun for kids in North Carolina!

  • KidZ in a Minute

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    (96 miles) Raleigh

    “KidZ in a Minute” is a drop-in child care center with the reliability you require for children ages 12 months-12 to come explore, discover, and play.

  • Grand Prix Family Thrill Park

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    (98 miles) Myrtle Beach

    Fun center for all the family.

  • Coconut Charlies Bump N Bounce

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    (100 miles) Raleigh

    Super fun inflatables in Raleigh where kids can enjoy open play all day, celebrate birthdays, or visit the Toddler Room!