With vaccinations on the rise, a trip full of family-friendly fun awaits in Kure Beach. From toddler to teenager, kids of all ages and families will find a variety of accommodation options, activities, places to eat and more during their summer vacation.
Curate your next family getaway with our guide on top things to do with children of any age:
Toddlers & Preschoolers
Find quaint, family-friendly lodging options offering amenities and prime locations near Kure Beach’s top attractions and activities. Choose from oceanfront rooms at South Wind Motel – including a Family Suite that sleeps up to seven – equipped with an oceanfront pool, picnic area and private beach walkway, making it easy to keep track of the kids while keeping them entertained. Located just minutes from an aquarium, historic site and two state parks, The Sand Dunes Motel is the perfect place to experience the best of our small-town beach, offering oceanfront rooms and two spacious efficiency apartments.
Engage the youngest kids in age-appropriate activities from popular attractions to outdoor fun. Meet an entertaining family of Asian small-clawed otters at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. The new “Otters on the Edge” exhibit features streams, waterfalls, a log slide and an enclosed pool, as well as a crawl space perfect for small children to explore while parents snap a photo. Kids will also love playing outdoors at Adventure Reef, the aquarium’s interactive play area. If the children need a snack in between adventures, stop by the aquarium’s café, SharkBites, for apple sauce squeezes, cheese sticks, juice boxes and more. Perfect for the little ones, Ocean Front Park & Pavilion is Kure Beach’s largest public green space. The park’s “tot lot” playground, ideal for children ages three to six, offers endless playtime opportunities with a giant pirate ship, fish and turtle.
Stop by Beach House Burgers next to the Kure Beach Fishing Pier for delicious walk-up and takeout breakfast, lunch and dinner choices. Known for their juicy burgers, the local favorite also serves plenty of kid-friendly choices like chicken nuggets, French fries, soft-serve ice cream and more. For breakfast and lunch, delight in homestyle favorites from Kure Beach Diner like shrimp and grits, biscuits and burgers.
If you’re looking for a bit more space as the kids age up, opt for one of our motels with private bedrooms and adjoining rooms. Located in the heart of Kure Beach, Admiral’s Quarters offers two oceanfront pools and a gazebo where adults can relax while watching the kids splash around. Seven Seas Inn, located down the street from Ocean Front Park, is ideal for playing outside and enjoying time on the beach.
In Kure Beach, kids can get active while enjoying educational experiences. Visit Fort Fisher State Recreation Area for a Turtle Talk, where park staff discuss the various sea turtle species found at Fort Fisher, basic biology and conservation efforts. While in the area, discover portions of gigantic earthworks, island history and scenic trails at Fort Fisher State Historic Site, the site of the Civil War’s largest land and sea battle.
Stroll along the family-friendly Kure Beach Fishing Pier to drop a line or take in shoreline views. Take a break from the sun by getting in some friendly competition at the pier’s Hi-Tech Arcade, with games like skeeball, basketball, car racing and more.
For flavors both kids and parents will love, Freddie’s Restaurant offers authentic Italian and American cuisine. Feed the whole family with a family meal, serving two to six people, or let the children create their own pasta off of the kids’ menu. Bring the whole family to Big Daddy’s Restaurant, serving a wide selection of seafood, sandwiches and more, along with a kids’ menu upon request. Dine inside or on the outdoor patio, perfect for relaxing at happy hour – parents may even enjoy sipping on a coastal cocktail from the bar.
Tweens & Teens
Find your family’s ideal beach retreat with one of our island vacation rentals. Whether you’re seeking a private house complete with a pool or an oceanfront vacation home with beach access, families with older children can choose from an array of rental options. Or, choose one of the nine newly renovated luxury apartment suites at Kure Lighthouse Inn, perfect for accommodating four to six guests.
Tweens and teens can enjoy a variety of activities on their own and discover unique ways to explore the island. Get active at Joe Eakes Park, equipped with baseball, volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, and home to an 18-hole disc golf course. Rent kayaks from Kayak Carolina and venture to Zeke’s Island Reserve, an important shorebird habitat home to a dynamic landscape of tidal flats, salt marshes, dunes and ocean beaches. Nearby on the island, stroll along the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, bustling during the summer with entertainment. Enjoy the seaside amusement rides or play games in the arcade.
Our small-town beach offers big flavors, whether you’re looking for locally sourced coffee or colorful, island-inspired dishes. Kick start your day at Happy Hippies Java Hut and choose from a variety of hot or cold drinks made from North Carolina coffee beans like the Mermaid Magic cold brew, or choose from a non-coffee drink like the Vanilla Bean frappe or All Shook Up smoothie. The coffee shop also has fresh local kombucha on tap, as well as signature snacks and a selection of charming gifts. Savor grilled specialties, seafood platters, sandwiches and more with a Caribbean influence at Jack Mackerel’s Island Grill. Enjoy options like the Cajun Chicken or Buffalo Shrimp or try one of the daily specials indoors or on the second-floor covered patio.
Keep each of the kids satisfied and entertained this summer with various age-appropriate activities, places to eat and more in Kure Beach.