Wilmington, Delaware’s Riverfront has everything for a family getaway, except hotels. You can take Amtrak right to the area (be sure to check out the building, listed on the national Register of Historic Places). But you will likely drive here – there is plenty of free parking, and you can find a slew of inexpensive family friendly hotels in nearby Newark.
There is a luxury hotel, Hotel du Pont, in downtown Wilmington, about a mile walk from the Amtrak station, but the downtown area has seen better days.
Our first stop was the Delaware Children’s Museum, which has a great climbing structure, creative play areas and a climbing wall. If it’s nice out, you can run around at the nearby park, Tubman-Garrett.
Catch a minor league baseball game at Frawley Stadium, which also houses the year-round Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame. This small museum has interactive touch screens and videos, along with sports memorabilia and artifacts.
In summer, you can ride the River Taxi, which makes six stops along the 1.3 mile Riverwalk. At the far end of the riverfront path, the free Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge has boardwalks through a tidal marsh. Free naturalist-led tours leave from the DuPont Environmental Education Center, where we got to touch a turtle and avoid a stuffed beaver. As the refuge is cleaned, beavers have actually been spotted, along with migrating birds and many species of fish.
The Iron Hill Brewery not only has an extensive kid’s menu, it has a gluten free kid’s menu and plenty of vegetarian options. The indoor Riverfront Market is a great place to wander through a buy local produce, freshly baked bread or prepared Thai food; you can eat at the second-story balcony.