Delaware beaches: 21 places to take the kids, from Lewes to Fenwick

For The Baltimore Sun

The Delaware beaches are some of the most family-friendly summertime destinations on the East Coast. It’s no surprise why: From sun and sand to go-karts and virtual reality, there are enough kid-oriented activities to keep you busy all summer long.

Funland

6 Delaware Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 302-227-1921; funlandrehoboth.com

From toddlers to teens, kids of all ages are wowed by the rides at Funland in Rehoboth Beach, where classic kid rides like the pint-sized trucks operate alongside more thrilling adventures, like the SuperFlip 360.

Jungle Jim’s River Safari Water Park

36944 Country Club Road, Rehoboth Beach; 302-227-8444; funatjunglejims.com

Splash in the wave pool and slip away through a giant waterslide, then take a breather while floating down the Lazy River.

Cape Henlopen State Park

15099 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes; 302-645-8983; destateparks.com/park/cape-henlopen

Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes has a public swimming beach, but it’s more than just a spot to take a dip. The park also has a picnic pavilion, a disc golf course and three miles of hiking trails.

Bethany Beach Boardwalk

Boardwalk, Bethany Beach; townofbethanybeach.com/260/Beach-Boardwalk-Regulations

Beach-going families can take a break from the sand with a stroll along Bethany’s Boardwalk, which is lined with shops and restaurants.

Cape May-Lewes Ferry

Lewes Terminal, 43 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes; 800-643-3779; cmlf.com

Beach traffic is no fun, so why not travel by boat? A ferry ride from Lewes to Cape May, N.J., takes just under an hour and a half, and the ferry runs between the towns multiple times every day, so your family can take a quick side trip to the Jersey shore without spending a second in the car.

Delaware Paddlesports

17296 Coastal Highway, Lewes; 302-645-7300; delawarepaddlesports.com

Bayside canals are often calm and serene, making them ideal for padding as a family. Rent stand-up paddleboards or kayaks to explore on your own, or sign up for lessons and guided tours through Delaware Paddlesports in Lewes.

Grotto Pizza

Multiple locations; grottopizza.com

Grotto Pizza has a been a Delaware beach favorite since 1960. Yes, these days you can find the pizza, with its iconic swirls of sauce, on the western shore. But it still tastes better at the beach.

Crab Claw Adventures

39415 Inlet Road, Dock 26, Rehoboth Beach; 302-260-4347; crab-claws.com

There’s nothing quite like catching your own dinner. Crab Claw Adventures offers two-hour crabbing tours of Indian River Inlet, complete with kid-friendly instruction for catching your own blue crabs.

Kalmar Nyckel

Various locations; kalmarnyckel.org

The Kalmar Nyckel, a reproduction of the flagship for the 1630 expedition to present-day Delaware, will be in Lewes June 2-3 and Aug. 15-22. Take a sail and get to know what it was like to crew on a 17th century tall ship.

Delaware Public Libraries

Multiple locations; lib.de.us

All summer long, public libraries in the Delaware beach towns host a variety of kid-friendly activities, from story time for tots to teen writers’ workshops and chess club for kids 11 and older.

Bethany Beach Nature Center

807 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach; 301-537-7680; townofbethanybeach.com/397/Nature-Center

In addition to its year-round interactive exhibits and outdoor walking trails, the Bethany Beach Nature Center hosts regular activities geared toward teaching kids about the Inland Bays watershed.

James Farm Ecological Preserve

30048 Cedar Neck Road, Ocean View; 302-226-8105; inlandbays.org/projects-and-issues/all/james-farm-preserve/

At the preserve, families can check out the area around Indian River Bay, hiking trails that wind through high and low marshes, forests and meadows.

DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum

708 Coastal Highway, Fenwick Island; 302-539-9366; discoversea.com

Astound young would-be pirates and treasure hunters at DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum in Fenwick Island, where about 10,000 artifacts from real shipwrecks are on display.

Freeman Stage

31750 Lake View Drive, Selbyville; 302-436-3015; freemanstage.org

The music will flow all summer long at the Freeman Stage, with a terrific lineup of local and national acts, including The Wailers and Boyz II Men.

Rehoboth Beach Bandstand

Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 302-644-2288; rehobothbandstand.com

The entertainment is free, with bands playing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday all summer long.

Shell We Bounce

32295 Lewes-Georgetown Highway, Lewes; 302-727-5416; shellwebounce.com

Shell We Bounce Trampoline Park in Lewes is a prime spot for kids with a little too much energy. The indoor park includes trampolines, a foam pit, a kids’ play area and an arcade, plus a cafe to refuel after hours of bouncing.

Midway Speedway Park

18645 Coastal Highway, Rehoboth Beach; 302-645-8064; midwayspeedwaypark.com

Put your foot on the gas at Midway Speedway, where 10 styles of go-karts operate on five tracks. Older racers can fly, while younger kids can truck along on a kiddie track and a kiddie dune buggy track.

Escape Reality Virtual Reality Arcade

21 Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth Beach; 302-604-2739; escrealityvr.com

Your family can climb Mt. Everest, fly a dragon or play dodgeball in space at Escape Reality. The arcade offers tons of virtual reality options, including those that are appropriate for every age.

Kohr Bros. Frozen Custard

Multiple locations; kohrbros.com

It’s not a trip to the beach until you grab something sweet at Kohr Bros. Frozen Custard. With five locations along the Delaware coast, from Fenwick Island to Rehoboth, you won’t have to go far to get your fill of creamy custard.

Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre

19285 Road 271, Rehoboth Beach; 302-227-6766; rehobothchildrenstheatre.org

Now in its 37th season, the theater is the place to go for pint-sized drama. It offers camps geared toward theater, film and television, and will produce several kid-friendly shows, like “Aladdin” and “Cinderella,” throughout the season.

Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk

N. Boardwalk, Rehoboth Beach; cityofrehoboth.com/visitors/beach-and-boardwalk

Stroll the mile-long boardwalk lined with shops, restaurants and, of course, the beach. Or bring a bike for a quicker trip.

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