Cape Fear Museum: More Than an Education


The Cape Fear Museum of History and Science is more than just an education; it is an experience. Every person that walks through the doors of the oldest history museum in the state of North Carolina is entering into a part of the diversity of Wilmington’s history.

There are a variety of hands-on learning exhibits including imports and exports, colony and state currencies, touchable animal skins and all sorts of trees. Interactive activities allow for an actual feel of the culture, nature and lifestyle of the Carolina people. The Michael Jordon Discovery Gallery invites children to crawl into a beaver lodge, make sand dunes and “feed” a Venus Flytrap. The interaction with Wilmington’s environment enables children to appreciate nature found in their own backyards.

Cape Fear Museum features new exhibits in addition to their permanent collection.

Eye Patch

Dress Like a Pirate

‘Pirates’, open until Labor Day, allows visitors to encounter pirates of the New World – a motley mob that sailed the waters from the Carolinas to the Caribbean. Visitors can also play pirate games, learn to speak like a pirate, hoist a Jolly Roger and uncover a rich buried treasure of pirate facts and fiction. For the perfect photos, children can try on costumes and pretend to be captain while at the ship’s helm.

The gift shop gives you the chance to take home the memories you made while exploring all the fascinating exhibits. The Museum has an abundance of opportunities to further your learning experience; summer camps, family events, adult sessions and after-school experiences are also offered. We encourage everyone (tourists, locals, adults and children) to visit the Cape Fear Museum soon!

Additional Information: The museum is open on Monday, July 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is offering the following programs.

Learning Center: Pirate Invasion
Date/Time: Saturday, July 2 from 1:00-4:00 PM
Ages: Appropriate for children ages 5 to 12. Parental participation is required.
Fee: Free with Museum admission.
What were pirates really like? Discover the world of pirates as you make and hoist your own Jolly Roger, get a pirate tattoo, and make a Lego pirate ship. Meet a pirate and dress up like a privateer. Learn how to tie knots aboard a ship. Play pirate games and go on an exciting treasure hunt!

Residents’ Free Day
Date/Time: Sunday, July 3 from 1:00-5:00 PM
New Hanover County residents are admitted free to the Museum the first Sunday of every month.

Museum Carts
Date/Time: Sunday, July 3 from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Ages: All
Fee: Free with Museum admission
Look for carts throughout the Museum with information and hands-on artifacts related to regional history and/or science, including furs and skulls, Native Americans, origami and colonial games.

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday; seven days a week Memorial Day through Labor Day. General admission is $7 for adults; $6 for students with valid ID and senior citizens; $6 special military rate with valid military ID; $4 for children 3-17; and free for children under 3. Museum members are admitted free. New Hanover County residents’ free dayis the first Sunday of each month. The Museum is located at 814 Market Street in historic downtown Wilmington, N.C.  More information:

By Melody Brittingham, WDI Intern


About wilmingtondowntown

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