Top 10 North Carolina Beaches for Families

North Carolina is home to top notch colleges, bustling cities, fun towns tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains, and some of the best beaches on the East Coast. Most of these beaches are a far cry from the bustling carnival-like atmosphere of the boardwalk towns in the Jersey Shore, and others take a bit more effort to get to than you might expect, but they’re definitely worth it. Wild horses, cute seaside towns, and a dose of southern charm make North Carolina a great beach destination for you and your family.

Keep reading for our top picks for family-friendly beaches in North Carolina.

Free Things to Do with Philly Kids in July

Philly families have lots to celebrate this July as the city comes alive with summertime fun. It all starts with a bang, and a boom, and a sparkle and a sizzle as Philly parents and kids celebrate America's birthday. There are plenty of free events that acknowledge the occasion. From free admission to museums to free parties, there is something for everyone in the family.

Later in the month, schedule time to watch a free outdoor movie or listen to a free concert under the stars. Avoid the summer slide by keeping young minds sharp with a trip to Big Blue Marble Bookstore or Doylestown Bookshop for a storytime session or check out educational programming opportunities at your local library in the city or in the suburbs. Dive into scientific exploration by climbing through a giant heart or experiencing the power of air at Franklin Institute. Ready for some fresh air? Head into nature by hiking the trails at Valley Forge Historic Park, discovering facts about the honey bee, or searching for backyard bugs.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your calendar, text some friends, and get ready for free July fun in Philly!

Island Beach State Park: A Haven for Nature-Loving Beachgoers

There's more to the Jersey Shore than rides, salt water taffy, and (let's face it) crowds. Island Beach State Park (IBSP) may well be one of NJ most beautiful and unique beaches, drawing thousands of nature enthusiasts every year.

Though you'd get to Island Beach from the same Garden State Parkway exit as Seaside Heights, the two beaches are worlds apart. Ten-mile long Island Beach is situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay and is one of the last few undeveloped barrier beaches on the North Atlantic Coast. From hiking to bike riding, and, of course, swimming, here are some things outdoorsy families will love about Island Beach.

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Ice Cream, Aladdin, Balloon Festival June 23-24

Philly families, it's the first official weekend in summer! With longer days offering more daylight hours, there is more time for fun. As always, Mommy Poppins Philadelphia has rounded up some of the best activities to soak up the carefree days of summer.

Festivals are in full gear. Embrace the Swedish culture with dancing, music, games, crafts, and delicious pastries at Midsommarfest. Enjoy refreshing ice cream while being entertained by jugglers, live animal demonstrations, and trapeze artists at New Castle County Ice Cream Festival. Honor the legacy of African ancestors with Juneteenth Musicfest & Parade. Celebrate Philly Family Pride by attending a picnic and parade at Lovett Park. Or, splurge with a visit to the suburbs to see the hot air balloons overtake southern Chester County during the Chester County Balloon Festival.

If your family is on a budget, be sure to check out all the free activities this weekend and throughout the remainder of the month. Browse our event calendar for even more ideas! For now, continue reading for our top picks.

Say Hello to Japan at Please Touch Museum's Latest Intercultural Exhibit

The newest traveling exhibit to come to the Please Touch Museum has come a long way to enrich the educational experience with a trilingual space that explores the cultural experience of traditional and contemporary Japan. Hello from Japan! features tons of hands-on activities and is one of the most digital exhibits to travel to the museum so far. I had a chance to check it out with my two kids (aged 5 and 1). Hello from Japan! invites visitors to explore how traditional Japanese aesthetics co-exists harmoniously with the contemporary.

Cabo with Kids! All Inclusive Decadence at Mexico's Grand Velas Resort Los Cabos

Sometimes as parents we're happy to plan the family vacation around theme parks and cartoon characters; other times we want to be pampered like a real princess, not a Disney princess. A vacation that provides grown-up decadence and luxury with fun and entertainment for kids (including time supervised by someone else)—that is the ultimate family getaway. And that is what we found in Los Cabos at Grand Velas' new seaside resort.

Outdoor Beer Gardens Where Kids Can Play While Parents Enjoy a Cold One

Sitting outside on a hot day with a cold brew screams "summer." But for parents with young kids, relaxing with a beer doesn't always come easy. However, the Philly area's rich beer culture can be enjoyed, even if it isn't a date night out. The following pop-up beer gardens are a lot of fun - yes, even with the kids in tow. More of a wine drinker? Then check out these family-friendly wineries in the Delaware Valley. 

Ocean City: Family-Friendly Summer Fun on the Jersey Shore

Summertime at the Jersey Shore means beach days and boardwalk rides, mini-golf and arcade games, topped off with fresh seafood dinners or pizza and ice cream. Shore towns from Sandy Hook to Cape May offer the best bets for family vacation fun, and Ocean City, a classic family beach destination at the southern shore, is one of our favorites.

Nicknamed America's Family Resort, Ocean City draws families from across New Jersey and Pennsylvania to enjoy its wide beaches, kid-centered boardwalk, and family events. Read on for details about visiting Ocean City with kids. And for more beach vacation ideas, check out our inside look at southern shore gems Wildwood and Cape May

Father's Day Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Museums, Nature, Festivals June 16-17

Believe it or not, it's already the middle of June, summer is just about here, and it's time to celebrate dear old Dad. Thankfully, this weekend's event calendar is jam-packed with great ideas for dads, whether they're music lovers, Harry Potter fans, or outdoorsy types.

Take Dad to a concert and rock out to oldies but goodies. Explore the Philadelphia Museum of Arts which features a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt or get free admission for Dad to see the dinosaurs at the Academy of Natural Science. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy participating in a special nature scavenger hunt at Norristown Farm Park, camping out at Riverbend Environmental Education Center or fishing at Green Lane Park. For a real treat, splurge on a helicopter ride at the American Helicopter Museum, take a Father's Day cruise, or ride down the shore for some free fun for Dad at Jenkinson's.

Other weekend excitement includes Germantown's Juneteenth Festival, Winterthur's annual Enchanted Summer Day, Ross Mill Farm's Piggypalooza, or the Islamic Heritage Festival which is part of PECO's Multicultural Series held at Penn's Landing.

No matter how you spend your weekend, Mommy Poppins Philadelphia wishes a very Happy Father's Day to all the guys out there who make a difference in the life of a child!


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