If you've ever wanted to get lost in a cornfield, Maze Craze in Hallsboro is worth a visit. Every year, Maze Craze designs and cuts a themed maze out of their hybrid corn stalks which stay green most of the season. Wander through 13 acres of twists and turns as you hunt for the elusive exit, and on the way, stop by the checkpoints for a chance to win a prize. After you succeed, you can spend the day participating in autumnal activities. Learn about the story of Spookley the Square Pumpkin, take a ride on a hay-covered wagon, or play on Hop-Along bouncers that are only limited by your own belief in gravity.
A personalized fitness assessment determines which areas of the gymnastic sciences you need the most help in, allowing you to focus on problem subjects during your month of no-holds-barred gym access. O2's facilities play host to a variety of playground equipment for the adult-child at heart. Burn your calories in style on more than 100 pieces of individual cardio equipment. Each apparatus is decked out with a personal entertainment screen that doubles as a futuristic magazine tray or vertical forehead-rest. In addition, a full selection of free weights and strength machines allows you to tone and sculpt with Michelangelic precision.
At The Children's Museum of Wilmington, kids have so much fun they won't even know they're learning. In each and every hands on educational exhibit, children take a central role, scanning purchases in the grocery store, giving teddy bears their yearly checkups, and experimenting with art-making media in the studio. Children are allowed to roam freely, as they direct their own learning experiences. Here's what you need to know before you go.
Size: 17,000 square feet
Eye Catcher: Ahoy Wilmington! features a pirate ship, where kids can fire the cannon, swab the deck, and dig for treasure
Permanent Mainstay: the Toothasaurus Dental Exhibit keeps kids up-to-date on dental health as they care for a dinosaur's enormous teeth
Don't Miss: the Grocery Store, where tots can role-play as customers or staff, even filling orders for the play diner upstairs
Hidden Gem: at the Forest Friends Toddler Treehouse, kids four and under don animal costumes, carom down slides, and put together puzzles
Pro Tip: the museum hosts birthday parties that include an educational activity and free admission for all guests
Special Programs: in addition to the hands-on exhibits, the museum hosts activities such as preschool science experiments and cooking classes for kids
Noni Bacca Winery wears more medals than a star athlete, a decorated soldier, or a door-to-door medal salesman who wears his inventory around his neck. "The first thing you?re likely to notice after the warm greeting is a wall covered with wine bottles all sporting Olympic-like haul of medals," wrote a Star-News reporter of his visit to the Wilmington winery and tasting room. All told, there are 94 medals, each of which attests to the quality of the reds and whites within the bottles.
Noni Bacca Winery's stellar track record isn't a surprise, considering that owners Toni and Ken Incorvaia literally have winemaking in their blood. Both come from European families with long winemaking traditions: Ken's in Sicily and Toni's in Bulgaria. The couple draws on their traditional winemaking background and modern techniques to produce nearly 70 varietals on the premises. For a decadent treat, try a dessert wine such as the Chilly Bear Icewine, an intensely sweet riesling with notes of apricot and lychee.
Captain Brendan Burke is an expert at navigating the waters of the Eastern Seaboard. In addition to competitively racing sailboats in the past, he has spent his life fishing the waters from Massachusetts all the way down to the Florida Keys. With Wilmington Offshore Fishing, Brendan shares his passion for the ocean and maritime sport by welcoming small groups aboard his 28-foot Alemarle center-console vessel?the Sea Wolf?and taking them on 4- to 12-hour fishing charters. These charters usually stay relatively close to Wrightsville Beach, although Captain Burke can lead passengers as far as 100 miles away from the North Carolina shoreline.
Captain Burke teaches amateur anglers the intricacies of fishing by showing them how to rig baits, sharpen hooks, and mimic the call of the wild tuna. However, he also encourages passengers to simply relax, fishing rod in-hand as they enjoy the peace and quiet. The waters teem with marlin, snapper, grouper, seabass, mackerel, and more, providing plenty of opportunities for casual enthusiasts as well as serious fisherman seeking a new trophy.
The photogenic port city of Wilmington, North Carolina, may look familiar to visitors—it’s been the setting of various TV shows and films, among them Dawson’s Creek and Cape Fear. The pristine, natural surroundings are the ideal setting for Mahanaim Adventures, a family-run business helmed by Don and Diane Harty. They make it their job to showcase the natural splendor with which the area flourishes, such as salt marshes, loggerhead sea turtles, great blue herons, and 2,000-year-old bald cypress trees whose cousins' branches are actually covered by toupees. Together, the duo harnesses their extensive outdoor adventure experiences—and even CPR and first-aid certifications—to lead a wide range of nature jaunts, helping participants explore the picturesque rivers, shark tooth–laden islands, and verdant woods during kayaking and backpacking trips.