Wilmington Delaware Riverfront Activities: Family-Friendly Things To Do In Wilmington Delaware’s Riverfront Area

by Joshua

Delaware Travel, Kids

I love visiting Riverfront Wilmington in northern Delaware!

The Wilmington Delaware Riverfront is a popular place to hang out and have fun... or catch the Riverfront Water Taxi.

The Wilmington Delaware Riverfront is a dynamic live-work-play hub right along the Christina River downtown.

My first treks to Riverfront Wilmington were back in 2009, when I temporarily relocated to the area and wanted to check out the local scene. I call Delaware my second home and return at least once a year. I always make a point to visit the Wilmington Riverfront for a walk, a meal, or just to relax.

It seems like there’s something new to check out every time I return to the Riverfront.

Here are a few of my favorite things to do in Wilmington Delaware — particularly along the Riverfront area!


Riverfront Market

The Riverfront Market is always my first stop!

The market unfolds inside a charming 2-story red-brick building that was built in 1900 during the busy industrial period along the river — but has since been refurbished to welcome foodies from all around.

Riverfront Market in Wilmington, Delaware I love dining and shopping at the Riverfront Market.

The sights and smells in the Riverfront Market appeal to your senses…

Those old, large timbers arching high above the exposed red-brick walls and checkerboard tile floor.

The deli meat, cheese, and desert cases… they make me feel like a kid in a candy store!

Oh, wait, there’s candy at Riverfront Market, too! And coffee… and tea… and sushi… and… well, you name it, and they’ve probably got it there!

Plus, there are plenty of indoor dining opportunities to keep you cool during the hot summers and warm from the cold of winter.


Wilmington Riverwalk

The Riverwalk is more than 1 mile long. It’s a peaceful place to run or stroll alongside the picturesque Christina River.

The Wilmington Riverwalk Is a nice place to spend an afternoon.

I like using the scenic path as a place to get my exercise walks in. A brisk walk from the Riverfront Marketplace to Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge and back is one of my favorite ways to get going in the morning.

And it’s fun to watch the kayakers, boaters, and river taxi roll past as I’m working out.

Riverfront Wilmington - Wilmington, Delaware

I also enjoy reading the markers along the Riverwalk.

These historical markers celebrate Wilmington Delaware’s colorful history — including the region’s founding as New Sweden in the 1600s and the city’s critical role in the Underground Railroad, which slaves used to escape from the South before their emancipation in 1863.

Riverfront Wilmington historical markers


Wildlife Refuge & DuPont Environmental Education Center

Walking along the serene Riverwalk, it’s hard to believe that before the Riverfront Alliance was formed in 1995 to redevelop the downtown Wilmington waterfront, this stretch of the Christina River was little more than a forgotten industrial wasteland.

Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge - Wilmington, Delaware

Public and private efforts to revitalize the Christina River have led to the creation of a 212-acre preserve in a freshwater tidal marsh now known as Russell W. Peterson Urban Wildlife Refuge.

It’s a place that the following call home:

  • American bald eagles
  • Belted kingfishers
  • Virginia rails
  • Wood ducks
  • American beavers
  • Eastern painted turtles
  • River otters
  • And many other creatures

The DuPont Environmental Education Center serves as a visitor center for the wildlife refuge — tying together the Riverwalk, the river, and the preserve in a modern facility where you can learn about the plants and creatures that thrive in this urban sanctuary.

The DuPont Environmental Education Center serves as a visitor center for the wildlife refuge.


Riverfront Wilmington River Taxi

The Riverfront Wilmington River Taxi carries up to 29 riders to and from various points of interest along the Christina and Brandywine rivers.

It’s a fun way to relax and enjoy the views for an hour!

River Taxi and Cruise Boats are a fun way to spend time on the water at Riverfront Wilmington, DE

Docks are located at 6 points along the Riverwalk:

  • Dravo Plaza
  • FireStone Roasting House
  • Riverfront Market/Harry’s Seafood Grill
  • Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park
  • Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard
  • Public Docks

By the way, the Christina Riverboat Company also has several special tour packages (including a history tour of the Wilmington Riverfront), and you can also enjoy dinner while sailing on the river during a riverboat cruise.


Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park

A fun place to hang out throughout the year, Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park is the site of many big events and concerts throughout the year, including:

  • DuPont Riverfest
  • Riverfront Blues Festival
  • The Bob Marley Festival

Riverfront Blues Festival at Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park

Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park is, in its name, a nod to history:

  • Thomas Garrett lived in the nearby Quaker Hill neighborhood where slaves escaping from the South found refuge along their trek on Underground Railroad.
  • Harriet Tubman was also a slave abolitionist who helped coordinate a path to freedom for slaves by way of the Underground Railroad.

Tubman-Garrett Park statue - Riverfront Wilmington

The 2.4-acre Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park is located right by Market Street Bridge .

It’s one of my favorite relaxation stopping points by the Riverwalk!

Market Street Bridge - Wilmington, Delaware

Oh, and it’s a great place to catch fireworks on the 4th of July!


Delaware Children’s Museum & Riverwalk Mini Golf

I haven’t hit these 2 newer spots along the Riverwalk yet, but I’d be totally remiss if I didn’t mention them for those who read this and have kids!

The Delaware Children’s Museum is a place where science, math, and technology come alive in an enriching and safe environment. According to the Delaware Children’s Museum website, Delaware is one of a few places that didn’t have a children’s museum until recently — the facility is a state-of-the-art place with countless hands-on learning opportunities for kids.

The Delaware Childrens Museum in Wilmington, Delaware.

Something that I may check out someday if I ever have kids (or if I’m entertaining young nephews and nieces) is the 19-foot Earth Balloon — which teaches kids geology, map skills, and geography!

Adjacent to the Delaware Children’s Museum is the Riverwalk Mini Golf center — with 18 holes of putt-putt action right next to the Riverwalk.

The course features plants that are found along the Riverfront and one-of-a-kind Tom Burke birdhouses! (They are really cool.)

Riverfront Wilmington Tom Burke birdhouse

They also offer milkshakes, Philadelphia water ice, jumbo pretzels, and soft serve ice cream here.

Looks like I’ll be shouting “FORE!” at the Riverwalk Mini Golf course next time I’m in Delaware!


More About Riverfront Wilmington

In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some other resources to help you find fun things to do in Wilmington, Delaware — especially the Riverfront area: