Bear is a small town of about 23,000 residents that’s located in the central portion of the state in New Castle County.
It’s primarily an agricultural area, though over the past few decades, it has experienced significant population growth, primarily fueled by the construction of sprawling new housing developments.
Though many of the town’s residents are farmers, others commute to nearby cities like Wilmington, Dover, and New Castle.
Visitors to Bear have a variety of activity options at their fingertips, including historical sites, state parks, and family-friendly beaches along the Atlantic coast.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Bear, Delaware.
1. The Diamond Man Festival
Even for travelers who aren’t exactly in tip-top shape, experiencing a triathlon is a truly memorable experience.
The Diamond Man Festival is an annual event that features swimming, cycling, and running sections. It’s open to amateur and professional athletes alike.
The event begins and ends in Lums Pond State Park. It includes great food and lots of fun activities for those traveling with little ones.
Previous visitors have noted that the festival was the kind of event that could easily occupy a whole day. Many choose to pack picnic lunches and enjoy the park’s natural areas during lulls in the action.
2. Go Ape Treetop Adventures
The Lums Pond State Park is located on Howell School Road in Bear. It is one of the area’s premier destinations for outdoorsy travelers looking to experience the great outdoors without driving to more distant state parks.
Go Ape Treetop Adventures is primarily a zip lining attraction, but they offer lots of other activities as well, like races, obstacle courses, and games.
Depending on which package you choose, time-on-site usually lasts for two to three hours. There are activities appropriate for most ages and levels of physical ability.
Prices are reasonable, but there are age, height, and weight restrictions, so check online before heading out.
3. Two Claws
Cajun cuisine is full of fresh ingredients and vibrant flavors, but it’s often time-consuming to prepare properly, especially if you’re trying it at home for the first time.
That’s where Two Claws on Quintilio Drive in Bear comes in.
Though the restaurant has only been open since 2019, it’s attracted a loyal following. It is well-known for its comfy atmosphere, ample portion sizes, and reasonable prices.
The menu includes lots of seafood, like crabs and shrimp. Though they’re loaded with flavor, they’re downright messy to eat, so wearing that new white Gucci shirt might not be a wise apparel choice.
4. Becks Pond Park
For such a small town, Bear has a surprising number of local parks, and most of them are just a few blocks from the downtown area.
Becks Pond Park is located just northeast of the junction of Salem Church Road and Pulaski Highway. It is usually abuzz with walkers, picnickers, and anglers, especially on holidays and weekends during the warm spring and summer months.
Swimming isn’t allowed, but kayaking and canoeing are. Though there’s limited shore access, the pond is a great place to introduce young ones to fishing.
To avoid the crowd, consider an early morning or weekday visit.
5. Dover Days Festival
Dover Days Festival is more of a tradition than it is an event, and it’s been going strong in the military town for nearly nine decades.
The festival originally started as a small flower show. Over the years, it has grown significantly and now includes live entertainment, arts and crafts, family-friendly games and activities, and tons of delectable food choices.
For those new to Delaware, Dover is just a short drive from Bear. The festival would be a great first stop for those looking to get the most out of their limited vacation time and hard-earned travel dollars.
6. Whereabouts Café
Whereabouts Café is located in Peoples Plaza in nearby Newark and is a favorite stop-off for harried vacationers in need of caffeine and sustenance.
They pride themselves on using only the freshest beans, which make for amazing coffee. They also offer an impressive selection of fresh baked goods like artisan bread, bagels, and muffins.
Don’t expect prepackaged food or powdered eggs, as pretty much everything they use is delivered fresh daily.
They’re open at the crack of dawn from 6 AM to 3 PM during the week, and from 7 to 3 on the weekend. They have comfy seats and fast Wi-Fi.
7. Iron Hill Science Center
For many travelers, it’s tough finding entertaining, engaging, and educational activities for young ones, but Delaware has a number of attractions that fit the bill.
The Iron Hill Science Center is located in Newark and is usually a highlight for many travelers, both young and old alike.
The center’s exhibits touch on local wildlife and ecology, dinosaurs, science, and technology. Much of what you’ll see is interactive, which means it’ll stimulate inquisitive minds.
The center hosts a variety of special programs and events throughout the year, so consider checking out the calendar of events on their website before heading out.
8. Fred Rust Ice Arena
The Fred Rust Ice Arena is located on the University of Delaware campus on South College Avenue in Newark.
Though the arena often hosts professional skating events, it’s periodically open to the public and is a fun and invigorating activity that’s a big hit for all ages.
For those who’ll be in the area for a while, they offer figure skating and hockey leagues, and even lessons for those who need a little bit of guidance before hitting the ice on their own.
Give them a call or check their website for their schedule or to buy tickets for an event.
9. Newark Reservoir
Newark Reservoir is the largest source of drinking water for the city. According to some estimations, it holds more than 250 million gallons.
The reservoir is also a big attraction for city dwellers looking to experience nature without driving to state parks in other counties. It offers a variety of recreation options that have been known to keep visitors busy for an entire day.
The facility’s amenities include walking trails, seating areas, and lots of easy shore access to the reservoir.
The area is also home to a variety of commonly seen bird species, including raptors, herons, and migratory fowl.
10. Hale-Byrnes House
The Hale-Byrnes House is located on Stanton Christiana Road in Newark and was built in the mid-18th century around the time of the Revolutionary War.
The home is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was once the residence of a man named Samuel Hale, who played a significant role in the founding of the nation.
Most visitors spend about an hour on-site checking out the period art, furniture, and historical memorabilia that are important on both the local and national levels.
The house’s hours are limited and it’s only open seasonally, so ask around before making a special trip.
11. The Hagley Museum and Library
Like many of Delaware’s historic attractions, the Hagley Museum and Library is largely funded by the DuPont family’s philanthropic organizations.
The sprawling compound stretches for more than 200 acres along scenic Brandywine Creek and includes historic buildings, gardens, and artwork that once belonged to the wealthy family.
The indoor museum and library are full of historically significant artifacts and memorabilia; much of it dates back more than two centuries, to the time before the Revolutionary War.
It’s a great place to get up to speed quickly on the area’s past, and the cost of admission is reasonably inexpensive.
12. Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts
With so many attractions dating back hundreds of years, the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts is a refreshing change of pace for area visitors who’ve had their fill of old buildings and even older history.
The center is located on South Madison Street in Wilmington and has been open for more than four decades.
Unlike many museums of its kind, the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts mainly focuses on showcasing the works of local and regional artists, as opposed to amassing a vast collection of works.
That means their exhibits are constantly changing and full of vibrant pieces done in a variety of mediums.
13. Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge
Delaware has always been more agricultural and rural than many of the neighboring states. Despite its small size, it’s home to a number of state parks and wildlife refuges.
Unlike most of its counterparts, the Russell W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge is located in an urban area near Wilmington’s downtown.
It’s an attractive green space that’s a big hit with city dwellers looking to temporarily escape their hectic lives.
Much of the refuge is along the Delaware River and is home to a variety of animals, especially birds that tend to congregate where the land and river meet.
14. Delaware Museum of Natural History
Located on Kennett Pike in Wilmington, the Delaware Museum of Natural History is another one of Delaware’s most visited attractions, and it’s an easy drive for those staying in Bear.
The museum’s exhibits focus on animals and the natural world, and many of them were specifically designed with young visitors in mind.
The cost of admission is reasonable, making it an excellent choice for families traveling on budgets. Most guests spend a few hours on-site.
During the warm spring and summer months, the museum hosts some outdoor events, and during the holidays, there are celebrations and activities as well.
15. Delaware Children’s Museum
Delaware certainly doesn’t have a lack of kid-friendly attractions, and the Delaware Children’s Museum in Wilmington is one of the most popular.
Appropriate for kids of all ages, it usually ends up being a bit hit with parents, who appreciate its extensive collection and reasonable admission price.
The museum’s exhibits touch on science, art, history, space, and mathematics, to name a few. Most of them are hands-on, making them perfect for little ones in need of engagement and mental stimulation.
The museum tends to draw crowds on weekends, especially during periods of inclement weather, so consider a weekday visit if possible.