November 5, 2017

NC State Farmer's Market

Description: local, fresh produce, breads and cheeses (partial shade) 
Parking: provided 
Ages: 0-Adult 
Cost: FREE 
Hours: Mon-Sat, 
5:00am - 6:00pm & Sun 8:00am - 6:00pm
Notes: Over 45,000 square feet of fresh produce, 
meats, cheeses, bakery items, plants & N.C. wines. Also, shops with NC crafts, custom picture framing, soaps, and lotions. Have lunch at the a market grill.
Website: http://www.ncagr.gov/markets/facilities/markets/raleigh/

November 4, 2017

Downtown Hillsborough


S. Churton Street, Hillsborough, NC - (919-732-1270)
Description: shops, restaurants, trails (full sun) 
Parking: on street / metered or pay lots. Free on Sundays. 
Ages: 0-Adult 
Cost: FREE 
Hours: Most shops run Mon-Sat, 11am-5pm and close after 2pm on Sunday. 
Notes: Restaurants, shops, festivals and lots of good people watching. See the events calendar and the riverwalk.
Website: https://www.hillsboroughnc.gov/community/park-facilities/riverwalk/

November 2, 2017

North Wake Landfill Park


9300 Deponie Drive, Raleigh, NC - (919-856-6670)
Description: park, hill top views, trails (full sun)
Parking: provided
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Notes: This used to be a land fill, but the land has been returned to nature. What used to be a mountain of garbage is now the best vista in Raleigh. Enjoy the views, 
hikes and modern playground.
Website: http://www.wakegov.com/parks/northwake/Pages/default.aspx

June 29, 2017

Marbles Kid's Museum



201 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC - (919-834-4040)
Description: discovery museum, open indoor play, day camps
Parking: on street metered or paid garage

Ages: FREE (1 and under), $5 (per adult & child)
Hours: Mon-Sun (9am-5pm),
Open until 7pm each Thursday & on First Friday
Notes: The museum tends to be less busy on Monday mornings. Plan to spend at least 2 hours. Bring your own food or eat at the café / gift shop. I would recommend parking in a covered lot as opposed to on the street. The meter always runs out too soon and parking tickets are expensive.
Website: marbleskidsmuseum.org

Indian Creek Park


101 Town Hall Drive, Morrisville, NC  - (919-463-7110)
Description: park, gated playground, trails (partial shade)
Parking: provided
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Notes: When you have more than one small child, gated parks are a good find.

Downtown Apex


220 N Salem St, Apex, NC - (919-249-3402)
Description: shops and restaurants (full sun)
Parking: on street / metered or pay lots. Free on Sundays.
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: Most shops run Mon-Sat, 11am-5pm and close after 2pm on Sunday.
Notes: Restaurants, shops festivals and lots of good people watching. See the events calendar and don't miss the old train yard.
Website: www.apexnc.org/428/Special-Events-Festivals

June 27, 2017

Three Bears Acres


711 Beaver Dam Road, Creedmoor NC - (919-609-9967)
Description: Outdoor Recreation Theme Park (full sun / partial shade)
Parking: on site

Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: based on age and group size

Hours: seasonal hours

Notes: This is a commitment money wise, but there is nothing like it. Activities include: toboggan slides, tree houses, a 68ft jumping pillow, paddle boats and obstacle courses. Prepare to spend hours here. You can bring a picnic or eat at the concession stand. This is a seasonal destination. Dress accordingly. We like to go in the fall when the weather is cooler. Love the pumpkin cannon!
Website: http://www.threebearsacres.com/

Cary Mall Play Area


1105 Walnut Street, Cary, NC - (919-467-0145)
Description: indoor play
Parking: on site
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: Mall Hours
Notes: You can enter through Dave & Busters Arcade or the adjacent mall entrance. There is a bathroom just inside Dave & Busters. There is a mall train which takes cash only. (
The indoor carousel has been removed.)
Website:  http://www.shopcarytownecentermall.com/

Triangle Town Center Play Area


5959 Triangle Town Blvd., Raleigh, NC - (919-792-2222)
Description: indoor play
Parking: on site
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: Mall Hours
Notes: Enter through Sears. 

Website: http://www.triangletowncenter.com/ 

Umstead Forest


8801 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC - (919-571-4170)
Description:  hiking trails, ponds & shade (shaded)
Parking: on site

Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE

Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Notes: Bring mosquito repellant in the summer. Great fall hikes. Some portions are stroller friendly.
Website: https://www.ncparks.gov/william-b-umstead-state-park

JC Raulston Arboretum



4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, NC - (919-515-3132)
Description: botanical garden (partial shade)
Parking: provided

Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE

Hours: open 7 days a week (8am-8pm)

Notes: Another beautiful garden to stroll in with your kiddies. This garden has lots of interesting plants, a Koi pond and a big shady lawn to run around in. Most areas are stroller friendly. Open all year round. Part of the NC State Campus.
Website: http://www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum/visit/visit.html

Yates Mill



4620 Lake Wheeler Road, Raleigh, NC - (919-856-6675)
Description: historic mill and park (partial shade)
Parking: on site
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE admittance / Mill tours: $5 (adults), $3 (kids & seniors)
Hours: open 7 days a week (8am to sunset)
Notes: Operating since 1756, Yates Mill is a beautiful, well maintained historic site. The mile long hike around the mill pond is very pretty, however you will need to bring your baby slings or toddler packs. Only the bridge section of the trail is stroller friendly. The visitor center has a small play area and books. Bring cash if you want to tour inside the mill and check the website for tour dates. Picnic tables available. Open year round.

Website: http://www.yatesmill.org/

Hemlock Bluffs


2616 Kildaire Farm Rd, Cary, NC  - (919-387-5980)
Description: Nature center & trails (shaded)
Parking: provided
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Notes: Beautiful park, but heads up, lots of stairs. This is not a stroller friendly walk. Also, bring your mosquito repellant. Sometimes you can hear music from the Koka Booth Amphitheater down the road.

Website: http://www.townofcary.org/recreation-enjoyment/parks-greenways-environment/parks/stevens-nature-center-at-hemlock-bluffs-nature-preserve

Apex Nature Park


2600 Evans Road Apex, NC  - (919-249-3402)
Description: park, playground, trails (full sun)
Parking: provided
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Notes: 

Kelly Road Park


1609 Kelly Road, Apex, NC - (919-249-3402)
Description: park, playground, trails (full sun / evening shade)
Parking: on site
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE

Hours: sunrise to sunset
Notes:
Website: https://www.apexnc.org/799/Kelly-Road-Park

June 25, 2017

XL Sports World


1016 Investment Blvd, Apex, NC - (919-387-2955)
Description: indoor open play, day camps & team sports
Parking: on site
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: see online 

Hours: see online
Notes: Great open play for young kids. See schedule for days and times.
Website: https://www.xlapex.com/

Umstead Park


399 Umstead Road, Chapel Hill, NC - (919-968-2743)
Description: park (full sun / evening shade)
Parking: on site
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE

Hours: sunrise to sunset
Notes:
Website: http://www.townofchapelhill.org/town-hall/departments-services/parks-recreation/facilities-greenways-parks/parks/umstead-park
 

Hunter Street Park


1250 Ambergate Station, Apex, NC  - (919-249-3402)
Description: park, gated playground, (full sun)
Parking: provided
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Notes: 

Harris Park


2112 County Park Drive New Hill, NC  - (919-387-4342)
Description: park, playground, fishing (partial shade)
Parking: provided
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Notes: Harris park is adjacent to the Shearon Harris Reservoir which also serves as a cooling pond for the Harris power plant.

Play Days


441 West Williams, Apex, NC - (919-762-6494)
Description: open indoor play / scheduled classes
Parking: on site

Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: affordable per visit and extended passes

Hours: see online

Notes: An oasis for parents and kids alike. Coffee for grownups and many spaces of open play for kids. Come in out of the weather and play here.
Website: https://www.playdaysnc.com/

June 23, 2017

Fearrington Village



2000 Fearrington Village Center, Pittsboro NC - (919-542-2121)
Description: shops, restaurants, garden and farm (full sun)
Parking: on site

Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE

Hours: Tues-Sat (10am-7pm), Sun (10am-4pm) Shops closed Monday.

Notes: Come see the belted goats and cows and stroll through the gardens and shops. Enjoy a treat at The Belted Goat cafe and let the kids explore the grounds. Most areas are stroller friendly. Only one bathroom. It's located in the cafe, but there is no changing table. Open year round. Check the website for seasonal events.
Website: http://www.fearrington.com/village/theshops.asp

Duke Campus



Duke University, Durham, NC - (919-684-8111)
Description: outdoor discovery (full sun)
Parking: Bryan Center Parking Deck, $2 per hour
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE

Hours: sunrise to sunset
Notes: With 8,610 acres to explore, I have focused on Duke West Campus for this entry. West Campus features excellent examples of Collegiate Gothic architecture, including "The Quads" and Duke Chapel. Stepping inside the Duke Chapel is like stepping into a European cathedral. All are welcome, however, make sure the kiddies are fed and have had their naps so they are on their best behavior. It is a quiet atmosphere inside the chapel. There are fewer crowds during late spring and summer months. Most areas are stroller friendly. Walking distance from the Duke Gardens.

Websites: http://map.duke.edu/ and http://www.chapel.duke.edu/visit.html

June 22, 2017

Buckwheat Farms

2700 Holland Rd, Apex, NC  - (919-303-0339)
Description: berry farm and small zoo (full sun)
Parking: provided
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: free entry, products vary
Hours: Check online or call ahead. Crops are weather dependent.
Notes: One of my favorite places to visit. Pick berries or buy them pre-picked. Products include: Strawberries, blueberries, honey, mushrooms, ice cream, jams and BBQ. Visit the horses, goats and peacocks. One of them is named "Kevin." 

White Oak Greenway


8217 NC-1600 Apex, NC  - (919-469-4061)
Description: boardwalk and forest trail (full sun)
Parking: on street
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Notes: Path shared with bikes. See trail maps for various entry points.

New Hope Valley Railway


3900 Bonsal Road, New Hill, NC  - (919-396-5833)
Description:  outdoor train museum and railway (full sun)
Parking: provided
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE entry / pre-order train tickets online
Hours: see website to plan your visit http://www.triangletrain.com/schedule/
Notes: bathrooms in the train yard, but no bathrooms on the train.

June 21, 2017

Kelly Glen Park


1700 Kelly Glen Dr, Apex, NC  - (919-249-3400)
Description: playground (full sun / evening shade)
Parking: on street / small cul de sac
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Notes: Quiet and not crowded

Clairmont Park


801 E Chatham St Apex, NC  - (919-249-3400)
Description: playground (partial shade)
Parking: on street
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Notes: 

Crowder District Park



Crowder Park Drive, Apex, NC - (919-662-2850)
Description: park and playground (partial shade)
Parking: on site

Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE

Hours: sunrise to sunset

Notes: Come see the geese and turtle at the pond boardwalk.
Website: http://www.wakegov.com/parks/crowder/Pages/default.aspx

Jack Smith Park


9725 Penny Rd, Raleigh, NC - (919-469-4061)
Description: splash pad, playground (full sun)
Parking: on site
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Notes: 

Waverly Place


2001 Kildaire Farm Road Cary, NC - (919-859-5818)
Description: restaurants, water features, splash pad, gated playground

(full sun / evening shade)
Parking: on site
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: sunrise to sunset - events in the evening
Notes: summer concert series, Christmas events


American Tobacco District


318 Blackwell St, Durham, NC - (919-433-1566)
Description: restaurants, water features, historic campus

(full sun / evening shade)
Parking: city parking - see parking map: https://americantobaccocampus.com/parking
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: sunrise to sunset - events in the evening
Notes: summer concert series, Christmas events

Website: https://americantobaccocampus.com/splash

Bass Lake


Description: fishing lake, forest walk, gift shop (partial shade)
Parking: provided

Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE entrance, inquire for equipment rental
Hours: open 7 days a week, 8am - sunset, year-round

Notes: 
Website: http://www.hollyspringsnc.us/320/Bass-Lake-Park

Lake Crabtree



1400 Aviation Parkway, Morrisville, NC - (919-460-3390)
Description: park (full shade)
Parking: on site
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Notes: Two shaded playground areas, small lake beach, canoe rental and fishing.

Website: http://www.wakegov.com/parks/lakecrabtree/Pages/default.aspx

September 15, 2014

North Carolina Museum of Art



2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC - (919-839-NCMA)
Description: art museum (indoors) and museum park (full sun)
Parking: on site
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: Tues–Thur (10am–5pm), Fri (10am–9pm), Sat–Sun (10am–5pm), Closed Mondays, Museum park open 7 days a week (sunrise to sunset)
Notes:

Website: http://ncartmuseum.org/visit/plan_your_visit

January 24, 2011

Fred G. Bond Metro Park



801 High House Road, Cary, NC - (919-469-4100)
Description: park (partial shade)
Parking: on site
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Notes: With 310 acres to explore, Bond Park is one of the largest in Wake County. It includes a playground, baseball fields, a lake, canoe and boat rentals, fishing and access to the Cary greenway system. (stroller friendly) Lot's of ducks and geese to feed. A great park for winter sledding. Don't miss the arts and craft festivals held in April and August each year.

Website: townofcary.org

October 13, 2010

Pullen Park



398 Ashe Ave, Raleigh, NC - (919-831-6468)
Description: park (partial shade)
Parking: on site
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE entry, ride tickets $1 (13 months - adult), free (1 & under)
Hours: open 7 days a week (10:00 am - 9:00 pm) rides are seasonal
Notes: This historic park (open since 1887) was renovated in 2012 to the tune of $6 million dollars. Attractions include a carousel, miniature train, concession stand, duck pond, greenways, gardens and playgrounds.

Website: http://www.raleighnc.gov/parks/content/ParksRec/Articles/Parks/Pullen.html

October 11, 2010

Southpoint Mall Play Area



6910 Fayetteville Road, Durham, NC - (919-572-6450)
Description: indoor play
Parking: on site
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: Mon-Sat (10am-9pm), Sun (12pm-7pm)
Notes: Very colorful and creative. One of the nicer mall play areas. Enter through JC Penny for the closest access. Family bathrooms and nursing rooms are located in the center of the mall, on the upper level, near the food court. The elevator is also at the center of the mall, near Williams-Sonoma. Don't miss the outdoor fountains and the children's reading area at Barnes and Noble. Pick up a free balloon at the Nordstroms children's shoe department.

Website: http://www.streetsatsouthpoint.com/

Marla Dorrel Park



111 Thurston Drive Cary, NC - (919-469-4061)
Description: park (partial shade)
Parking: on site
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE
Hours: sunrise to sunset

Notes: This park is a group of 3 playgrounds with picnic areas and climbing sculptures. It is shady and well maintained. One of our favorites. Access to the Cary greenway system. (stroller friendly)
Website: http://kidstogethercary.org/

Ayr Mount and Poet's Walk


376 St. Mary's Road, Hillsborough, NC - (919-732-6886)
Description: restored plantation home and grounds (partial shade)
Parking: on site
Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE entry / home tours $10 per person
Hours: open 7 days a week / Jan-Dec (9am–5pm), March-Oct (9am–6pm),

May-Aug (9am–7pm), June-July (9am–8pm)
Notes: Ayr Mount, named by it's original owner from Ayr, Scotland, is a restored 1815 plantation home and is part of the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust of North Carolina. Take a guided tour of the home or just enjoy the grounds. Stroll the 1 mile Poet's Walk trail. Bring baby slings or tot packs if you have them, as this is an unpaved trail. Beautiful fall colors. Check the website for more history on Ayr Mount and for tour times.
Website:
http://www.presnc.org/Travel/Ayr-Mount-Hillsborough

October 7, 2010

Sarah P. Duke Gardens

















426 Anderson Street, Durham, NC - (919-684-3698)
Description: botanical garden (partial shade)
Parking: $2 per hour. Bring $1 bills as pay stations don't make change.

Ages: 0-Adult
Cost: FREE

Hours: Mon-Fri (9am-6pm) Sat (9am-5pm), Sun (noon to 5pm)

Notes: This is a beautiful garden, but it is mostly unpaved trail. Some parts are stroller friendly, but you might want to bring a baby sling. Feed the ducks, play on the south lawn or take pictures in the Asiatic Garden. Bring a blanket and have a picnic or eat at the Terrace Cafe. Open all year round. Part of Duke Campus.
Website: http://www.hr.duke.edu/dukegardens/