With the first official day of Spring break upon us, its time for our family to let loose and have some local fun. Because this is not a time when our family travels, I’m always challenged to make sure this precious time away from school and spent as a family is fun and relaxing for us all. Over the years we’ve grown to find we’ve got a short list of fun things to do in Raleigh that the kids come back to so I thought now would be great time to share that list with you. Special thanks to the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau for supplying us with these fabulous photos! Make sure to subscribe to their monthly events watch email list for updates on the special events happening around town too. Those unique events always bring in something new to discover. Here’s a few of the Gold family favorites for you to include on your next visit to Raleigh, North Carolina.
Always the first top on our Spring break to do list, if your kids love extreme sports like mine, Triangle Rock Club is just about as cool as it gets. A facility that is home to our local athletes dedicated to rock climbing, it’s also a great activity to share with family and friends. We’ve spent many an afternoon there enjoying the challenge of the walls and free climbing too. Its also the perfect place to host a group event ~ think team building for girl scouts or a birthday part just to name a few. With three locations you can pick the best spot depending on where you might be exploring that day. My family happens to be partial to the Morrisville location due to it’s recent expansion and newly introduced 50 foot wall ~ I told you my people love extreme sports!
My favorite thing about Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve has to be the sense that I’m in a prehistoric forest. Seriously! Located in the neighboring suburb of Cary, the trails down into the lowest point of the reserve surround you with all kinds of plants that make you certain a dinosaur is right around the next bend. With three miles of trails this home to Eastern Hemlock trees is the prefect outing for kids of all ages and they will love a visit to the Stevens Nature Center too. It has wonderful series of exhibits educational, historical, and interactive too.
It wouldn’t be a proper visit to Raleigh with kids if you didn’t spend an afternoon at Pullen Park. Located on the outskirts of the NC State Campus (which is also a beautiful place to stroll around) its steeped in history. Not only is it the oldest public park in North Carolina but its also the 5th oldest operation amusement park in the United States. Outfitted with the typical park basics like fantastic play equipment, ball fields, tennis center, and grounds to explore, you’ll also find the beautifully restored 1911 Gustave A. Dentzel Menagerie Carousel and always charming C.P. Huntington train ride. And if all this isn’t enough there are paddle boat rentals too which are perfect for older kids. A Raleigh institution, its a park for kids of all ages.
So regal and steeped in history, the North Carolina Executive Mansion is an educational option that even local kids may not had had the chance to visit via a school field trip. Called the “People’s Mansion” it’s also home to the governor. Built in 1891, the home and its incredible grades are open to the public year round during scheduled tours and host to seasonal special events too.
While some cities have a museum of art, here in Raleigh the North Carolina Museum of Art excels in outdoor art too. The Rodin Garden shown above is a wonderful introduction to the building’s 30 piece collection. But its the nod to art in nature that makes me love this garden so much. The grounds of the museum have been turned into a 164 acre park full of fascinating sculptures and makes it the perfect picture for the ultimate picnic in the park. With its timeless focus, its also a win win for kids in all age groups and when you span the spectrum it can be hard to find those activities that you know everyone will truly enjoy.
The State Farmers Market is a food lovers delight, young and old. My children absolutely love visiting to explore all the fresh fruits and vegetables, sample the delicious offerings, and we always come home with each of them having chosen something they simply could not leave without. Also home to an extensive section of gardening products, our arms are full of fresh flowers and plants too. With something special influencing the market with every season, its a visit worth making anytime of year and without question this has become a Spring break must do for us.
Historic Yates Mill County Park is home to the last remaining gristmill in Wake County. For a small fee that goes directly to the maintenance of the Mill, you can tour the site and learn all about its history. Sited on a 24 acre pond, you can make an afternoon out of your visit spending time exploring the grounds at your own pace.
As you can see, most of my family finds fun to do in Raleigh is all about being active. Thanks to time spent being raised in the Washington DC suburbs, all of our children have a deep love of history too. When I can combine those two things then its a home run. Of course if you know me, this is not surprising in the least. If I’m not moving I’m not happy and my kids are the same. If you’ve been to Raleigh I’d love to know…
What are your favorite things to do with kids in Raleigh?
I’m blessed to live in the Raleigh suburbs and have all of these wonderful spots so close to home. Because we are so spoiled I’m always looking of same quality activities for kids in other cities too. Check out our Family Travel Pinterest Board for tips like these and so much more from all about the web. And before you head out on your next trip, don’t forget to grab our FREE Organized Travel Printables to get you out the door in organized style. Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!