9 Family-Friendly Summer Activities (That Are Still Possible) in the Triangle
From cool treats to backyard sporting
COVID-19 has changed our reality in 2020, and this season—normally a fun-filled break for families—wasn’t spared. But fun and lively dog days are still possible, though. We've included family-friendly options below:
Get some ice cream to go.
Don’t want to linger inside? No problem.
Mr. Cool Ice Cream
1011 Beaver Creek Commons Dr., Apex
Experience a bowl of Thai-style ice cream rolls at Mr. Cool Ice Cream, a new treat shop in Apex. To order this unique dessert, choose from a diverse menu of combinations, or make your own by choosing an ice cream base and adding a mixer and topping. Then have fun watching the process of blending, flattening and rolling ice cream into perfection.
Maple View Farm
6900 Rocky Ridge Rd., Hillsborough
Indulge in farm fresh, hormone- and antibiotic-free ice cream at Maple View Farm, one of Yahoo.com's "Best spots for ice cream in the U.S." Visit the farm or pick some up at local stores that sell the sweet treat (locations on the website). The main site has been offering drive-up service.
Cary, Durham, Garner, Raleigh and Wake Forest
Enjoy frozen custard concoctions such as the Carolina Concrete, frozen custard cakes and the flavor of the day.
Up your gardening game.
Outdoors, socially distant—what a wonderful activity gardening is during the spread of an airborne virus! Early summer, through mid-July or so, is a perfect time to plant a host of vegetables, like eggplant, summer squash, cucumbers, peppers—and tomatoes, which thrive in the abundant sunlight of June and early July. Once the calendar closes in on August, get your fall garden ready: lettuce, spinach, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, which require you to plant deeper in drier soil. Plant rows a week or so apart to avoid a wasteful surplus, and revel in the fact that you needn’t visit the supermarket to enjoy fresh produce.
Go on a hike (and keep your distance from other hikers).
N.C. PARKS AND RECREATION
North Carolina's state parks are open again. During Phase 2, most trails, restroom buildings, boat ramps, and campgrounds are open.
Turn your backyard into a sports venue.
When the parks are closed and you long for the great outdoors, it’s time for some DIY adventure. Here are three ways to transform your backyard into a sports complex while also shopping local:
If your yard has two or more trees, tie ropes to them, attach anchors, and hone your balancing skills. Popular brands for obstacle courses include Sterling and Black Diamond. You can always purchase equipment directly from the companies, but you can also purchase adventure gear and accessories from Great Outdoor Provision Co. (locations in Raleigh and Chapel Hill), a small chain of adventure equipment stores in North Carolina and Virginia. Whatever gear you buy, we recommend you keep your makeshift course safely near the ground.
Play It Again Sports (6325-39 Falls of Neuse Rd., Raleigh) has a local location, but you can also purchase anything you need online. Find balls, cleats, goals for your yard, and even shorts in both used and new condition.
OK. So this one’s not as high-impact as the previous offerings. But some of us need a game that doesn’t require putting down our beer. If you invest in your own cornhole set, it’s important to note that some of our most prominent sports teams (outside of the great sport of cornhole) have their own sets: The Carolina Panthers have one in the NFL Shop, and the Carolina Hurricanes also have a few in NHL's official online store.
Learn a new skill.
The Charlotte-born company SkillPop, also in Raleigh and known for classes in a variety of fields, has switched to a virtual format over the past few months. This summer, take a class like “Instagram Workshop,” “Makeup Made Easy,” “Home Decorating Basics,” “How to Care for Houseplants,” or any of the season-specific ones available at skillpop.com.