9 Family-Pleasing Vacation Destinations


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America is a big, beautiful country waiting to be explored. From bustling urban cities to awe-inspiring mountaintops and breathtaking beaches, there’s a destination for every interest and desire.

Step back in time to relive a famous event in American history, go skydiving without a plane, splash through cooling Olympic park waters or tour the most famous residence in the U.S. We’ve got the scoop on these memorable activities and more in this roundup of nine family-friendly U.S. destinations.

UP IN THE SKY

TIP: Managing children in a confined space for an extended period of time is no easy task — especially when you’re flying through the air. Load up digital devices with new games for in-flight entertainment. Pack plenty of snacks and extra clothes for mishaps. Eliminating potential crankiness will help ensure a smoother, saner flight for all.

Austin, Texas

Flight time from the Triangle: About 5 hours

Known as the live music capital of the world, Austin boasts 100-plus live music venues, beautiful art and outdoor spaces. The Colorado River runs through downtown, but residents call it Lady Bird Lake.

Spend a day at Zilker Metropolitan Park, a 350-acre oasis beloved by locals and ideal for families. Take a ride on the Zilker Zephyr, an open-top miniature train for a 25-minute tour alongside Barton Creek and Lady Bird Lake. Austin Nature & Science Center, also located in the park, features exhibits of live animals that have been injured or orphaned. Kids can go on an archeological dig by uncovering castings of actual dinosaur bones that have been found in Texas.

Before you leave the park, cool off at Barton Springs Pool, a 3-acre natural limestone pool fed by underground springs. All activities are wallet-friendly since many are free and others cost just a few dollars per person.

Head over to iFly Austin Indoor Skydiving to experience skydiving without a plane. A wind tunnel and powerful fans create a true free fall effect during which participants are completely disconnected and don’t even need a parachute. Participants from ages 3 to 103 have flown here.

Take another adrenaline-pumping adventure by flying across breathtaking canyons and Lake Travis on the longest and fastest zip line in Texas at Lake Travis Zipline Adventures. After your high-flying ride, relax on the half-mile beach. Lounge in a hammock, play a game of horseshoes or cool off in the lake. Loaded picnic baskets are recommended.

End your day in Austin with a spectacular view of 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats that live beneath the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge and take flight in a mass exodus each night at dusk. It’s free, but courage is required.

For more ideas, visit to austintexas.org.

Boston

Flight time from the Triangle: Less than 2 hours

One of the oldest cities in America, Boston is awash in historical significance and claims many firsts — the first lighthouse, subway, library, university and public school in America, for example. In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made the very first telephone call from his Boston machine shop. You can explore these and many other well-preserved historic sites Boston has to offer.

Join actors in period costumes to relive the Boston Tea Party by dumping tea overboard one of the authentically restored tea ships at Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. Lace up your sneakers and walk The Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile red path that leads to 16 American Revolution sites, including the Paul Revere House, USS Constitution and Bunker Hill Monument. Follow costumed guides representing the 18th Century on a 90-minute tour or venture out on your own. Download The Freedom Trail Official App for more guidance.

Boston Children’s Museum features high-tech, hands-on art, culture and science experiences. Kids can ride a Bobcat in the Construction Zone or scale a three-story structure made of flowing, curved platforms at New Balance Climb. Kids can also sit in musical chairs, dance on a lighted dance floor and play a gigantic chess game at The Common.

Situated alongside the Charles River, the Museum of Science houses hundreds of interactive exhibits along with shows in the Charles Hayden Planetarium and IMAX movies in the Mugar Omni Theater. Budding architects and engineers can design, build and test a prototype, and young biologists will enjoy The Hall of Human Life.

For more ideas, visit bostonusa.com.

Chicago

Flight time from the Triangle: Just over 2 hours

The third largest city in the U.S., Chicago is known for its beautiful downtown, 26 miles of lakefront and friendly Midwestern vibe that attracts over 40 million visitors each year.

Experience the iconic Navy Pier, a landmark extending nearly 1 mile into Lake Michigan, where visitors can ride on a 150-foot Ferris wheel and enjoy restaurants, shops and fireworks extravaganzas.

Adjacent to the Navy Pier, explore the Chicago Children’s Museum. Build a skyscraper, tinker with real tools or climb on a rope-suspended schooner. Visit Museum Campus to explore The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium.

Enjoy incredible views of the city at Skydeck Chicago where you can step onto The Ledge, a glass balcony extending 4 feet outside the 103rd floor, if you dare. Take in a 360-degree view of four states at the John Hancock Observatory.

Be sure to stop by Millennium Park, a gathering spot in the heart of downtown Chicago. Have your photograph made in front of The Bean, an outdoor sculpture resembling an enormous metal bean. In the summer, kids can splash around in Crown Fountain, an interactive work of public art.

Take Chicago’s First Lady Cruise to learn about 50 famous Chicago buildings. You can also choose from other cruise outings such as fireworks cruises, nighttime tours and dinner cruises.

Calling all animal lovers! Lincoln Park Zoo, the country’s oldest public zoo, is also one of the world’s last free admission zoos — and it’s open every day of the year.

A slice of deep-dish pizza is a must-have when visiting Chicago. Try three legendary pizzerias: Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Giordano’s Pizza and Gino’s East of Chicago.

For more ideas, visit choosechicago.com.

RIDE THE RAILS

TIP: Taking a train is safe, comfortable and affordable. When the journey is part of the experience, kids are entertained by watching the world go by. Prevent restlessness by roaming around the train to explore and burn off energy. Bring a carry-on bag packed with entertainment and snacks to curb boredom and hunger.

Atlanta

Train travel time from the Triangle: Just over 6 hours

Famous for peaches, peanuts, the Atlanta Braves and President Jimmy Carter, Atlanta bustles with activities for the entire family.

Centennial Olympic Park, built for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, offers plenty of outdoor space for walking and playing. Kids can cool off at the Fountain of Rings on hot summer days. Right next door, Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest, offers 9½ acres and 8 million gallons of undersea exhibits. Don’t miss the beluga whales, whale sharks and manta rays.

Quench your thirst at World of Coca-Cola, a museum and interactive experience in one. Try over 100 Coke flavors from around the world, watch a short film titled Moments of Happiness, view the world’s largest collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia and learn about the legend of the secret Coca-Cola formula in the Coca-Cola 4-D theater. Be sure to stop by the Coca-Cola Store for a souvenir.

Purchase an Atlanta CityPASS at worldofcoca-cola.com/purchase-tickets/special-ticket-offers/city-pass to access the World of Coca-Cola, CNN Studio Tour, Fernbank Museum of Natural History or High Museum of Art, and Zoo Atlanta or the Atlanta History Center and Margaret Mitchell House.

Visit the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site to learn about the life and legacy of this iconic civil rights leader. You’ll see his birth home, the church where he preached and the memorial site where he is buried. Admission and parking are free.

For heart-pounding thrills, Six Flags Over Georgia features high-action family fun. The largest theme park in the Southeast offers rides for guests of all ages. Bring your swimsuit so you can enjoy waterpark rides to beat the heat on hot days.

Explore 3,200 acres of preserved land at Stone Mountain Park. Take the Summit Skyride to the top of this 825-foot granite wonder for an up-close look at the mountain’s Confederate Memorial carving. Ride a train or take a paddlewheel riverboat cruise for a 360-degree view of the mountain.

No trip to Atlanta is complete without a meal at the largest drive-in fast-food restaurant in the world, The Varsity, famous for its chili cheese dog and fried pie.

For more ideas, visit atlanta.net.

Williamsburg and Virginia Beach

Train travel time from the Triangle: About 3.5 hours to Williamsburg, then another hour to Virginia Beach

Take a trip to Williamsburg and Virginia Beach for the best of both worlds — a historic experience and beach vacation. Since these cities are only an hour apart, you can blast into America’s past and enjoy the waves.

Colonial Williamsburg is the largest living history museum in the U.S. This beautifully restored 18th-century town features costumed actors who recreate the American Revolution time period. Tickets are required to enter and provide access to historic sites, museums and programs.

Visit the Jamestown Settlement to experience America’s 17th-century Colonial beginnings and board replicas of the three ships that brought America’s first permanent English colonists to Virginia. Interact with costumed Native Americans in the Powhatan Village through live demonstrations of cooking and toolmaking. In James Fort, watch tradespeople show off their skills.

Take a Tavern Ghost Walk to learn about ghosts who still haunt Colonial Williamsburg’s taverns and historic buildings. This early-evening activity is suitable for all ages.

A European-themed adventure park with 17th-century charm, Busch Gardens Williamsburg offers 100 acres of family fun. Roller coasters and gentle rides for the little ones make this a fun destination for the entire family.

Beat the heat at Water Country USA, the mid-Atlantic’s largest water park, where a 1950-60s surf theme entertains all ages. Get wet on waterslides, falls and water cannons.

Need more soaking? Virginia Beach offers beautiful beaches, a lively boardwalk, a historic lighthouse and outdoor activities. Hike or bike around First Landing State Park to discover cypress swamps and nesting grounds for a variety of birds.

For more ideas, go to visitvirginiabeach.com and visitwilliamsburg.com.

Washington, D.C.

Train travel time: Just over 6 hours

Service provided by: Amtrak

Touring The White House, strolling along the National Mall and gazing at national treasures will leave a lasting impression on children and adults. This budget-friendly destination offers more than 100 free attractions.

The most famous address in the U.S. is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., where the U.S. president resides. White House tours take visitors through the East Wing; State Dining Room; and Red, Blue and Green Rooms. Visit whitehouse.gov to find out how to book a tour.

Watch millions of dollars being printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing as you overlook the production floor during this free, 40-minute tour.

The National Mall is a 2-mile green space spanning the banks of the Potomac River, from the U.S. Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial. View the Washington Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial while walking along this pedestrian-friendly boulevard.

Often called America’s treasure chest, the Smithsonian consists of 17 separate museums. The most popular museum in the world, based on attendance numbers, is the Air and Space Museum. Other popular Smithsonian museums include the American History Museum, the Museum of Natural Sciences and the National Zoo, where baby panda Bao Bao and her parents, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, are the zoo’s most popular attractions. Admission is free.

Take the Metro rail system to reach locations around the city quickly and provide some fun for the kids.

Rent a paddleboat on the Tidal Basin for a great view of the Jefferson Memorial when you need a break from touring.

For more ideas, visit washington.org.

ON THE ROAD

TIP: Minimize how many times you hear, “Are we there yet?” by using roadtrippers.com. Just upload your destinations and interesting places pop up on the site’s map to make your road trip more entertaining. Choose from a variety of offbeat attractions, scenic points or historic monuments.

Asheville, N.C.

Travel time from the Triangle: Just under 4 hours

Tucked in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this lively mountain city offers an active outdoor community and a bustling art and music scene. Thanks to Art Deco skyscrapers, buzzing cafes and eclectic bistros, Asheville has been dubbed “Paris of the South.” Not only does it possess a cosmopolitan flair, it also reflects a laid-back mountain vibe that lures visitors from far and wide.

A must-see is America’s largest home: Biltmore Estate, a French Renaissance-style mansion with 250 rooms. Marvel at the two-story library, gilded elevator, indoor swimming pool and bowling alley. Children can pet travel-biltmore.jpgbaby animals in the estate’s farmyard or drive across obstacles on the Land Rover Kid’s Adventure Course. (Photo at right of Biltmore Estate is courtesy of exploreasheville.com.)

Go Bellayaking, a new way to travel down a river that was created in Asheville, by paddling while on your stomach using webbed gloves. This provides a great way for beginners to explore the French Broad River. Riders advance to their knees, then feet.

Experience a unique aerial obstacle course at Asheville Treetops Adventure Park.

Kayaking through the trees or snowboarding on open air are just two of the 50 unique challenges offered, which range from beginner to advanced skill levels. Kids as young as age 7 have taken the challenges

In Pisgah National Forest, take a slide down Sliding Rock. This 60-foot natural waterslide has delighted young and old for years and offers a great way to cool off on a hot summer afternoon. There is a nominal $1 parking fee.

Animals and plants native to the Southern Appalachian region can be seen at Western North Carolina Nature Center. You’ll find 60 species of animals including river otters, bobcats, cougars and red and gray wolves. Children can also snuggle up to farm animals and hop on a red tractor.

For more ideas, visit exploreasheville.com.

Charleston, S.C.

Travel time from the Triangle: Just over 4 hours

For many years, Charleston has maintained a high ranking on many travel surveys as a top U.S. destination. This Southern city’s rich history, elegant architecture and coastal landscapes draw nearly 5 million visitors each year, according to Conde Nast Traveler magazine.

Clippity-clop down cobblestone streets atop a carriage ride offered by one of the many carriage tour businesses in Charleston to learn about the city’s history and culture. You’ll pass breathtaking antebellum mansions, historic churches and enchanting side streets.

Explore the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, where George Washington was entertained and American patriots and pirates were imprisoned. A period costumed guide leads small groups on a 30-minute tour through the dungeon.

Visit the South Carolina Aquarium on historic Charleston Harbor, home to loggerhead sea turtles, alligators, great blue herons, jellyfish and sharks. The aquarium’s largest exhibit, The Great Ocean Tank, extends from the first to the third floor.

Stroll through the Historic Charleston City Market, where individual vendors sell products in open-air buildings. Browse art, clothing, food products and sweet grass creations.

Grab a swing and enjoy the view from Waterfront Park. Walk to the end of the pier to take in the shores of the Cooper River. On hot days, kids can play under the streaming water at Splash Fountain.

Just a few blocks south of Waterfront Park you’ll find Hazel Parker Playground, which offers a fenced-in area for little ones and an open area for older kids.

Go on a treetop adventure at Wild Blue Ropes, Charleston’s first open-air ropes course, where families can challenge their athletic abilities, enjoy the outdoors and have fun.

For more ideas, visit charlestoncvb.com.

Crystal Coast, N.C.

Travel time from the Triangle: About 3 hours

The Crystal Coast stretches from Emerald Isle to Beaufort and Cape Lookout. Pristine beaches, laid-back towns and a welcoming atmosphere make this stretch of beach a favorite summertime destination for families. Due to countless shipwrecks along the shore, including a World War II German U-boat sunk by the Coast Guard in 1942, the region has garnered the nickname, “Graveyard of the Atlantic.”

See wild horses and go shelling with Port City Tour Company. After a 15-minute ferry ride to Shackleford Banks on the Cape Lookout National Seashore, visitors are guided to see wild horses, then given an opportunity to go shelling on one of North Carolina’s best shelling beaches.

Located on Bogue Banks, Fort Macon is home to a pentagon-shaped Civil War fort.

Surrounded on three sides by water — the Atlantic Ocean, Beaufort Inlet and Bogue Sound — Fort Macon is free and offers nature trails, opportunities for surf fishing and a protected swim area.

Climb to the top of the 150-year-old Cape Lookout Lighthouse to enjoy the endless ocean views. Nicknamed “The Diamond Lady,” it’s one of North Carolina’s most iconic lighthouses.

The infamous pirate Blackbeard lost his flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, when it ran aground in Beaufort Inlet. View artifacts from the ship and experience interactive exhibits to learn about Blackbeard at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

Get up close and personal with marine life at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. While you’re there, check out the 300,000-gallon tank featuring a replica of a sunken World War II German U-boat and a variety of sea life.

No seaside vacation is complete without getting out onto the water. Experience a variety of sailing and fishing excursions available throughout the area for aqua adventures, such as dolphin cruises, sunset sails, moonlight cruises and sport-fishing daytrips.

For more ideas, visit crystalcoastnc.org.

Not-So-Plain Plane Travel With Kids

Planning a plane trip in the next few months? Traveling with children can be exhilarating and exhausting. Here are tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help make your family’s travel safe and stress-free.

- Allow extra time to get through security.

- Have children wear shoes and outer clothing that are easy to remove for screening. (Children under age 12 are no longer required to remove their shoes for routine screenings.)

- Bring strollers through security to be gate-checked before boarding.

- Talk to your children about the security screening process in advance. Let them know backpacks and stuffed toys must go through the X-ray machine, but will be returned.

- Take along your own car seat or arrange for one at your destination. Airlines may allow families to bring a car seat as extra luggage at no additional charge.

- Children under 40 pounds are best protected when properly restrained in an Federal Aviation Administration-approved car seat on the plane that is appropriate for the child’s age, weight and height.

- Ensure that each child has his or her own seat. Although the FAA allows children under age 2 to sit on an adult’s lap, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that families try to ensure that each child has his or her own seat. If it is not feasible to purchase a ticket for a small child, try to select a flight that is likely to have empty seats.

- Pack toys and snacks to keep your child occupied during the flight.

- Encourage your infant to nurse of suck on a bottle to decrease ear pain on ascent and descent. Older children can chew gum or drink liquids with a straw.

Source: healthychildren.org.

Please note: Travel times are estimates and do not account for possible layovers.

updated May 6, 2014

 

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Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Amongst the ancient oak trees is the heart of Raleigh. We'll help you see the forest for the trees and all its magic splendor. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a lively small group activity...

Cost: $11

Where:
Downtown
500 S Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
Website »

More information

Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
Website »

More information

Get a closer look at the birds of prey that call Crowder County Park home! Learn all about their adaptations through hands-on discovery centers. Then warm up and practice your communication skills...

Cost: FREE. Registration required for everyone; children must have adult accompaniment

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 sq. ft of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three distinct programming areas and an on-ice...

Cost: 20

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring  honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Hounded by Death, the character of Everybody desperately seeks out everyone and everything they know in hope of finding something meaningful to take to the grave. These 90 minutes of theatrical...

Cost: Ticket prices start at $15

Where:
PlayMakers' Repertory Company
120 Country Club Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Telephone: 919-962-7529

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Amongst the ancient oak trees is the heart of Raleigh. We'll help you see the forest for the trees and all its magic splendor. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a lively small group activity...

Cost: $11

Where:
Downtown
500 S Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
Website »

More information

Summer Garden Camps at the JCRA invite your child to investigate nature during half or full day camps.  Campers tend to the garden, harvest vegetables, catch insects, and create crafts from the...

Cost: Varies depending on camp week

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
Website »

More information

What is our national bird? How many different hawks are there, and who goes whoooo in the night? Discover fun facts about these feathered hunters of the sky. Read a story, discover what makes a...

Cost: FREE. Registration required for everyone; children must have adult accompaniment

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 sq. ft of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three distinct programming areas and an on-ice...

Cost: 20

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring  honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Hounded by Death, the character of Everybody desperately seeks out everyone and everything they know in hope of finding something meaningful to take to the grave. These 90 minutes of theatrical...

Cost: Ticket prices start at $15

Where:
PlayMakers' Repertory Company
120 Country Club Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Telephone: 919-962-7529

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Summer Garden Camps at the JCRA invite your child to investigate nature during half or full day camps.  Campers tend to the garden, harvest vegetables, catch insects, and create crafts from the...

Cost: Varies depending on camp week

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Amongst the ancient oak trees is the heart of Raleigh. We'll help you see the forest for the trees and all its magic splendor. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a lively small group activity...

Cost: $11

Where:
Downtown
500 S Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
Website »

More information

Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring  honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 sq. ft of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three distinct programming areas and an on-ice...

Cost: 20

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Spanish Alive is providing Family Spanish classes starting in January! Join us to learn Spanish as an entire family in an immersive, fun environment. Our teachers are trained Spanish educators and...

Cost: $75-$216

Where:
Spanish Alive
156 E. Chatham St
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Short class advertising for local class   I am a mom and retired CPA who is passionate about teaching teens about the high cost of their choices. I teach a fun, interactive "Game of Life meets...

Cost: $225

Where:
Hope Community Church- Apex
2080 E Williams Street
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Beyond Personal Finance
Contact Name: Charla McKinley
Website »

More information

I am a mom and retired CPA who is passionate about teaching teens about the high cost of their choices. I teach a fun, interactive "Game of Life meets Dave Ramsey" class that has teens experience...

Cost: $225

Where:
Hope Community Church- Apex
2080 E Williams Street
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Beyond Personal Finance
Contact Name: Charla McKinley
Website »

More information

Short class advertising for local class   I am a mom and retired CPA who is passionate about teaching teens about the high cost of their choices. I teach a fun, interactive "Game of Life meets...

Cost: $225

Where:
Hope Community Church- Apex
2080 E Williams Street
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Beyond Personal Finance
Contact Name: Charla McKinley
Website »

More information

Azevedo Family Psychology and Kym Azevedo will host an Art for Life group each Thursday from 5:30-6:30PM beginning January 16 and running through March 26. This group is completely free, kid...

Cost: FREE

Where:
1903 N. Harrison Ave
Suite 201
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Sponsor: Azevedo Family Psychology
Telephone: 919-624-9568
Contact Name: Kym Azevedo
Website »

More information

Explore astronomy, biology, architectural and engineering principles, technology and so much more through our hands-on, play-based activities. Spend an evening with your preschooler, experiencing...

Cost: free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Rapahel Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Katie Mistele
Website »

More information

The goal of the How To Talk So Kids Will Listen Group workshop is to help you communicate more effectively with children.   In each session of the workshop you'll be introduced to an...

Cost: $12.95 materials fee

Where:
Wildflower School at Belle Vie Farm
3100 Damascus Church Road
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Sponsor: Wildflower School at Belle Vie Farm
Telephone: 919-260-6859
Contact Name: Shelley Welch
Website »

More information

Hounded by Death, the character of Everybody desperately seeks out everyone and everything they know in hope of finding something meaningful to take to the grave. These 90 minutes of theatrical...

Cost: Ticket prices start at $15

Where:
PlayMakers' Repertory Company
120 Country Club Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Telephone: 919-962-7529

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Forget tourist-filled museums, make your own memories with a photo scavenger hunt tour in Raleigh! On a Let’s Roam scavenger hunt, you and your team will work together to wander throughout...

Cost: $11

Where:
500 S Salisbury St
raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Website »

More information

Amongst the ancient oak trees is the heart of Raleigh. We'll help you see the forest for the trees and all its magic splendor. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a lively small group activity...

Cost: $11

Where:
Downtown
500 S Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
Website »

More information

Summer Garden Camps at the JCRA invite your child to investigate nature during half or full day camps.  Campers tend to the garden, harvest vegetables, catch insects, and create crafts from the...

Cost: Varies depending on camp week

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 sq. ft of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three distinct programming areas and an on-ice...

Cost: 20

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring  honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Join us for Family Trivia Night!  Test your knowledge of pop culture, books, music and more. Pizza and drinks provided.  Call or stop by to register: 919-245-2532. Best for kids ages 8 and up...

Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
Website »

More information

Art Walk featuring local galleries and artist studios in historic downtown Hillsborough on the Last Friday of every month (no Art Walk in December).

Cost: FREE

Where:
Downtown Hillsborough (multiple locations)
102 N. Churton St.
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Hillsborough Arts Council
Telephone: 919-643-2500
Contact Name: Torey Mishoe
Website »

More information

Kids! Are you sick of the Winter? Enjoy a Summer's night at Peach Road Center. Enjoy a Summer-like evening with us. Get into the luau spirit and play summer games!  

Cost: Free

Where:
Peach Road Community Center
911 Ileagnes Rd
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: City or Raleigh Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-807-8545
Contact Name: Christy Famolare

More information

Hounded by Death, the character of Everybody desperately seeks out everyone and everything they know in hope of finding something meaningful to take to the grave. These 90 minutes of theatrical...

Cost: Ticket prices start at $15

Where:
PlayMakers' Repertory Company
120 Country Club Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Telephone: 919-962-7529

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Forget tourist-filled museums, make your own memories with a photo scavenger hunt tour in Raleigh! On a Let’s Roam scavenger hunt, you and your team will work together to wander throughout...

Cost: $11

Where:
500 S Salisbury St
raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Website »

More information

Join our bird enthusiast, Vernon, for an easy walk while looking and listening for our feathered friends. Discover different types of birds and their habitats.​ No preregistration required. Meet...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

How did people predict the weather before The Weather Channel, and can animals really help? Come to the Finley Center to put our colonial weather proverbs to the test and make a pop-up woodchuck...

Cost: For all ages; FREE. Registration is not required

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Amongst the ancient oak trees is the heart of Raleigh. We'll help you see the forest for the trees and all its magic splendor. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a lively small group activity...

Cost: $11

Where:
Downtown
500 S Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
Website »

More information

Summer Garden Camps at the JCRA invite your child to investigate nature during half or full day camps.  Campers tend to the garden, harvest vegetables, catch insects, and create crafts from the...

Cost: Varies depending on camp week

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
View map »


Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
Website »

More information

Join us to meet the educators, see the farm and learn more about our Preschool for 3-5 year olds and Camps for 4-10 year olds. We'll have a campfire for some warmth but please come dressed for the...

Cost: 0

Where:
Longleaf Forest School
4826 Mt. Moriah Road
Durhan, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: Longleaf Forest School
Contact Name: Tara Lawson
Website »

More information

Chinese New Year Festival, also Lunar New Year Festival. Largest public event in the Triangle. MAIN STAGE has vocal and orchestral music, folk dance, Lion and Dragon dances, martial arts, and comic...

Cost: $10 entry at door, military and senior discounts, kids<6 free

Where:
Dorton Arena, NC State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Road
Enter Gate 1,2,4,5,11
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Sponsor: NC Triangle Area Chinese American Society
Contact Name: Michael, Shin
Website »

More information

Chinese New Year Festival or Lunar New Year Festival, largest public event in the Triangle. MAIN STAGE with musical and dance performances, Lion Dance Dragon Dance, martial arts, comic skits emceed...

Cost: $10 entry at door, military and senior discounts, kids<6 free

Where:
Dorton Arena, NC State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Road
Enter Gate 1,2,4,5,11
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Sponsor: NC Triangle Area Chinese American Society
Contact Name: Michael, Shin
Website »

More information

Skate on an ice trail or free skate on 17,000 sq. ft of ice. Located in the Upper Pond of the Whitewater Center, the skating environment features three distinct programming areas and an on-ice...

Cost: 20

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Lights is a half-mile walking trail that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations featuring  honeycombs, vines, crystals, and other natural features integrated into the...

Cost: Free

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
View map »


Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

Spanish Alive is providing Family Spanish classes starting in January! Join us to learn Spanish as an entire family in an immersive, fun environment. Our teachers are trained Spanish educators and...

Cost: $75-$216

Where:
Spanish Alive
156 E. Chatham St
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Did you know that Disney, Netflix, Google and NASA, just to name a few, are all using Python? Python can be used for creating web applications, automation, programming robots and artificial...

Cost: Free: registration required

Where:
, NC


Website »

More information

FEB. 1, 2020 | 1 – 4 P.M. | BLUE JAY POINT COUNTY PARK Spend a winter afternoon getting to know Blue Jay Point County Park at our Winter Open House. Whether you’re a regular visitor or have...

Cost: Free

Where:
Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Road
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Telephone: 919-870-4330
Website »

More information

Hounded by Death, the character of Everybody desperately seeks out everyone and everything they know in hope of finding something meaningful to take to the grave. These 90 minutes of theatrical...

Cost: Ticket prices start at $15

Where:
PlayMakers' Repertory Company
120 Country Club Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Telephone: 919-962-7529

More information

Come on out to support the NC State Gymnastics team as they take on North Carolina in a RED out on February 1st! The first 300 fans in attendance will receive an exclusive red NC State Gymnastics...

Cost: $3-$7

Where:
Reynolds Collisuem
2411 Dunn Ave.
Raleigh , NC  27607
View map »

More information

Come on out to support the NC State Gymnastics team as they take on North Carolina in a RED out on February 1st! The first 300 fans in attendance will receive an exclusive red NC State Gymnastics...

Cost: $3-$7

Where:
Reynolds Collisuem
2411 Dunn Ave.
Raleigh , NC  27607
View map »

More information

Hounded by Death, the character of Everybody desperately seeks out everyone and everything they know in hope of finding something meaningful to take to the grave. These 90 minutes of theatrical...

Cost: Ticket prices start at $15

Where:
PlayMakers' Repertory Company
120 Country Club Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Telephone: 919-962-7529

More information

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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2019-20 Education Guide offers 718 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. In our 2019-20 issue, explore 1,028 resources for family fun.