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Outdoors

Free Guided Hikes Invite All to Explore NC State Parks

Hike NC!, a free series of 60 guided hikes in North Carolina’s state parks and nature preserves, just kicked off and runs through the end of the year.

Fun Things to Do this Weekend (Oct. 8-10)

Lots of family-friendly fun is planned for this weekend, from free festivals to consignment sales and Halloween and harvest outings. Contact the venue before heading out in the event of inclement weather.

Exploring The North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville

The North Carolina Arboretum, a 434-acre botanical garden, features 10 miles of hiking trails and a variety of garden settings.

FIT4MOM Debuts Stroller-Friendly 5K Training Program

A stroller-friendly 5K training program kicks off Oct. 18 and culminates in a Dec. 3 festive “Jingle Bell” run in downtown Raleigh.

13 Fun Things to Do This Fall Weekend

Head out for free weekend outdoor concerts and events. Browse or shop an juried art market, listen to live performances, take the kids for pony and carriage rides and learn about heritage crafts.

Free, Fall Outdoor Concerts in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill

Discover these three venues where you can sit back and enjoy free outdoor concerts and the cooler temperatures of fall.

16 Free Things to Do This Fall Weekend

Free festivals fill the Triangle this weekend celebrating everything from fall, storytelling, music and dogs to Hispanic culture.

16 Fun Things to Do This Weekend

Take your pick of fun events this weekend, from a celebration of bugs to festivities that showcase art and design.

Explore Nature During 'Take a Child Outside Week'

Celebrate Take a Child Outside Week, Sept. 24-30, by registering your child for fun outdoors at area parks.

Ants to Invade N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences for BugFest

Delve into the secret life of ants as the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences hosts the 20th anniversary of BugFest, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 17.

Museum’s Curiosity Trail Offers Fresh Views, Chance at Prizes

What don't you know about the Museum of Life and Science in Durham? Follow the new "Curiosity Trail" for fresh views and for chances to win prizes.

Escape on Bike Your Park Day Sept 24

Plan a family outing on Sept. 24, the first-ever Bike Your Park Day, and get your kids in on the fun.

North Carolina Museum of Art Park to Welcome New Outdoor Sculptures

Explore the North Carolina Museum of Art park to see the unexpected and touch it through a trail of outdoor sculptures.

Eastern Triangle Farm Tour Fun for Kids and Grownups

Tickets are on sale for the Eastern Triangle Farm Tour, Sept. 17-18. See baby barn animals, tour organic produce farms, enjoy farm-fresh foods and take home goods.

14 Things to Do With Kids This Weekend

Weekend festivals offer families the pleasures of learning and playing together outdoors. On Sunday, Sept. 11, head out for activities that help participants remember and honor those who lost their lives on 9/11.

Family Vacation: Bicycling the Virginia Creeper Trail

Take a weekend to explore the Virginia Creeper Trail and surrounding areas. The trail can be ridden all in one day and is kid-friendly.

Explore the Museum of Life and Science's Curiosity Trail Sept. 6-30

The Museum of Life and Science's Curiosity Trail offers two paths that encourage learning, exploration and fun. Participants can also be entered into two prize drawings.

3 Free Family Events Offer Fun in September

Browse our editor's recommendations for three fun family-friendly events in September.

Go Ape Treetop Adventure Opens a Junior Course in Raleigh

The Go Ape Treetop Adventure Junior Course opened in mid-July at Blue Jay Point County Park in Raleigh.

Got Vacation Days? Explore These Budget-Friendly Excursions

Don't lose your vacation time. Check out these inexpensive excursions right here in North Carolina that your family will love this summer.

17 Places to See With Kids in North Carolina

Here's a North Carolina bucket list of things to do in the Old North State before your kids are grown.

8 Fun Things to Do With Kids This Weekend

Explore your family's options for family fun this weekend, from baseball games and fireworks to live theater, movies and events to ready your child for school.

Theaters Feature 3 Captivating Shows For Families

Theaters in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill welcome families to performances with thoughtful themes, beautiful costumes, puppetry, animation and more.

3 Picks for August Family Fun

A storytelling festival in Wake Forest, a business fair for young entrepreneurs in Morrisville and a Railroad Heritage Weekend in Blowing Rock offer fun excursions.

Weekend Fun: Hands-on Birthday Party, Outdoor Movies, Kids Activities

Don't miss out on the fun this weekend at the Museum of Life and Science's Science at Sunset birthday party celebration. Enjoy outdoor movies, live theater and more.

Former Soccer Olympians Back in Raleigh to Inspire Youth Athletes

Three former Olympic gold medalists and Tar Heel soccer stars Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and Tisha Venturini Hoch were in Raleigh Aug. 7, inspiring the next generation of young female soccer players.

Top Field Trip Destinations of the Triangle

The Triangle's hands-on museums, natural beauty, history and family-friendly lifestyle offer a wide variety of field trips for every age group and interest.

Children's Summer Nature Programs

Kids of all ages can enjoy summer nature programs that explore the lives of wildlife through hikes, activities and crafts.

Weekend Fun: Storytelling Festival, Theater, Pokémon Hunting and More

Theater buffs, nature nuts, Pokémon fans and those who love story tales will find lots to love about this weekend's fun.

Nature Inspires Arts and Crafts Programs for Children

Take your children to summer programs that explore nature through hikes, crafts, storytimes and games.
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Calendar

July 2018

Run Club meets every Sunday at 8 a.m. in Midtown Raleigh or Wake Forest. Stroller friendly; children invited. 

Cost: $10/run or $100/annual pass

Where:
Optimist Park Community Center/Greenways
5900 Whittier Drive
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: FIT4MOM
Telephone: 919-348-0472
Contact Name: Missy Currin
Website »

More information

Join Mindful Families of Durham, a Buddhist-inspired spiritual community that supports area parents, caregivers, and their children in the practice of mindfulness and the understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
Website »

More information

Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

More information

Take part in Maple View's annual event that features live music by Back Porch Orchestra & The Mason Lovette Band. Enjoy delicious ice cream specials and award winning dairy products, the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maple View Farm Ice Cream
6900 Rocky Ridge Rd.
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Maple View Farm Ice Cream
Telephone: 919.960.5535
Contact Name: Allison H. Nichols
Website »

More information

Discover clay through a safe and engaging activity. Dress for the weather and to get messy or wet. Register online. Choose course #220634.

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-2760
Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood
Website »

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Monday, July 16; 10:30–11:00 a.m. Practice your shapes and develop your fine motor skills through games and hands-on activities. Then go on a nature hunt to find plants and animals of different...

Cost: $2/child

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Enjoy a family-friendly movie. See the website for the movie title. Showings at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Crabtree Valley Mall
4325 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27612
View map »


Website »

More information

Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

More information

The Art Therapy Institute has been working in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools with the Exceptional Children's Program for the past ten years. Enjoy a summer art therapy groups in June and...

Cost: $20 per session

Where:
Art Therapy Institute of NC
200 N Greensboro St. Suite D-6 (2nd Floor Carr Mill Mall)
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Telephone: 919-381-6068
Website »

More information

Book Harvest and Scholastic are hosting the ultimate summer reading road trip event to celebrate “A Magical Summer of Reading.” In an effort to get kids reading this summer, the 2018...

Cost: Free

Where:
Burton Magnet Elementary School
1500 Mathison St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Scholastic Inc.
Telephone: 212-343-6876
Contact Name: Josephine Djonovic
Website »

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Athlete and artist Ernie Barnes is known for his colorful, elongated figures and for his special way of making the figures look like they were in motion. Look at some of his paintings, strike a...

Cost: $5/child

Where:
N.C. Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Meet a favorite princess or superhero from 11 a.m.-noon and 1-2 p.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Crabtree Valley Mall
4325 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27612
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $7 ages 1 and older.

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Tuesday, July 17; 11:00 a.m. – Noon What's swimming underneath the surface of Crowder's Pond? Explore the animals that call this habitat home in a hands-on pond study. Learn the aquatic food...

Cost: $1/Person

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

More information

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Enjoy the Fun Caravan, a mobile recreation program equipped with a host of fun activities for ages 12 and younger. Enjoy games, arts and crafts, obstacle courses and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
West Point on the Eno
5101 N. Roxboro St.
Durham, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy "Grumpy Monkey" by Suzanne Lang.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
760 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy a Build-A-Bear activity, storytime, games and painting from 11 a.m.-noon and 1-2 p.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Crabtree Valley Mall
4325 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27612
View map »


Website »

More information

Many animals and insects live in the pond! Read "Around the Pond" by Lindsay Barrett George and discover what animals can be found there. Make a pond collage craft with all of your favorite...

Cost: $4/Child

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

More information

Budding naturalists ages 2-6 enjoy a craft, engaging activity, and guided walk along the greenway. Register online. Choose course #219940. 

Cost: $2/person

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-2761
Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood
Website »

More information

Join park staff to discover amphibians, birds, insects, spiders and more. Help collect data for the Natural Resource Inventory Database while increasing your own identification skills. Ages...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 191-946-03355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

Are lizards really dinosaurs in miniature?  Learn the answer to this, plus other interesting facts about some of our  local lizards. Theme related stories and activities for parent...

Cost: $4/child

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


Website »

More information

Attend a Toddler Tour and Information Session, in which families explore a classroom and learn about half- or full-day toddler classes for ages 18 months-3 years. Classes develop...

Cost: Free

Where:
Montessori Children's House of Durham
2800 Pickett Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Join park staff for an informal fishing experience for the whole family. Take your own poles or borrow one from the park through the Tackle Loaner Program. Bait and basic...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 191-946-03355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

Join park staff for an informal fishing experience for the whole family. Take your own poles or borrow one from the park through the Tackle Loaner Program. Bait and basic instruction are...

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Sharon O'Donnell visits Quail Ridge Books to discuss her new book and tell humorous and poignant stories of having a child at 38.

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Website »

More information

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Meet a staff member at the information desk and follow your guide outside to the garden exhibit or into one of the museum galleries. Look around and listen to a history-related story. 

Cost: Free

Where:
N.C. Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Join us at Chatham Marketplace in Pittsboro every Thursday at 10 a.m. for a casual storytime on the porch or even out in the yard. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Chatham Marketplace
480 Hillsboro St.
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »


Sponsor: Chatham Marketplace
Telephone: 919-542-2643
Contact Name: Craig Kolman
Website »

More information

Take part in hands-on outdoor discovery and the study of birds in their habitat. Ages 6-8. Register online.

Cost: $6

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson Nature Preserve staff
Website »

More information

Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 7-12 enjoy fashion and design activities from 11 a.m.-noon.; ages 13-18 enjoy the same activities from 1-2 p.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Crabtree Valley Mall
4325 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27612
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy an easy-paced and stroller-friendly walk along the greenway. Suggested for ages 3 and younger with parent. Register online. Choose course #219871.

Cost: Free

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-2760
Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood
Website »

More information

Learn about sea turtle adaptations for success in the ocean and their incredible life cycle. Carolina Children's Museum is a proud sponsor of this free program provided by Dragonfly Nature...

Cost: Free; donations encouraged

Where:
Devils Ridge Golf Club (In the Players Club)
5107 Linksland Drive
Holly Springs, NC  27540
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Children's Museum
Website »

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Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about tummy time alternatives, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to...

Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

More information

A wonderfully kid-paced hour featuring music, play and dancing with toddler stars singing on the mic at Cotton's gently amplified & participatory music show. Children delight in...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Pump It Up Raleigh
10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
Raleigh, NC  27617
View map »


Sponsor: Pump it Up
Telephone: 919-828-3344
Contact Name: Owner/manager Kellie Paterson McHugh
Website »

More information

Take part in a class that teaches individualized ways to foster motor development for your child. Learn about carry positions, best positions for your baby, how to help your child learn to crawl,...

Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

More information

Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

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Cost: $7 ages 1 and older.

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

This epic musical is about wishes, family and the consequences of the choices that we make. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to lift their family curse by journeying into the woods,...

Cost: $15/person

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Take a walk with a park naturalist to explore the woods and fields at this special time of day. Register online.

Cost: $3

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson Nature Preserve staff
Website »

More information

See the G-rated movie under the stars at Booth Amphitheatre. Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast cars, the legendary Lighting McQueen finds himself pushed out of the sport that...

Cost: $5 ages 13 and older. Free for ages 12 and younger.

Where:
Booth Amphitheatre
8003 Regency Pkwy.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy a movie outdoors at the amphitheatre. Take a blanket or lawn chair.  Call the Halle Cultural Arts Center for film title. Pets and alcohol not permitted.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Apex Nature Park Amphitheatre
2600 Evans Rd.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: The Halle Cultural Arts Center
Telephone: (919) 249-1120
Website »

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Join staff for a leisurely hike along our trails while learning how to identify plants, insects, birds and any other critters that happen along our path (not stroller accessible, so baby backpacks...

Cost: $1/person

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


Website »

More information

Saturday, July 21; 10:00–11:00 a.m. Take a walk in the woods and discover the animals and plants that call our park home. Help collect data for our Natural Resource Inventory Database and other...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Children's booksellers read their favorite picture books. All ages.

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Website »

More information

Meet a real turtle and hike to see others. Play turtle games and bring home a rock 'turtle' in a terrarium you design. Ages 3-5 with caregiver. Register online.

Cost: $6

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson Nature Preserve
Website »

More information

Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

More information

View the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring the mill's history and aspects of its preservation. All ages. Registration encouraged online; tickets available inside...

Cost: $5/adult, $3/ ages 7-16. Free for ages 6 and younger.

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


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Saturday, July 21; 1:00–3:00 p.m. Stop by our FREE discovery table to learn about bees! Registration is not required. The display table is located by the Upper Playground.

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

arcBARKS, the maker of healthy dog treats operated by The ARC of Greensboro, will have free samples for all dogs at this dog- and human-friendly event. Co-sponsor Shoe Crazy Wines will have...

Cost: Free

Where:
Special Treats Chocolate Shop
Timberlyne Shopping Center
1129 Weaver Dairy Rd.,Unit R
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
View map »


Sponsor: Special Treats
Telephone: 919-883-2151
Contact Name: Dan Friedman
Website »

More information

Explore the historic heart of downtown Raleigh on a walking tour of Fayetteville Street. Tours highlight the people, places, architecture and political movements that have shaped...

Cost: Adults (18+) $10; Youth (7-17) $4; Children (6 & under) Free.

Where:
City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Scott Reintgen discusses his newest book, "Nyxia Unleashed."  p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 19.0px Calibri; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1...

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Website »

More information

This epic musical is about wishes, family and the consequences of the choices that we make. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to lift their family curse by journeying into the woods,...

Cost: $15/person

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2017-18 Education Guide offers 660 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. Plus, find out who our 2018 Readers' Favorites are.