Chivalry and Modern Manners

Navigating etiquette guidelines in a progressive society


Published:

Hugh and Lily, seventh-grade students at Githens Middle School in Durham, show how to sit in a graceful and polite way at a party or other social event.

Photos courtesy of Morton Photography

It is hard to imagine a cuter scene than the annual Valentine’s Day Tea at St. David’s School in Raleigh. Dressed in coats and ties, second-grade boys escort second-grade girls — all in red party dresses — to their tables. The boys pull out chairs for their partners and gallantly pass cookies. Pinkies are not necessarily extended, but napkins are in laps. Emily Post would approve.

For the most part, parents — who are invited to the event as observers — approve, too. However, second-grade teacher Abby Brown says last year was the first time several parents expressed doubts. Is teaching traditional etiquette, with its age-old gender differentiation, appropriate in an age proud of its strong, independent girls and women? Here are four arguments to consider.


The Kindness Argument

Chivalry, Brown says, is all about kindness, respect and “being aware of the people around you.”

“Should a boy hold a door for a girl?” she asks. “Absolutely. And not just for a girl. It’s important to form habits of respect and awareness for everyone around you.”

Teachers at St. David’s School place a huge emphasis on character development and showing kindness and respect to teachers, parents and peers.

“We focus on this in everything we do, and the traditional manners we teach at our Valentine’s Tea are central to that message,” Brown says.

Margaret Vermillion, co-director for Durham Junior Cotillion, agrees that chivalry is simply a matter of learning to adjust your behavior to make other people feel comfortable.

“It feels good when someone holds the door open for you,” she says. “You feel respected. And it feels bad if you’re sitting across from someone chewing with their mouth open or slurping their soup.”

Brown incorporates the lessons from the Valentine’s Day Tea at St. David’s School into her classroom every day. Once a month, the “golden tray” is given to the class that has shown the best manners and etiquette in the lunchroom. Brown gives out a “golden spoon” each day to the child who has gone above and beyond to show respect and kindness to another student.

Donna Foard Knorr, who was a speech pathologist in Cabarrus County schools for 40 years, opened The Piedmont School of Etiquette because she sees manners as “life skills” that many children with whom she worked were lacking.

“Children want to know the rules,” she says. “They want to be polite and use good manners.”

Knorr says she is pleased at how quickly her students pick up the nuances of social interaction and how eager they are “to show the world they know how to act.”

Brown is equally pleased with the results at St. David’s School. “I see it all the time in the halls: Middle schoolers holding the door open for a teacher, male or female; and students addressing me and other adults with respect. “


The Self-Confidence Argument

“Chivalry sets you apart,” says Vermillion, whose popular cotillion classes for fifth- through eighth-graders always attract a crowd. “When you to know how to handle yourself in a variety of social situations, you’re going to exude self-confidence.”

Vermillion believes everything taught at cotillion — from table settings to handshakes to writing thank-you notes to dancing — gives her students the confidence to throw themselves into what otherwise might be challenging social situations.

“You don’t need to know what a shrimp fork is — just know the basics, so that at a nice dinner you can immediately sit down and think, ‘OK, Ms. Vermillion told me to always have my bread plate on the left.’ It just gives you confidence to focus on the people around you rather than on yourself.”

These lessons are not only still relevant, Vermillion insists, but vital at a time when social interaction is minimal among teens. She believes cotillion training provides the perfect phone-free, rule-protected venue for practice.

“Adult conversation is particularly difficult for this generation because their in-person exposure is so limited,” she says.

And the ballroom dancing? Important, too, Vermillion says, for helping preteens feel comfortable with the opposite sex.

“The first time those boys have to escort a girl into the room, they are so embarrassed. But that lasts about five minutes and then the awkwardness dissipates and they’re fine,” she says.

Vermillion does not believe that leading a girl into the room or pulling out her chair is chauvinistic. Indeed, she finds the opposite to be true.

“Clearly, a girl is capable of doing these things herself,” she says. “It is simply a sign of the boy’s admiration and respect. He is showing the girl he holds her in high esteem.”

Knorr is a stickler for gendered manners and reminds her students that a boy should not only hold the door open for a girl, but also offer his arm to a girl going up or down steps, that he should be the one to ask a girl on a date, and that he should then pay for a dinner or movie out.

Vermillion believes that arming a child with traditional manners will give him or her the confidence and social awareness to determine when and where to apply the rules.


The Success Argument

“Etiquette is necessary for success,” says Sarah Ho, senior assistant director for the Park Scholarships program at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

This prestigious, full scholarship regularly attracts more than 2,200 applicants for 35-40 spots. The chosen students have excellent academic records, are deeply involved in their community, are leaders in student organizations and show the potential to make meaningful change in society.

“These students will be judged not just on their achievements, but on how they conduct themselves, and how they interact with peers and professionals,” Ho says. One of the first requirements for this elite group of students is an etiquette class.

The Park Scholarship program added manners training to the curriculum several years ago because students asked for it. As finalists for the scholarship, they are invited to a dinner with the program’s board members and the admissions committee, and many students want to learn proper etiquette for the event.

“It’s a big formal dinner,” explains Ho. “They are still in high school and they all feel nervous about looking professional and acting appropriately at the table. Once they realize this is just the first of many similar events, they all want the skills so they can focus on impressing, rather than on being nervous about making a mistake.”

Interestingly, Ho notes, among these amazingly impressive students, very few come in with a strong background in etiquette.

“Occasionally, we have someone who did cotillion and that person is always at an advantage,” she says.

Ho says the etiquette training they get is basic, starting with a firm handshake and eye contact, practice at a formal dinner, topics of conversation to avoid and what to do if something embarrassing happens.

Because there are now more women than men in the program, Ho points out that the gender imbalance makes the women less likely to expect chivalrous behavior. Nonetheless, she says there are definitely gendered aspects to the training, such as holding doors open and pulling chairs out. Chivalry and etiquette may have morphed to meet the modern world, she says, but “it would be a surprise if we ever reach a day when etiquette doesn’t matter.”

The important lesson for the Park Scholars, just as it is for the second-graders at St. David’s School and middle school students in cotillion, is that being kind leads to success.

This training works for the Park Scholars. Ho says the students go on to ace professional conferences and interviews for international fellowships and internships, and eventually they get hired for top jobs.

“Anticipating someone else’s needs is professional,” Ho says. “It can be something big, or it can be something as small as opening a door.”


The Silicon Valley Argument

Durham Junior Cotillion is thriving, with more than 50 students in the fifth-grade class alone, and other cotillion programs offered throughout the Triangle and the Charlotte area are doing just as well.

But is embracing traditional manners a “Southern thing”? Not according to Janine Gerzanics, director of Junior Manners Company in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. She says cotillion classes in California were on the wane 10 years ago, but with the tech boom and population explosion around San Francisco, things have changed. Parents, she says, are focused on their children’s education and success. “All the kids have outstanding academics and fantastic extracurriculars, so parents look to cotillion to give their children a competitive edge in social interaction,” she says, adding that at Junior Manners Company, she and her staff teach traditional manners updated with “new manners for the 21st century.”

“In our incredibly diverse society, it is even more applicable to learn how to act appropriately, but it has to be made relevant,” Gerzanics says. “We’re not going to teach you to curl your pinkie as you drink your tea. We teach lessons that are applicable for all events and all times.”

She views cell phones as one of the main challenges for this generation of families.

“It is our job to move them out of ‘me, me, me,’ and to think about the people around them. They are not selfish, per se, they just have no idea how egocentric social media has made them.”

While Junior Manners Company tries to teach students to decrease their dependence on smartphones, the classes do incorporate phone and social media etiquette, as well.

“We recognize the ubiquity of cell phones and try to enforce the idea that manners are important online as well as off,” Gerzanics says.

Like Durham Junior Cotillion, the classes at Junior Manners Company teach traditional chivalry and ballroom dancing. And, like Vermillion, Gerzanics believes chivalry shows respect, not superiority.

“It is very possible that boys will hold open a door for a woman who does not appreciate the gesture, but he should come away from the situation knowing he did the right thing” she says.

Gerzanics often closes her classes by quoting from the book “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio. “The principal says that you often have to decide whether to be kind or to be right. But that if you are kind, then you are always right,” she says.

It would be hard to find a parent who would disagree with that.


Etiquette Must-do’s and Maybes

MUST-DO’s:

1. Greet someone with a short, firm handshake, address the person by name and be sure to look the person in the eye.

2. When it comes to table manners, know basic place-setting rules (e.g., outside-in with utensils). Make it pleasant for everyone (e.g., never chew with your mouth open). Participate in conversation.

3. Say “please” and “thank you.”

4. Send thank-you notes — preferably handwritten, though an email (not a text) will do in a pinch.

5. Hold the door open for someone older to show respect, and for anyone who looks like he or she could use help.

6. Put smartphones away during conversations, while sitting at a table for a meal and while in a car.

7. Be aware of the people around you. If someone’s grocery bag breaks, help pick up the groceries. Offer your seat in a waiting room or on the bus to an elderly person — or to anyone who looks like he or she needs it more than you do.

8. If you invite someone on a date, plan to pay for it.


MAYBES:

1. A boy should hold the door open for a girl.

2. A boy should be the one to ask a girl on a date.

3. A boy should always pay for a date.

4. A boy should go out of his way to introduce himself to his date’s parents.

5. A boy should share his umbrella and offer his coat to his date if she looks cold.

6. A boy should let a girl order first at a restaurant.


Etiquette Resources

“Emily Post’s Etiquette, 19th Edition: Manners for Today” by Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning

“Tiffany’s Table Manners for Teenagers” by Walter Hoving

“American Girl: A Smart Girl’s Guide: Manners: The Secrets to Grace, Confidence, and Being Your Best” by Nancy Holyoke

“Teenagers Tips for Success: Create a Future, Achieve Your Dreams and Become Very Successful” by James Malinchak

Durham Junior Cotillion at Hope Valley Country Club

Junior Manners Company

National League of Junior Cotillions Cary (Prestonwood Country Club)


​Caitlin Wheeler is a freelance writer in Durham.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

How to Throw Parties That Give Back

Show children it can be more fun to give than to get

Raleigh Women Tackle Confidence Gap by Reinventing Charm School

Learn about the program Beam School

The Truth About Lying

Part one of a series on understanding why kids don't tell the truth
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

April 2019

For almost 200 years, farmers brought their wheat and corn to what is now Yates Mill to have their grains ground into flour and meal. Today, you can stop by the Yates Mill visitor center to see a...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
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

Take your budding paleontologist on a quest to unearth colorful dinosaur eggs. Explore the Dinosaur Trail where you will find fun activities, adventure, and prehistoric excitement, including...

Cost: $7 for egg hunters, $2 for accompanying adults. Museum admission not included.

Where:
Museum of LIfe and Science
433 W. Murray Ave.
Durham, NC  27704-3101
View map »


Sponsor: Museum of Life and Science
Telephone: 919-220-5429
Contact Name: Heather Hill
Website »

More information

Step back in time with our 19th-century costumed interpreters and watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal. Preregistration is encouraged. Tours are not available between Noon-1:00 p.m....

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Free/Child (6 - under)

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Explore the rocks of Crowder through hands-on science. Conduct scientific tests to discover the hidden identity of rocks. Learn the three types of rocks and play the rock cycle game. All ages....

Cost: Free

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

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrate Earth Day by coming to the park to learn fun facts about our blue planet, tips on how to reduce your ecological footprint, and how you can reduce waste. Take the Earth Day pledge and make...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Detective work in nature will take us on an adventure around the park discovering tracks and other signs wildlife leave behind. Make your own animal track. Celebrate Earth Day exploring the park....

Cost: $16 per child

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Ages 2-5 enjoy movement and mindfulness. Learn basic yoga elements through age-appropriate breath-work techniques, games, storytelling, and creative visualization.

Cost: $15 or use your package/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East St.
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 5-13 enjoy a one-hour yoga class designed to strengthen and stretch the entire body, balance the nervous system, improve body awareness, encourage the development of communication and social...

Cost: $15 or use class pass/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East St.
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 5-13. Homeschool Yoga is a one-hour class designed to strengthen and stretch the entire body, balance the nervous system, improve body awareness. Weave in art and journaling before or after...

Cost: $15 or use class pass/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East Street
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »

More information

Expand your hiking experience by learning how to identify animal tracks, scat, and other signs that they leave behind. Learn more about the mammals in our area by studying their skulls and scat....

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

Ages 11 and older with disabilities make coffee cake and yogurt parfait. Register online. Choose course #120056.

Cost: $19/resident, $24/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrate Earth Day by coming to the park to learn fun facts about our blue planet, tips on how to reduce your ecological footprint, and how you can reduce waste. Take the Earth Day pledge and make...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Ages 2-5 enjoy movement and mindfulness. Learn basic yoga elements through age-appropriate breath-work techniques, games, storytelling, and creative visualization and more.

Cost: $15/child, use your package/membership.

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Chapel Hill
781 Mt Carmel Church Rd
chapel hill, NC  27517
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn how to reuse everyday objects to reduce trash. Blow bubbles, make musical instruments and create bird feeders. Get crafty and save the planet by reducing, reusing and recycling. All...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: (919) 662-2850
Website »

More information

Try your hand at back-to-basics living, just like the Ingalls and Wilder families experienced in the late 1800s and as is described in the Little House on the Prairie book series. Do your farm...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Ages 11 and older with special needs explore Swift Creek to discover fish, salamanders, crayfish and more. Dress to get wet. Register online. Choose course #121545.

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Ages 11-17 create old-fashioned taffy and hard candy using ingredients like caramel, marshmallow and chocolate. Register online. Choose course #119996.

Cost: $18/resident, $23/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Ali Standish discusses her new book, "August Isle", that tells the story of one girl’s journey to a magical seaside town, where she uncovers her family’s long hidden...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-942-7373
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrate Earth Day by coming to the park to learn fun facts about our blue planet, tips on how to reduce your ecological footprint, and how you can reduce waste. Take the Earth Day pledge and make...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Farm Animal Days gives children a chance to see and touch farm animals and learn about agriculture. See tractors, enjoy free ice cream and more. Register online. 

Cost: Free

Where:
NC State University Beef Educational Unit
4505 Mid Pines Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27695
View map »


Website »

More information

Connect with your baby, other parents and yourself during this adult-focused postpartum yoga class. Recommended for babies newborn to walking. Take a mat, a blanket for your little one, and...

Cost: $15 or use class pass/membership

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Pittsboro
184 East Street
Pittsboro, NC  27312
View map »


Website »

More information

Meet other families in your community in a recreation setting. The play room will be reserved for parents and their young children. Sports and recreation equipment will be available...

Cost: Free

Where:
Sanderford Road Center
2623 Sanderford Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Telephone: 919-831-1898
Contact Name: Adam Sproles
Website »

More information

Discover the joy of cooking with storybook characters. Ages 3-5 with parent. Register online. Choose course #120083.

Cost: $23/resident, $30/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Farm Animal Days gives children a chance to see and touch farm animals and learn about agriculture. See tractors, enjoy free ice cream and more. Register online. 

Cost: Free

Where:
NC State University Beef Educational Unit
4505 Mid Pines Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27695
View map »


Website »

More information

This after-school class for kids in grades 3-5 offers fun learning yoga poses and mindfulness techniques to reduce stress. Grades 3-5. 

Cost: $15/class, or use your class pass/membership.

Where:
Kids Mindful Movement - Chapel Hill
781 Mt. Carmel Church Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27517
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn about what lives in those woods and and unravel nature mysteries. Take a hike to help staff find animals, plants and fungi. Make a nature craft, participate in animal...

Cost: Free

Where:
Piedmont Wildlife Center
364 Leigh Farm Rd.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: Piedmont Wildlife Center
Telephone: 919-489-0900
Contact Name: Noelle Dalhouse
Website »

More information

Enjoy free, live performances from the best artists from around the Triangle in front of Stone Theatre as well as kid-friendly activities. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Morrisville, NC  27560


Website »

More information

Ages 11 and older with special needs watch the movie "Spiderman". Drinks and light snacks provided. Register online. Choose course #121047.

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
Cary Senior Center
120 Maury O'Dell Place
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

Parents learn to help children with special needs manage anxiety and worries. Register online. Choose course #121427.

Cost: $11/resident, $15/nonresident

Where:
Cary Senior Center
120 Maury O'Dell Place
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

The kick off for the 3rd annual Series of Fortunate Events to benefit Arts Access.  An evening celebrating the artists, hosts, sponsors, and Honorary Chair Martha Keravuori of the...

Cost: $50/person

Where:
AIA NC (American Institute of Architects) Building
14 Peace Street
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Sponsor: Arts Access
Telephone: 919-833-9919
Contact Name: Penny Arrowood
Website »

More information

Join artist Jacklyn Bowie for an immersive and collaborative project that will be projected on the exterior walls of the Gregg Museum. The projections will be inspired by the museum’s spring...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gregg Museum of Art & Design
1903 Hillsborough St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Sponsor: Gregg Museum of Art & Design
Telephone: 919-515-5335
Contact Name: Evelyn McCauley
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

See more than 1,500 cars, including hot rods, classic cars, custom cars, trucks through 1987 and others. Enjoy a demolition derby, kids activities and more.

Cost: $10-$22

Where:
North Carolina State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Farm Animal Days gives children a chance to see and touch farm animals and learn about agriculture. See tractors, enjoy free ice cream and more. Register online. 

Cost: Free

Where:
NC State University Beef Educational Unit
4505 Mid Pines Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27695
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy imaginative play in a natural setting. Materials provided. Register online. Choose course code #231348.

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Enjoy springtime temperatures at Waverly Place during the second spring Wine Walk. With a $15 donation to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, visitors receive a sampling glass plus a Waverly Place...

Cost: Visitors receive a sampling glass plus a Waverly Walk Passport that allows acces

Where:
Waverly Place Shopping Center
302 Colonades Way
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy fun, games, friendship and more every Friday.

Cost: Free

Where:
Sanderford Road Center
2623 Sanderford Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department
Telephone: 919-831-1898
Contact Name: Adam Sproles
Website »

More information

Relax in the courtyard with food and jumbo games. All ages.

Cost: Free

Where:
Edison Johnson Community Center
500 W. Murray Ave.
Durham, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy free, live performances from the best artists from around the Triangle in front of Stone Theatre as well as kid-friendly activities. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Morrisville, NC  27560


Website »

More information

Relive the magic of your favorite wizard in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert. Based on the third installment of J.K. Rowling’s classic saga, fans of all ages can now...

Cost: $28-$81

Where:
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Telephone: 919-996-8711
Website »

More information

Come experience the wonder of Japanese koi fish, a living art. Meet national experts and local hobbyists. Learn how to care for your pond and fish. Enjoy various raffles, auctions,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Raleigh Elks Lodge #735
5538 Lead Mine Rd
Raleigh, NC  27612
View map »


Sponsor: ZNA Carolina
Telephone: 919-818-0289
Contact Name: Robin
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

See more than 1,500 cars, including hot rods, classic cars, custom cars, trucks through 1987 and others. Enjoy a demolition derby, kids activities and more.

Cost: $10-$22

Where:
North Carolina State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

See more than 1,500 cars, including hot rods, classic cars, custom cars, trucks through 1987 and others. Enjoy a demolition derby, kids activities and more.

Cost: $10-$22

Where:
North Carolina State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Spring Daze features more than 180 North Carolina artists, entertainment on four stages, delicious festival food and Cary’s annual Earth Day Celebration. The Children's Village at the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

RTP Young Women In Bio, in coordination with Graduate Women in Science RTP, hosts its annual Spring Into STEM event on April 27 for middle school girls. Throughout the morning, participants will...

Cost: Free

Where:
BRITE Building at NC Central University
302 E Lawson Street
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: Women in Bio
Website »

More information

Celebrate all things strawberry. Enjoy inflatables, food trucks, craft vendors, kiddie rides, facepainting, a classic car show and more.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Technology Dr., off Hwy. 42 W.
Garner, NC  27529
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate crossing the finish of Girls on the Run's spring season. Join more than 2,000 runners and walkers of all ages, genders and physical abilities, along with hundreds of volunteers and...

Cost: $30-$35

Where:
American Tobacco Campus
300 Blackwell St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Girls on the Run of the Triangle
Telephone: 919-401-6307
Contact Name: Jamie Botta
Website »

More information

Dogs and their owners take part in a benefit event to help homeless pets. Register online. 

Cost: $35/adult, $20 ages 14 and younger.

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


Website »

More information

Throw paint on walls, jump over a huge 20-foot, green sofa, enjoy a massive food fight and much more at the YMCA Families On! Challenge, presented by Delta. This family race is...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Vollmer Farm
677 North Carolina 98 Hwy E
Bunn, NC  27508
View map »


Sponsor: YMCA of The Triangle
Website »

More information

Celebrate Earth Day on April 27 at the Museum as we throw a giant party for the planet! Local conservation groups and our friends at Paperhand Puppet Intervention will join us for a day of...

Cost: Free to members / Included with admission

Where:
Museum of Life and Science
433 W Murray Ave
Durham, NC  27704
View map »


Telephone: 919-220-5429
Contact Name: Matt Pusateri
Website »

More information

Letterland brings letters to life by turning them into colorful characters, each with their own personality and stories that go along with their sounds. Children will be welcomed by...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pullen Park
520 Ashe Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate spring in Mebane with live entertainment, vendors, kids' activities, a car show and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Mebane
Mebane, NC  27302


Website »

More information

Ages 1-5 and caregiver delight in the discoveries of nature. Register online. Choose course #121599.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Author David Silkenat will discuss his book, “Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the American Civil War,” and historian Earl Ijames will lecture on the...

Cost: $3 per adult, $2 for ages 5 to 16 years, and under age 5 is free.

Where:
Bennett Place
4409 Bennett Memorial Rd.
Durham, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate the return of feathered friends with game booths, activities, crafts and more.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Learn about all the beautiful home designs from Stanley Martin now selling in 12 Oaks. Kids will have the opportunity to plant something at the model home while also having fun inside a bounce...

Cost: Free

Where:
12 Oaks - Stanley Martin Model Home
116 Oaks End Drive
Holly Springs, NC  27540
View map »


Sponsor: 12 Oaks
Telephone: (919)-557-6850
Website »

More information

Enjoy a half-hour tour (starting at 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30 or 3 p.m.) to view the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring the mill's history and aspects of its preservation. All ages....

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Free/Child (6 - under)

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

An afternoon of accessible theater, music and dance featuring performers with and without disabilities. Enjoy performances by:  Diantha Lopez (Musician), Doug Kapp (Comedian), Eddie Cisneros...

Cost: $25/person

Where:
The Cary Theater
122 E. Chatham Street
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Arts Access
Telephone: 919-833-9919
Contact Name: Penny Arrowood
Website »

More information

Enjoy free, live performances from the best artists from around the Triangle in front of Stone Theatre as well as kid-friendly activities. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Morrisville, NC  27560


Website »

More information

Enjoy a magical evening of dancing, crafting, stories and more. Dress as your favorite storybook character or dress in your royal best, and take a new look at the library after the doors close...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cameron Village Library
1930 Clark Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27605
View map »


Website »

More information

Adults enjoy an evening gala to support Marble's Kids Museum.

Cost: $75/member, $95/nonmember

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


Website »

More information

Walk with a park naturalist to look and listen for wildlife in the woods and fields as daylight transitions to night. Ages 4 and older; children must be accompanied by an adult. Trails are not...

Cost: $2

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 staff
Website »

More information

Relive the magic of your favorite wizard in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert. Based on the third installment of J.K. Rowling’s classic saga, fans of all ages can now...

Cost: $28-$81

Where:
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Telephone: 919-996-8711
Website »

More information

Come experience the wonder of Japanese koi fish, a living art. Meet national experts and local hobbyists. Learn how to care for your pond and fish. Enjoy various raffles, auctions,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Raleigh Elks Lodge #735
5538 Lead Mine Rd
Raleigh, NC  27612
View map »


Sponsor: ZNA Carolina
Telephone: 919-818-0289
Contact Name: Robin
Website »

More information

Learn basic canoeing skills and a bit about the millpond's history, then head out to explore the pond's many features as seen only from the water. Canoes, paddles, and life jackets are...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Directories

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2018-19 Education Guide offers 678 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools, academic resources and an Exceptional Child special section.

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.