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

Floraffiti Public Art Installation Returns to Raleigh

Inspirational words are sprouting across downtown Raleigh as part of Floraffiti, a public art and beautification project.

Planet Fitness Challenge Lets Teens Work Out for Free All Summer

Here's how to get a free Planet Fitness gym membership for your teens this summer

Free and Low-Cost Bowling Deals

For cool, frugal fun when temperatures soar outside or on a rainy summer day, you can't beat bowling.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

June 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

Discover the joys of fishing at Bass Pro Shops with free fishing seminars, kids crafts and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
201
Cabela Dr.
Garner, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 984-204-2200
Contact Name: Tammy Fonda-Quann

More information

Discover the joys of fishing at Bass Pro Shops with free fishing seminars, kids crafts and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
801 Bass Pro Ln.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Telephone: 417-413-9368
Contact Name: Todd Foxx
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

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

It`s 1863 at Yates Mill, and the yard is alive with activity! Step back in time with our 19th-century costumed interpreters and watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal.  Tour fee:...

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

Hop, skip, and jump over to Crowder County Park as we celebrate Father’s Day! Bring the whole family out for an afternoon of games related to nature. Afterwards we’ll cool off with some...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Search for salamanders, birds, deer and more. All ages with adult. Register online. Choose course #124938.

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Practice your recognition skills through sorting, matching, and more! Move like animals in nature and find park critters in a fun scavenger hunt. For ages 18 months - 3 years (with an accompanying...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Drop by the cybrary for storytime with a librarian. Activity Room 4. Preschool and kindergarten ages. No registration necessary. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Carrboro Cybrary
100 N Greensboro St
Carrboro, NC  27510
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-918-7387
Contact Name: Cybrary
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

Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online. Choose course #124963.

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

Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online. Choose course #124691.

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

Travel 238,900 miles above the earth as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of humans’ first landing on the moon. What's it like to travel in space? With the help of some volunteers, kids...

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: Orange County Main Library
Website »

More information

Travel 238,900 miles above the earth as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of humans’ first landing on the moon. What's it like to travel in space? With the help of some volunteers, kids...

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: Orange County Main Library
Website »

More information

Ages 11 and older with special needs stroll through the woods. Register online. Choose course #124383.

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

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


Website »

More information

Vacation Bible School includes dinner. Register at wpumc.com/vbs

Cost: Free

Where:
White Plains United Methodist Church
313 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: White Plains UMC
Telephone: 919-467-9394
Contact Name: Michele Vansteen
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come out to the millpond and fish the old-fashioned way - we'll provide you with a cane pole, tackle, and bait, along with basic instructions and assistance with identifying fish species....

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Celebrate our #1 pollinator by learning about the busy bees of Crowder Park. Learn the dances of bees and how they communicate, discover how pollination works, and taste different types of honey....

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-662-2850
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

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px 'Times New Roman'; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} span.s2 {font: 12.0px 'Times New Roman'; font-kerning: none}...

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Court
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

Vacation Bible School includes dinner. Register at wpumc.com/vbs

Cost: Free

Where:
White Plains United Methodist Church
313 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: White Plains UMC
Telephone: 919-467-9394
Contact Name: Michele Vansteen
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy stories with Amy Godfrey.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Preschoolers (ages 3-5 with accompanying adult) learn about different frogs and toads that live in our area and what they sound like.  Make frog sounds, hop along the park trails and look for...

Cost: $5

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: Martha Kane
Website »

More information

Bees are really important in our gardens! Read The Honey Robber and the Bee by Eric Carle and discover the world of bees and honey! Find your fellow bees by following your sense of smell, make a...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-662-2850
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

Enjoy tea time for the whole family. Samples of hot tea, cold tea, and kombucha will be provided, along with games and family fun.

Cost: Free

Where:
IngenuiTea Kombucha Coffee & Tea
514 E Williams St
APEX, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: IngenuiTea Brews
Telephone: 919-438-3684
Contact Name: Mark Poole
Website »

More information

Vacation Bible School includes dinner. Register at wpumc.com/vbs

Cost: Free

Where:
White Plains United Methodist Church
313 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: White Plains UMC
Telephone: 919-467-9394
Contact Name: Michele Vansteen
Website »

More information

Enjoy an out-of-this world space spectacular event. Preschoolers and their families are invited to fly in for space-themed games, crafts, and more. No registration required.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Court
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

Join park staff for an informal fishing experience for the whole family. Bring your own poles or borrow one of ours through the Tackle Loaner Program. Bait and basic instruction are provided. All...

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 special needs enjoy yoga and breathing exercises. Register online. Choose course #125022.

Cost: $9/resident, $11/nonresident

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy giant checkers, giant jenga, bubbles, and special art activities in Downtown Park. All other permanent games (ping pong, bocce ball, chess) will continue to be available.

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Park
319 S. Academy St.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Website »

More information

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. Ages 3...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy stories with Amy Godfrey.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids ages 6-9 discover the wonders of reptiles that live at the Preserve.  The focus will be hands-on outdoor investigation and the study of living things in their habitat.  In case of...

Cost: $5

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: Marti Kane
Website »

More information

Parent and child ages 2-5 water plants in the native wildflower gardens. Register online. Choose course #124907.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
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 Optimist Aquatic Center as thousands of kids and adults around the world unite for the world's largest swimming lesson. The World's Largest Swimming Lesson will celebrate its 10th...

Cost: Free

Where:
Optimist Aquatic Center
5902 Whittier Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Website »

More information

p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px 'Times New Roman'; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px 'Times...

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Court
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

Vacation Bible School includes dinner. Register at wpumc.com/vbs

Cost: Free

Where:
White Plains United Methodist Church
313 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: White Plains UMC
Telephone: 919-467-9394
Contact Name: Michele Vansteen
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Every year on June 21, we enjoy the most hours of sunlight during the whole year. Discover the science and cultural celebrations behind this special summer day. Make a pretty sun catcher to hang in...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Enjoy stories with Amy Godfrey.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

What do Historic Yates Mill County Park and the woodland faeries have in common? They both love nature! Take a short walk near the millpond to search for evidence of faeries (sightings are not...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
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

Enjoy magic, storytelling and origami with Yasu Ishida. Grades K-5.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Court
Knightdale, NC  27545
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy an indoor/outdoor vendor market with food trucks, coffee, live music outside and plenty of fun for all ages.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Pine State Coffee
1614 Automotive Way
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Night Market
Website »

More information

Vacation Bible School includes dinner. Register at wpumc.com/vbs

Cost: Free

Where:
White Plains United Methodist Church
313 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: White Plains UMC
Telephone: 919-467-9394
Contact Name: Michele Vansteen
Website »

More information

How many fireflies can you catch? Sign up for an evening of summer fun as we catch and release lightning bugs. Explore what gives them a special glow through hands-on discovery, games, and more!...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Every year on June 21, we enjoy the most hours of sunlight during the whole year. Discover the science and cultural celebrations behind this special summer day. Make a pretty sun catcher to hang in...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

This celebration of toys features interactive attractions, vendors, toy experiences and more. Purchase tickets online. 

Cost: $12/person. Free for ages 2 and younger.

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy stories with Amy Godfrey.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


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 provided,...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Young homesteaders learn about the importance of animals and pollinators on farms, both historically and today. Visit with animals, and enjoy interactive games, engaging crafts, imaginative face...

Cost: Free

Where:
Duke Homestead State Historic Site
2828 Duke Homestead Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

DIY Fest returns with more than 30 artisans and family-friendly activities to support the mission of Durham 150, the anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Durham. 

Cost: Free

Where:
The Scrap Exchange
2050 Chapel Hill Rd.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


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

The fair is for women thinking about getting pregnant, currently pregnant, or recently post-partum. Triangle-area organizations will have tables at the fair to share information about resources...

Cost: Free

Where:
NC Cooperative Extension
721 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: March of Dimes/Duke Family Medicine
Telephone: 678-246-9027
Contact Name: Courtney Simpson
Website »

More information

Want to get inside Historic Yates Mill? Join us for 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...

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

Ages 5-8 embrace science and nature while developing skills and knowledge about the natural world. Register online. Choose course #124927.

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

Enjoy all-things blueberry, food trucks, pie-eating contests and more at Vollmer Farms' annual Blueberry Festival. The Back-40 Country Playground will be open and features a...

Cost: $12 advance tickets, $15 at the door. Free for ages 12 and younger

Where:
Vollmer Farm
677 NC Hwy 98 East
Bunn, NC  27508
View map »


Sponsor: Vollmer Farm
Telephone: 919-496-3076
Website »

More information

Enjoy a movie under the stars and play games at 7:15 before the movie starts. 

Cost: Free

Where:
E. Carroll Joyner Park
701 Harris Rd.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


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. In our 2019-20 issue, explore 1,028 resources for family fun.