Cool Water Fun Places in the Triangle


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Photo courtesy of YanLev/Shutterstock.com

Updated April 9, 2017 by Megan Finke

There's nothing quite like plunging into a cool pool or running through a cold spray as the summer sun beams down. This season, incorporate water into your kids' activities by visiting pools, lakes and waters parks around the Triangle and beyond. Remember to always watch children in and around water and make sure they learn how to swim. See these tips for summer water safety.

Jump to: Cary | Chapel Hill | Creedmoor | Durham | Fuquay-VarinaGarner | Knightdale | Morrisville | Raleigh | Smithfield | Wakefield | Wake Forest | YoungsvilleLakes | Places worth a drive

 

RALEIGH

Admission for all City of Raleigh pools, except Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center, is $2 for residents and $3 for nonresidents ages 1-12; $4 for residents and $7 for nonresidents ages 12-54; $3 for residents and $5 for nonresidents ages 55 and older.
Monthly and annual passes are accepted at all facilities and are a cheaper option for families who plan to visit these pools throughout the summer.
See Raleigh's Pools & Aquatic Facilities webpage.

Biltmore Pool
701 Crown Crossing Ln., Raleigh
919-831-6736
Raleigh Pools & Aquatic Facilities (scroll to Biltmore Pool)
Features a baby pool, a lap and recreation main pool, and deep end that is 12 feet deep.
Summer Hours (June 10 – August 20): Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, noon-6 p.m.; Sunday, 1-6 p.m.

Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center
5908 Buffaloe Rd., Raleigh
919-996-5600
Raleigh Pools & Aquatic Facilities (scroll to Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center)
Offers a lazy river, water vortex, three story waterslide, water volleyball and water basketball. A toddler-friendly area has water toys, a water curtain and a slide.
Hours: Public swim is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Check the website for hours of specific features, which vary. Open year round.
Admission: $3 for residents and $6 for nonresidents ages 1-12; $7 for residents and $14 for nonresidents ages 13-54; $5 for residents and $10 for nonresidents ages 55 and older.

John Chavis Community Center Pool and Splash Ground
720 Chavis Way, Raleigh
919-831-6565
Raleigh Pools & Aquatic Facilities (scroll to Chavis Pool)
Features an outdoor pool, splash ground and waterslide.
Summer Hours (June 10 - September 4): Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 pm.; Saturday, noon-7 p.m.; Sunday, 1-6 p.m.

Lake Johnson Pool
1416 Athens Dr., Raleigh
919-233-2111
Raleigh Pools & Aquatic Facilities (scroll to Lake Johnson Pool)
Features a lap and recreation main pool, a large spray ground, and a baby pool.
Summer Hours (June 3 – August 27): Monday-Friday, noon-8 p.m. (spray ground and wading pool open at 10 a.m.); Saturday, 10 a.m.-8p.m.; Sunday, 1-6 p.m.

Longview Pool
321 Bertie Dr., Raleigh
919-831-6343
Raleigh Pools & Aquatic Facilities (scroll to Longview Pool)
Features a baby pool and a lap and recreation main pool.
Summer Hours (June 10 – August 13): Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday, noon-6 p.m.; Sunday, 1-6 p.m.

Milbrook Exchange Park
1905 Spring Forest Rd., Raleigh
919-996-4130
Raleigh Pools & Aquatic Facilities (scroll to Milbrook Exchange Pool)
Milbrook Exchange Park features a wading pool, spray ground and playground where children can work up a sweat before cooling off. Open year round.
Summer Hours for spray ground and wading pool (May 27 - August 13): Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 1-6 p.m. Check website for rec swim hours. 

Optimist Pool
5902 Whittier Dr., Raleigh
919-870-2882
Raleigh Pools & Aquatic Facilities (scroll to Optimist Pool)
Includes spacious locker rooms and a classroom. Offers an Olympic size swimming pool, a diving well with low and high diving boards, lap and recreational swimming, a large baby pool, and water exercise programs.
Summer Hours for wading pool (May 27 – September 4): Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 1-6 p.m. Check website for open rec swim and diving board hours. 

Pullen Aquatic Center
410 Ashe Ave., Raleigh
919-996-6197
Raleigh Pools & Aquatic Facilities (scroll to Pullen Aquatic Center)
Indoor Olympic size swimming pool with diving boards. Open year-round.
Summer Hours (May 27 – August 13): Monday-Friday, 12:30-8 p.m.; Saturday, 12:30-7 p.m.; Sunday 1-6 p.m.  

Rex Wellness Center of Raleigh
4200 Lake Boone Trail, Raleigh
919-784-1371
Rex Wellness Center of Raleigh pools
Rex Wellness Centers offer a wide variety of swim classes and personal training programs in heated saline lap pools. Also offered are supervised family-oriented swim programs.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 5 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 5 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
See the aquatics page of the website for details.

Ridge Road Pool
1709 Ridge Rd., Raleigh
919-420-2322
Raleigh Pools & Aquatic Facilities (scroll to Ridge Road Pool)
Offers wading and spray pools.Summer Hours (June 3 – August 22): Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 1-6 p.m. Wading pool opens at 9 a.m. Monday-Friday.

DURHAM

Admission for outdoor Durham pools, unless otherwise noted below: $2 for residents and $7 for nonresidents ages 4-17 and senior citizens 55+; $3 for residents and $8 for nonresidents ages 18 and older. Family rates available (children ages 3 and younger are free). Daily admissions must be paid in cash. Most spray grounds are free. See Durham Aquatics Outdoor Pools for details. 

Campus Hills Pool
2000 South Alston Ave., Durham
919-560-4444
Durham Aquatics
Please note: Beginning the end of June, Campus Hills Pool will be closed for construction.
Offers an indoor pool for recreational and lap swimming. Open year-round.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday 6 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m.
Admission: Call ahead. 

East End Park Spray Ground
1200 N. Alston Ave., Durham
919-560-4355
Durham Aquatics
Features free spray grounds. Open May through October. 
Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Edison Johnson Aquatic Center and Spray Ground
500 West Murray Ave., Durham
919-560-4265
Durham Aquatics
Offers an indoor pool that can be used for recreational and lap swimming, as well as a free spray ground. Open year-round. The spray ground is located in the playground area and can be accessed when the pool is closed.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday, 6 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m.
Admission: Call ahead. 

Forest Hills Pool and Spray Ground 
1639 University Dr., Durham
919-560-4782
Durham Aquatics
Offers a spray ground and an outdoor swimming pool. Spray ground is located in the playground area and can be accessed when the pool is closed. Open May-October. There is no admission fee for this spray ground.
Summer Hours (Opens June 9): Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9 a.m.-noon; Tuesday and Thursday, 3-7 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Free admission Tuesdays from 3-7 p.m.

Hillside Pool and Spray Ground
1221 Sawyer St., Durham
919-560-4783
Durham Aquatics
Offers a spray ground and an outdoor swimming pool. Spray ground in located inside the Hillside Pool area and is only open during pool hours. Pool fees apply. Children ages 3 and under are free of charge. Free admission on Wednesdays from 3-7 p.m.
Summer Hours: Monday-Friday, 3-7 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-5 p.m. August 21-September 4, hours will be extended from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Long Meadow Pool
917 Liberty St., Durham
919-560-4202
Durham Aquatics
Offers an outdoor swimming pool. Children ages 3 and under are free of charge. Free admission on Mondays from 3-7 p.m.
Summer Hours (Opens June 9): Monday-Friday, 3-7 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

CHAPEL HILL 

Single admission for residents is $1.25 for ages 8 and younger, $2.50 for ages 9-18 and $5 for adults, unless otherwise noted below. For nonresidents, admission is $2.50 for ages 8 and younger, $5 for ages 9-18 and $8.50 for adults. Many packages for annual and multi-visit admission are available, see online Chapel Hill's aquatics page for details.

A.D. Clark Outdoor Pool at Hargraves Community Center
216 North Roberson St., Chapel Hill
919-968-2794
Town of Chapel Hill pools
Offers an outdoor pool; playground; and basketball, volleyball, tennis and softball courts. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day. See hours online here

Chapel Hill Community Center Indoor Pool
120 South Estes Dr., Chapel Hill
919-968-2790
Town of Chapel Hill pools
Offers an indoor pool; climbing wall; and basketball and bocce ball courts. Pool is open year round. See hours online here

Homestead Aquatic Center
300 Aquatic Dr., Chapel Hill
919-968-2799
Town of Chapel Hill pools
Offers an indoor family pool with a zero-depth entrance that slopes down to 3 feet and then to 6 feet with a separate lap pool. Educational and recreational lessons available. Pool is open year round. See hours online here

CARY

Triangle Aquatic Center (private pool)
275 Convention Dr., Cary
919-459-4045
triangleaquatics.org
TAC has indoor pools for lap or general swimming as well as a warm water instructional pool that can be used for beginner swim lessons or occupational therapy. Swim lessons and party packages available.
Hours: vary; check the website for details. Open year-round.
Admission: Costs vary; monthly and annual passes are available. A family pass for up to 5 is $15 daily.

Taylor Family YMCA (former Cary Family YMCA)
101 YMCA Dr., Cary
919-469-9622
YMCA of the Triangle, Taylor YMCA
Features lap swim lanes and a toddler pool. Guests not allowed on Sundays or holidays. Hours: See the website for schedules. Membership information online here

Rex Wellness Center of Cary
1515 SW Cary Parkway, Cary
919-387-0080
Rex Wellness Center of Cary's pools
Rex Wellness Centers offer a wide variety of swim classes and personal training programs in heated saline lap pools. Also offered are supervised family-oriented swim programs.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 5 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 5 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
See the aquatics page of the website for details.

Jack Smith Park Sprayground 
9725 Penny Road, Cary
919-462-3838
Jack Smith Park Sprayground website
The town’s first splash pad has nine water features and is for ages 12 and younger. Park also has a playground, dog park, greenway trails and more.  
Summer hours: Open mid-May through end of September, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. 

MORRISVILLE

Morrisville Aquatics and Fitness Center
1301 Morrisville Parkway, Morrisville
919-463-6900
Morrisville Aquatics and Fitness Center website
Offers a year-round swimming pool, dry sauna, fitness equipment, aerobics studio, and racquetball and tennis courts.
Pool hours: Monday-Thursday, 6 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sunday, noon-4:30 p.m.

WAKE FOREST

Taylor Street Park Sprayground
416 N. Taylor St., Wake Forest
Taylor Street Park Sprayground web page
919-435-9560
Construction on the Taylor Street Park Sprayground is underway and expected to be completed by the end of July 2017. Upon completion, Wake Forest's first sprayground will be a dynamic, zero-depth aquatic play area designed to combine the sensations of different water movements — flowing, misting and jetting — with dozens of diverse features.

Holding Park Pool
133 W. Owen Ave., Wake Forest
919-435-9560
Holding Park web page
Please note: Due to a significant leak and serious structural issues, Holding Park Pool will not open in 2017.
The park features a 50-meter swimming pool that offers swimming to the general public as well as swim lessons and dedicated parent/toddler swim times. See website for admission fees and lesson information.
Summer Hours: Monday-Friday, 1-6 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-7 p.m.
Admission: Children 2 and under, $1; children 3-12, $3, patrons 13 and older, $4.

KNIGHTDALE

Rex Wellness Center of Knightdale
6602 Knightdale Blvd., Knightdale
919-747-5360
Rex Wellness Center of Knightdale's web page
Rex Wellness Centers offer a wide variety of swim classes and personal training programs in heated saline lap pools. Also offered are supervised family-oriented swim programs.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 5 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 5 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
See the aquatics page of the website for details.

SMITHFIELD

Healthquest Fitness and Wellness Center
514 N. Bright Leaf Blvd., Suite 1701, Smithfield
919-938-7581
Johnston Health's Healthquest web page
Features an indoor lap pool, warm water therapy pool, and whirlpool. Also offers aquatic classes and personal training with a membership. The facility can accommodate pool parties.

WAKEFIELD 

Rex Wellness Center of Wakefield
11200 Galleria Ave., Raleigh
919-570-1511
Rex Wellness Center of Wakefield's web page
Rex Wellness Centers offer a wide variety of swim classes and personal training programs in heated saline lap pools. Also offered are supervised family-oriented swim programs.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 5 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 5 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
See the aquatics page of the website for details.

GARNER

Rex Wellness Center of Garner
1400 Timber Drive East, Garner
919-661-6100
Rex Wellness Center of Garner's web page
Rex Wellness Centers offer a wide variety of swim classes and personal training programs in heated saline lap pools. Also offered are supervised family-oriented swim programs.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 5 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 5 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
See the aquatics page of the website for details.

FUQUAY-VARINA

Fuquay-Varina Splash Park
900 S. Main St., Fuquay-Varina
​Fuquay-Varina Splash Park web page
​Opening in early June. Located at South Park (next to the Community Center)
Hours: Open daily, starting in early June, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. through early September.
Admission: Residents must present their Resident Splash Pad card at the front kiosk for free admittance. Resident Cards are only attainable at the Community Center during business hours (8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday - Friday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday). $2 for non-residents. One parent will be admitted without charge. Children under the age of 2 are free of charge. 

YOUNGSVILLE

Hill Ridge Farms
703 Tarboro Road, Youngsville
919-556-1771
hillridgefarms.com
Splash pad with water slide open May 28 - September 4. 
Admission: $8 for ages 2-12, $6 for ages 13+. Admission includes bounce house, giant slide, farm animal corral, fish feeding dock, hay jump, colorful maze and splash pad. 
Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

CREEDMOOR

Three Bears Acres
711 Beaver Dam Road, Creedmoore
919-609-9967
threebearsacres.com
Spray ground and Water War Zone open in the summer. See June-September hours online
Admission: $8 for adults, $15 for children, $5 for senior citizens, children 2 and under are free. Summer annual pass available. 

LAKES

Falls Lake State Recreation Area
13304 Creedmoor Rd., Wake Forest
919-676-1027
Falls Lake State Recreation Area web page
Offers sandy beaches, swimming areas, campsites, picnic areas with grills, bathrooms and changing facilities. Fishing and boating permitted in certain areas.
Hours: 8 a.m.-9 p.m., May-August.
Admission: $6 daily per car; $4 for senior citizens. Annual passes available for $50. Weekend fees: $7 per car; $5 for senior citizens. 

Jordan Lake State Recreation Area
280 State Park Rd., Apex
919-362-0586
Jordan Lake State Park web page
Offers sandy beaches, swimming areas, campsites, picnic areas with grills, bathrooms and changing facilities. Fishing and boating permitted in certain areas. 
Hours: 8 a.m.-9 p.m., May-August.
Admission: $6 daily per car; $4 for senior citizens. Annual passes available for $60. Weekend fees: $7 per car; $5 for senior citizens. 

WATER FUN PLACES WORTH A DRIVE

Fantasy Lake Water Park
5869 Permastone Lake Rd., Hope Mills (south of Fayetteville)
910-424-9999
fantasylakewaterpark.com
Offers a variety of slides, boats, a Tarzan swing, a kid-zone designed for ages 3-11 and adult attractions. Diving boards and suspended chairs please thrill-seekers. Volleyball is available both in and out of the water.
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Open daily June 9 - July 31.
Admission: $10 for ages under 11 and 60+, $16 for everyone else. Children under age 3 are free.
Season passes available.

Great Wolf Lodge
10175 Weddington Rd., Concord
866-925-9653
greatwolf.com/concord/waterpark
Residential indoor water park featuring slides, rides and pools the whole family can enjoy, regardless of the weather. Also features an interactive MagiQuest game. Themed suites are available for one night or an extended stay.
Hours: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Admission: free with purchase of hotel room. Waterpark only available to overnight guests.

Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park
5320 Oleander Dr., Wilmington
910-791-0666
junglerapids.com
Features wet and dry activities for the whole family, including the Million Gallon Wavepool with ocean sized waves, the Half-pipe Waterslide and activities for land lubbers like laser tag, go-karts and a rock wall.
Hours: See website for information.
Admission: Rates vary; visit website for more information.

Wet N' Wild Emerald Pointe
3910 S. Holden Rd., Greensboro
336-852-9721
emeraldpointe.com
Features an interactive "Soak Zone" where families can splash and get sprayed; rides, slides, waves, pools and other kid-friendly attractions. Birthday packages and cabanas also available. 
Hours: Times and days vary, check website for details.
Admission: Check website for details. Season passes available.
 

MORE FAMILY FUN FROM CAROLINAPARENT.COM
• Things to Do 
• Daily Calendar
• The Triangle Go-To Guide

 

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Calendar

June 2017

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Cary, NC  27518
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Cary, NC  27518
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
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Raleigh, NC  27615
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Suite 103
Raleigh, NC  27612
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Telephone: 919-787-2250
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5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
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Raleigh, NC  27610
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Telephone: 919-537-3370
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5229 Awls Haven Dr.
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12600 Spruce Tree Way
Raleigh, NC  27614
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SnickerDoodles
3721 Lynn Road, #112
Raleigh, NC  27613
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Sponsor: songs for seeds
Telephone: 984.219.2022
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Cost: $3

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-2760
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10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
Raleigh, NC  27617
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Sponsor: Pump it Up
Telephone: 919-828-3344
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Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

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Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
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Booth Amphitheatre
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Lake Crabtree County Park
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Telephone: 919-460-3355
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West Point on the Eno
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PNC Arena
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N.C. State Fairgrounds, Kerr Scott Building
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
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Barnes & Noble Cary
760 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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Durham, NC  27701
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Sponsor: American Dance Festival
Telephone: 919-684-6402
Contact Name: Mollie O'Reilly
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Explore the historic nature of Leigh Farm Park with a friendly guide. Venture inside the historic farmhouse while being captivated by tales about life at Leigh Farm throughout the years.

Cost: Free

Where:
Leigh Farm Park
370 Leigh Farm Rd.
Durham, NC  27707
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Sponsor: Durham Parks and Recreation
Telephone: 919-560-1116
Contact Name: Natalya Buckel
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Hear the music of U2 performed by the North Carolina Symphony. Purchase tickets online. Kids 12 and younger admitted free on the lawn. 

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Booth Amphitheatre
8003 Regency Pkwy.
Cary, NC
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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2016-17 Education Guide offers 643 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 debut Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. Plus, find out who our 2017 Readers' Favorites are.