Cut Your Food Budget & Save on Delicious Family Meals


Published:

Nixing restaurant and fast food meals for dinners prepared at home is one way to slash your food budget and save money. But if you trade the drive-through for a frozen dinner or quick-fix meal that comes out of a box, you likely aren't bolstering your budget or boosting the quality of your family's meals. To get the most from your food dollar without sacrificing taste, quality or time, consider the following practical tips.

The Food Network's Melissa d'Arabian, host of Ten Dollar Dinners, argues that home-cooked meals need not be time-consuming and expensive to taste good. With the help of d'Arabian, a professional chef and penny-pinching blogger, you can devise a recipe for saving both time and money in the kitchen.

D'Arabian, a mother of four preschool-aged daughters, knows firsthand the demands of being a working mother. Since winning season five of The Next Food Network Star, the former-corporate-executive-turned-stay-at-home mom has re-entered the workplace as a television celebrity. While her new job is much different from her previous position in merchandise finance, the challenges of balancing family and career remain the same.

"Some days I need something I can get on the table rather quickly, and some days I can braise pork shoulders in the oven for a couple of hours," d'Arabian explains. "That being said, I can relate to needing to put food on my table that is nutritious, but also not very expensive, that still feels good to eat. The magic is when you can find creative ways to stretch your dollar."

To meet those goals, d'Arabian suggests the following:

*   Incorporate "bean night" into weekly menu planning. No actual beans needed! In the d'Arabian household, it means an inexpensive protein is the centerpiece of the meal. Quiche, omelets or whole-grain pasta dishes are among d'Arabian's repertoire of "bean night" recipes.

*    Track the cost of your "go-to" recipes and family favorites. Then you know when you are getting a deal on items you use most often. By knowing when frequently used items are a good price and purchasing them when they are on sale, you will not overpay.

*    Stock up on loss leaders. One cut of meat typically will be on sale each week at 50 to 70 percent off to draw customers into the store. "If you do nothing else, you should buy meat when it is the loss leader," d'Arabian says. "Meats rotate. Chicken breasts go on loss leader sale about every six weeks."

*    Get a "free" pound of ground beef. Repackage a five-pound package of ground beef into six almost-one-pound portions. "Each pound is a little bit shy, but no one ever notices and I get one free pound of ground beef," d'Arabian says.

Blogger Jana Madsen became "Mrs. Practical" when she abandoned her 60-hour-per-week career because it was extracting too much of a toll on her family life. When the recession made finding another full-time job difficult, she and her husband decided to "live as lean as we possibly could." Madsen periodically blogs about ways to spend less and enjoy life more at www.mrspracticalsguide.blogspot.com.

"It was a matter of wanting to save money but not really living like we were poor," Madsen says. "Life became an experiment to see where we could cut costs without diminishing the quality of our lives together and the lives of our children," she says.

Madsen offers tips for making the most of your food dollars:

*    Take advantage of price matching. Madsen says many grocery stores will honor other retailer's print advertised prices by matching the price at check-out or at the customer service counter. "A lot of people will try to shop at three or four stores to get the best deals," she says. "I don't have the time to be running all over town, and I don't feel that is a wise use of my gas either."

*    Turn off your oven. "If you are making five chicken nuggets for your preschooler, don't fire up your oven. Use your toaster oven," Madsen says.

*    Buy your juice in the freezer section. "You can save 40 or 50 cents every time you shop by switching to frozen concentrate," she says.

*    Extend the life of perishable items. Sandwich bread, hoagie buns and hamburger rolls freeze beautifully. Rolling herbs in a damp paper towel before placing them in a zippered plastic bag dramatically extends their refrigerator shelf life.

*    Use foods past their prime. Turn stale bread into breadcrumbs for baked chicken; bake banana bread with overly ripe bananas.

Chef Tom Douglas owns five Seattle restaurants, a retail bakery and a catering business, and is the author of three cookbooks. He advises home chefs to take a page out of the professional chef's playbook.

"I think some people shop with the 'If it costs more, it must be better' attitude; and vice versa: It must be cheaper if it costs less," Douglas says. "That's the wrong way to start at the grocery store. It's certainly not how we start in the restaurant. For the home cook, it is more about getting the most flavor, the most tenderness for your buck."

Here's what Douglas recommends to get the most flavor at the best value:

*    Rethink the cuts of meat you purchase. Baby back ribs cost between $4 and $7 per pound, but Douglas says pork shoulder or pork butt is more flavorful and costs 99 cents to $1.50 per pound. "If you were to buy pork shoulder or pork butt, you get all the things that were between those nice baby backs, but you are not paying for the bone."

*    Learn how to braise meats. Skirt steaks and hanger steaks are inexpensive cuts of beef that can be made tender by searing the meat and then slowly cooking it in moist heat. "Braising is a beautiful technique that allows you to buy cheaper cuts," Douglas says.

*    Discover individually quick frozen foods. Berries, peaches and grilled corn on the cob all can be bought in season when the produce is at its cheapest and best, and individually quick-frozen. "At the height of the corn season, we buy extra corn. We grill it and take it off the stalk, and now we've got a bag of cut corn in the freezer that is nice and smoky and delicious and sweet," Douglas says. "When you get out the Jiffy corn bread mix because you want something quick, add four tablespoons of this charcoal grilled cut corn and the muffins are transformed."

*    Search for No. 2-rated produce at food stands. No. 2 rated produce has equal taste but a less attractive appearance. "A No. 1 shiitake mushroom, while it looks beautiful, can range anywhere from $12.99 to $15.99 at any grocery in the city," he says. "A No. 2 shiitake mushroom is $3.95. It's the same mushroom. Once I've cut them up and cooked them, you couldn't tell it was a No. 1 or No. 2."

Andrea Downing Peck is a freelance writer who never likes to pay full price for anything. She writes frequently about personal finance and military family life.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

Get Ready to Take the 2015 Fit Family Challenge

Register for our Fit Family Challenge, a healthy lifestyle program where families track their activities for a chance to win prizes, including a family vacation to Florida.

Products We Like: Leggings, Frozen Twists, Workout Apps, Books & More

From workout to hair styles to food, fashion and books, discover the latest products to help you stay on track.

Lunchbox Recipes From Best Homemade Kids Lunches Book

Fill your child's lunchbox with these delicious lunches from Laura Fuentes' new book Best Homemade Lunches on the Planet.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

January 2020

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

Cost: $11

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


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11

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


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

More information

Whether you want to learn how to run, train for a race, run farther, run faster, simply run for fun, we have options for you! Meet new running buddies as you improve your health and fitness. Routes...

Cost: 78

Where:
CM Herndon Park
511 Scott King Rd
Durham, NC  27713
View map »


Sponsor: FIT4MOM West Raleigh Durham
Contact Name: Jenine N Pearson
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $70/month

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


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

More information

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

Cost: See website for fees

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


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

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: 20

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


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

More information

Join us every Sunday for our ONE HOUR Worship 1215 pm service.  We begin at 1215 and end at 115 PM.  We hope to see you here!

Cost: 0

Where:
Baptist Grove Church
7109 Leesville Road
Raleigh, NC  27613
View map »


Telephone: 919-787-4528
Website »

More information

Cost: 0

Where:
Baptist Grove Church
7109 Leesville Road
Raleigh, NC  27613
View map »


Telephone: 919-787-4528
Website »

More information

Christ Episcopal Church of Raleigh is hosting its 13th Annual Run for Young 5K on Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. Run For Young is a family-friendly race with a mission to raise awareness for teen safety behind...

Cost: $25-30

Where:
Christ Episcopal Church
120 E Edenton St
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: $11

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $70/month

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $70/month

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


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

More information

Breastfeeding mothers and their babies are invited to drop-in and connect with our lactation consultant and other breastfeeding mothers.  During this time our lactation consultant is available to...

Cost: 0

Where:
Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center
207 Old Lexington Road
Thomasville, NC  27360
View map »


Sponsor: Novant Health
Telephone: 336-474-3253
Contact Name: Lisa Miller, BS, IBCLC
Website »

More information

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

Cost: 20

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


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

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: See website for fees

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


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

More information

Join in this sensory-rich, caring, gentle environment for your little one! Introduce music, objects, new sounds, and movement. Strengthen muscles, bond and teach relaxation skills, and more! Free...

Cost: $70/month

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


Telephone: 919-902-5432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: $11

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $70/month

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


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

More information

It’s that time of year for some animals to prepare for winter. We will read Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming and learn what different animals do to make it through the cold months. Free for ages...

Cost: Free

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

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: 20

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


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

More information

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

Fans and players interact with the Carolina Hurricanes in an intimate environment by rotating through autographs, locker room photos and skating sessions in small groups of...

Cost: $85

Where:
PNC Arena
1400 Edwards Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join park staff in collecting data for the state and national count of Bald Eagles. Participants will be allowed in the park before it opens and will be staged at various locations around Lake...

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

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

Cost: $11

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $70/month

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


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

More information

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

Cost: See website for fees

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


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

More information

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

Cost: 20

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


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

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Preschoolers (ages 3-5 with an adult) learn what wild animals do in winter by pretending to be animals that hibernate, migrate or just stay warm in the cold, winter woods! Take a hike, do a craft,...

Cost: $3

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: Mandy Hunter
Website »

More information

Nature Stories: Welcoming Winter Wednesday, January 15  1-2 p.m  Brrrrr!  When it’s cold, you put on a coat.  What do you suppose critters do?  Learn how different animal groups deal with...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-870-4330
Website »

More information

*SEE DATES SECTION BELOW- THIS EVENT HAS 4 MODULES THAT OCCUR ONCE A WEEK, 4 WEEKS PER MODULE* Is your teen struggling with managing his emotions? Is she often overwhelmed or easily upset? Has...

Cost: $400 per module

Where:
Wynns Family Psychology
130 Preston Executive Drive
#202
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Sponsor: Wynns Family Psychology
Telephone: 919-467-7777
Contact Name: Wynns Family Psychology
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: $11

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $70/month

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


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

More information

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

Cost: See website for fees

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


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

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: 20

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $75-$216

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $225

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $225

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $225

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


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

More information

Dry ice, bouncing bubbles, and bubbling foggy concoctions oh my!  Join us to learn about the amazing properties of matter!

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: FREE

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $12.95 materials fee

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


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

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: $11

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


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $70/month

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


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

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: 20

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


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

More information

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

January Story Time, Puppet Show &  Art Activity Puppet Show Incorporated https://www.puppetshowinc.org/ presents the classic Aesop fable The Lion and the Mouse. Activities include a story time,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Hillsborough Library
137 West Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC  27278
View map »


Sponsor: Hillsborough Main Library
Telephone: 919-245-2525
Contact Name: Beth Hawkey
Website »

More information

Puppet Show Inc. presents a re-telling of Aesop’s Fable, “The Lion and the Mouse.”   A make and take craft will follow the show.  No registration necessary.  Ages 4 and up with a...

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Do you see strange lights in the night sky? Are you hearing odd noises coming from your tool shed? Is your dog now afraid to venture in the back yard? Don’t be scared — it might just be a...

Cost: $2 members, $5 non members

Where:
NC Museum of Natural Sciences
11 West Jones St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Contact Name: Hugo Romero Sanchez
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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

Cost: $11

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


Sponsor: Let's Roam
Website »

More information

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

Cost: $11

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


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

More information

It's your last chance to catch the Wolfpack at home this season! Help RED OUT Duke by wearing your favorite RED NC State Gear to the meet. The first 300 fans will receive an exclusive RED OUT...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center
2611 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27695
View map »

More information

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

Cost: $70/month

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


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

More information

Preschoolers (ages 3-5 with an adult) learn what wild animals do in winter by pretending to be animals that hibernate, migrate or just stay warm in the cold, winter woods! Take a hike, do a craft,...

Cost: $3

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
Website »

More information

Explore nature through play!  The Main Library is partnering with local Tinkergarten leaders Heather Murphy and Kate MacCartney to bring the fun of nature indoors.  Join us as we investigate...

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

January Story Time, Puppet Show & Art Activity Puppet Show Incorporated https://www.puppetshowinc.org/ presents the classic Aesop fable The Lion and the Mouse. Activities include a story time,...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Carrboro Library
900 Old Fayetteville Road
Inside McDougle Middle School
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Sponsor: Carrboro Branch Library
Telephone: 919-969-3006
Contact Name: Beth Hawkey
Website »

More information

Want a wild start to your new year?When you’re facing the after-holiday blues after packing up the decorations and taking down the tree, never fear. Come celebrate the new year in a thrilling,...

Cost: $20 - $26

Where:
Animal Park at the Conservators Center
676 E Hughes Mill Rd
Burlington, NC  27217
View map »


Sponsor: Animal Park at the Conservators Center
Telephone: 336-421-0883
Contact Name: Taylor Sharp

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

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

Cost: 20

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


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

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

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

Cost: $75-$216

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


Website »

More information

Family Wildlife Series: Owl Prowl Saturday, January 18, 6-7:15 p.m. Venture into the night on a Blue Jay hike.  Learn about owl habits and adaptations as we listen for these nocturnal birds....

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-870-4330
Website »

More information

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

Newsletter Sign-Up

Stay connected to what's going on for families in the Triangle by signing up for our FREE e-newsletters!

Subscribe

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Directories

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Annual Guides

Education Guide

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

The Triangle Go-To Guide

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