Give Your Kids the Gift of Free Play

Five good ideas to get your kids to just play


Published:

Photo courtesy of Pam Lobley

Too much on the schedule? Children’s lives these days are often planned down to the minute. They go from school to after-care to sports or dance. They take music lessons or participate in scouting. They have homework. Even weekends (especially weekends) can be jammed with tournaments, practices, classes and tutoring. 

Not surprisingly, free play for school-age kids has all but disappeared. Decades ago, it was the only kind of play there was. Kids went outside and played with whatever and whomever was in their neighborhood until it was time to come home for dinner. No one worried if they were improving themselves through lessons or skill building; they were simply expected to play.

In our crazy "get ahead" world, we think our kids will be better off with lots of classes, camps, sports and other types of enriching activities. But studies are now showing how important free play is for our children. It is in fact, a key part of their healthy development and social skills. Free play teaches flexibility and problem solving. It allows children independence, and teaches them negotiation and compromise as they make rules to their own games and then have to play by them.

If your children seem to whine, act combatively, feel anxious or even just tired, it could be a sign that they are burned out on activities and need to just play. Here are some free play ideas you can easily incorporate into your busy lifestyle.

  1. When you choose a daycare or camp for your children, try to pick the one with the least structure and the most recess. Make sure they have time to make up games on their own, or play in a free form way. (Remember “Red Rover” or “Freeze Tag”?) They should be able to play without adults making the teams, calling the shots, deciding the rules.
  2. If they’re having trouble figuring out what to play, teach them games you played: House, Cops and Robbers, Capture the Flag, etc.  They can play these at a park or in a backyard. Show them the game, but then let them play on their own with their friends or siblings. If you need to be nearby for safety reasons, fine, but don’t interfere with their games.  Playing on their own is what gives them independence.
  3. Don’t be afraid to do nothing! It might feel weird to have an empty Saturday afternoon, but resist the temptation to run off to the movies or a museum. Sometimes, a little boredom is just what kids need to get creative and invent something, or unwind and day dream. When they race from one thing to the next, their minds never get bored enough to inspire creativity. 
  4. Enforce unplugged time.  They can’t get bored enough to daydream or invent if they are always on their phone or playing a video game.  You may have to bear some loud wails of protest, but if you can establish that there are certain times of the day when screens are not allowed, they will eventually accept it and cope by thinking of something else to do.
  5. Do not attach a value to their play.  In other words, pretending to be Spiderman for an afternoon is just as good for them as batting practice. As Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Our children spend so many hours a day in the pursuit of knowledge – letting them cultivate imagination is a gift. 

Learning to entertain themselves, and to function in situations when things aren’t going their way, is an essential part of your child’s happiness.  Free play will teach this life skill, and they’ll have fun, too.

Pam Lobley has written comedy, plays, newspaper columns, blogs and books.  Her latest book "Why Can't We Just Play?" is a sweet and funny memoir of a summer she spent “doing nothing” with her kids.  You can keep up with her at www.pamlobley.com.

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April 2017

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

Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
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Explore the latest in fashion, lifestyle, health, beauty and more. Enjoy prizes, special guests, food vendors and more. 

Cost: $10 advance tickets, $12 at the door, $6 ages 6-12

Where:
N.C. State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Enjoy traditional Jewish foods, including Ashkenazi (Eastern European), Sephardic (Mediterranean) and New York Deli specialties. Community volunteers participate in preparing and serving family...

Cost: Free

Where:
Levin Jewish Community Center
1937 W. Cornwallis Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
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Sponsor: Levin Jewish Community Center
Telephone: 919-354-4955
Contact Name: Levin JCC
Website »

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

Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
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Enjoy a family-friendly celebration focused on helping local area animal rescue groups. Enjoy vendors, and a Doggie Easter Egg Hunt featuring thousands of eggs filled with special prizes of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heritage Circle at NC State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Sponsor: Unleashed
Telephone: 919-858-6460
Contact Name: Amy Phinney
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This event has been rescheduled for April 30 due to the forecast of inclement weather. Children explore all types of vehicles in a safe, supervised environment. Kid-friendly activities,...

Cost: $6/person. Kids under age 2 free, $25 max per immediate family

Where:
The Friday Conference Center
100 Friday Center Dr.
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-1020
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Sponsor: Chapel Hill Boy Scout Troop 39
Telephone: 919-968-4789
Contact Name: Jeanne Jarrett
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Take part in environmental education activities in a celebration of Earth Day. Enjoy music, food and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Central Park
501 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
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When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion, which results in a tremendous peach. The peach launches James on a journey of enormous...

Cost: $17/adult, $11 ages 12 and younger

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Meet Keegan Allen, who rose to fame while starring as Toby Cavanaugh on Freeform’s hit TV series "Pretty Little Liars." Keegan will participate in an audience Q&A, sell and sign...

Cost: Free-$75

Where:
NC State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Meet local farmers and tour 35 scenic and sustainable farms in Alamance, Chatham, Orange, and Person Counties. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $30/car advance tickets, $35/car event day

Where:
Various farms in Alamance, Chatham, Orange, and Person counties
, NC


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Read "The Lorax," make a craft, and learn about recycling and conservation. Ages 4 and older. Register online. Choose course #199202.  

Cost: $1/person

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Center
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-2760
Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood
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Cost: $1/person

Where:
Crowder District Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd.
Apex, NC
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Ages 5-8 embrace science and nature while developing skills and knowledge about the natural world. Registration required.

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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The North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble (NCYTE) performs a nonstop percussive dance revue, featuring cutting-edge contemporary choreography along with traditional rhythm tap. Purchase tickets...

Cost: $15 adults, $10 students/seniors (plus tax)

Where:
Carolina Theatre
309 W. Morgan St.
Durham, NC  27701
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DNA research and genetic testing can reveal much about babies' futures. But how much do parents want to know? Award-winning journalist Bonnie Rochman discusses her new...

Cost: Free

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

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Hear string music played by the combined Triangle Youth Strings Orchestras. The Triangle Youth String Sinfonia also presents a multi-media educational program.

Cost: $5/adult, $2/kids

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
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When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion, which results in a tremendous peach. The peach launches James on a journey of enormous...

Cost: $17/adult, $11 ages 12 and younger

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


Website »

More information

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Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Registration required.

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

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Preschoolers enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Website »

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Ages 3-5 enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

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

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Take the fast track to nature in this hands-on study of ecology. Ages 8-12. Advance registration required online.

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

Take the fast track to nature in this hands-on study of ecology. Ages 8-12. Registration required.

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

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Teens in grades 6-10 read, create and take on challenges.  March is the month of movie release parties, including "Logan" and "The Beauty and the Beast." Build circuits and...

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Website »

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Experience a music and movement class. Explore Orff and percussion instruments and do a little jumping and jamming. Call to RSVP.

Cost: Free

Where:
Millbrook Baptist Preschool
1519 E. Millbrook Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Sponsor: Millbrook Baptist Preschool
Telephone: 919-876-4030
Contact Name: Suzanne Holleman
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Toddlers enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Website »

More information

Experience a music and movement class. Explore Orff and percussion instruments and do a little jumping and jamming. Call to RSVP.

Cost: Free

Where:
Millbrook Baptist Preschool
1519 E. Millbrook Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Sponsor: Millbrook Baptist Preschool
Telephone: 919-876-4030
Contact Name: Suzanne Holleman
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p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.0px Calibri; color: #323333; -webkit-text-stroke: #323333} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} Journey into the imagination of a young boy--who...

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
760 S.E Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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Parent and child enjoy stories, songs, movement, observation and hands-on, creative projects that explore the gardens. Ages 3-5. Register online.

Cost: $7/member, $10/nonmember

Where:
Sarah P. Duke Gardens
420 Anderson St.
Durham, NC  27705
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Telephone: 919-668-1707
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Join others for an easy paced hike around the greenway. Ages 3 and younger; older siblings, strollers and leashed pets welcome. Register online. Choose course #200601.

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Babies enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Website »

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Ages 5-12 learn about healthy fruits and vegetables, kitchen and food safety, and enjoy a healthy snack. Meet in the bakery side of the cafe. Email sherry.thrasher@wholefoods.com to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Whole Foods North Raleigh
8710 Six Forks Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27615
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Telephone: 919-354-0350
Contact Name: Sherry Thrasher

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Toddlers enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Babies enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

The library's Teen Leadership Corps hosts an opportunity for kids of all ages to come build something special with Lego and Duplo bricks, and play games to improve reading and math skills.

Cost: Free

Where:
East Regional Library
946 Steeple Square Ct.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Website »

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Enjoy games, crafts and food. 

Cost: Free admission; $2.50 for meal

Where:
Greystone Baptist Church (Lead Mine parking lot)
7509 Lead Mine Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27615
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Sponsor: Greystone Baptist Church
Telephone: (919) 847-1333
Contact Name: April Alston
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Blast off to Mars on the Project Eagle. View the life-size habitat on Mars that Immaculata Middle School students have been working all year to create.

Cost: Free

Where:
Emily K Center
721 Burch Ave.
Durham, NC  27701
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Sponsor: Immaculata Catholic School
Contact Name: Cara Ragusa
Website »

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Enjoy the outdoors with a story read aloud in the gardens. Nature-themed stories are followed by a related activity or garden walk. Ages 3-5. Meet in the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden Story...

Cost: Free. Parking fees apply

Where:
Sarah P. Duke Gardens
420 Anderson St.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Telephone: 919-668-1707
Website »

More information

Preschoolers enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Volunteer your time with the park's monitoring and citizen science projects. Tasks may include: cleaning or repairing habitat boxes or installing new ones; monitoring our current boxes, and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

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Children with any kind of disability/special need enjoy a special playtime featuring hands-on exhibit spaces without the extra stimulation found during the museum's busy open hours. Siblings...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kidzu Children's Museum
201 Estes Drive University Place
Chapel Hill, NC
View map »


Sponsor: Adapted Recreation & Inclusion program: Chapel Hill Parks & Recreation
Telephone: 919 968-2813
Contact Name: Marian Kaslovsky
Website »

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Try on some colonial clothes, explore a historic costume collection and play a game. Ages 8 and older. Advance registration required online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, AL
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Learn how to help yourself and children build connections that lead to more cooperation in your classroom, in your home and in your life. Register online.

Cost: $10/person

Where:
​Hayes Barton United Methodist Church
2209 Fairview Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27608
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Sponsor: Project Enlightenment Foundation
Telephone: 919-335-6647
Contact Name: Michelle Major
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Green Hope Fine Arts presents the Orchestra Spring Concert headlining Mozart Symphony 25. Purchase tickets online or at the door.

Cost: $5/advance tickets, $7 at the door

Where:
Green Hope HS Auditorium
2500 Carpenter Upchurch Rd.
Cary, NC  27519
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Sponsor: Green Hope Fine Arts
Telephone: 919-380-3700
Contact Name: David Wilson/Kristie Ramsey
Website »

More information

When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion, which results in a tremendous peach. The peach launches James on a journey of enormous...

Cost: $17/adult, $11 ages 12 and younger

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Discover the many living things, from woodpeckers to beetles to mushrooms, that call a tree home with stories, craft, and a hands-on walk in the woods. Ages 3-5 with adult. Register online.

Cost: $8/member, $10/nonmember

Where:
North Carolina Botanical Garden
100 Old Mason Farm Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27517
View map »


Sponsor: North Carolina Botanical Garden
Telephone: 919-537-3770
Contact Name: Elisha Taylor
Website »

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This spring, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and the North Carolina State Parks continue Hike NC, a series of more than 60 free guided hikes in North Carolina’s state parks and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Eno River State Park
6101 Cole Mill Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
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Website »

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

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Pump It Up Raleigh
10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
Raleigh, NC  27617
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Sponsor: Pump it Up
Telephone: 919-828-3344
Contact Name: Owner/manager Kellie Paterson McHugh
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Enjoy an inflatable obstacle course, a bounce house, dunk tank, food trucks and more. Games, prizes, a talent show, silent auction and more round out the fun. Admission is free and includes access...

Cost: Free

Where:
Reedy Creek Elementary School
940 Reedy Creek Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
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Sponsor: Reedy Creek Elementary School
Contact Name: Jack Mewborne

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Kids learn about butterflies and moths of spring. Enjoy a butterfly-themed picnic, tiptoe through the gardens to search for fluttering wings, play butterfly games and see all the stages of a...

Cost: $30/child

Where:
Doris Duke Center
420 Anderson St.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Telephone: 919-668-1707
Website »

More information

When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion, which results in a tremendous peach. The peach launches James on a journey of enormous...

Cost: $17/adult, $11 ages 12 and younger

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


Website »

More information

Stroll around the pond in search of nighttime critters. Play fun games and and try to catch some nocturnal animals. Take a flashlight. All ages with adult. Advance registration required online.

Cost: $1/person

Where:
Crowder District Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd.
Apex, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Run, walk, skip or dance your way through a rainbow of fun. Be blitzed with non-toxic color by volunteers and enjoy food trucks and giveaways. All ages and skills welcome. Register online.

Cost: $38/adult, $18/ages 5-10. Free for ages 4 and younger with paying adult.

Where:
Course begins at Glenwood Elementary School
2 Prestwick Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27517
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Sponsor: SKJAJA
Telephone: 919.636.1553
Contact Name: Charlotte White
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Take part in a National Nanny Training Day conference for the Research Triangle Park will be held at Brooks Avenue Church in Raleigh. This year’s keynote speaker will be Kelli...

Cost: $35/person

Where:
Brooks Avenue Church
700 Brooks Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Sponsor: North Carolina Professional Association of Nannies
Telephone: 919-428-4393
Contact Name: Jasmine Berry
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Cost: Free

Where:
Seagroves Park Pond
201 Parkfield Dr.
Apex, NC
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Website »

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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
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Website »

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The QuintilesIMS Girls on the Run 5k is a family-friendly event featuring a 5k course through downtown and the American Tobacco Trail, plus a family festival showcasing local vendors. Take the...

Cost: $25

Where:
American Tobacco Campus
300 Blackwell St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Sponsor: Girls on the Run of the Triangle
Telephone: 919-401-6307
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Celebrate the new Primrose School at Brier Creek. Local families and children are invited to attend the grand opening celebration. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. to officially...

Cost: Free

Where:
Primrose School at Brier Creek
11151 Salem Glen Lane
Raleigh, NC  27617
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Sponsor: Primrose School at Brier Creek
Telephone: 919-880-2416
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Local vendors, entertainment, food trucks, fun activities and dog contests benefit rescue animals from area shelters. Gates open at 9 a.m. Register online. 

Cost: $35/adult, $25/youth

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

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Enjoy interactive displays and games on childhood injury prevention and safety. See emergency vehicle tours and meet local businesses. All ages. Hosted by Safe Kids Wake County, along...

Cost: Free

Where:
Green Road Park
4201 Green Road
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Sponsor: Safe Kids Wake County
Telephone: 919-350-8364
Contact Name: Christina Carmichael
Website »

More information

Families enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Read the new book that celebrates the dreams, acceptance, and love that parents have for their children - now and forever.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Durham County Library and Book Harvest celebrate Día de Los Niño’s (Children’s Day-Books Day). Bring gently used children and teen books and take home free ones. Kids...

Cost: Free

Where:
Northgate Mall
1058 West Club Blvd.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Sponsor: Durham County Library and Book Harvest NC
Website »

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Experience the trains, museum and other attractions. Music, kids programs, games, contests and giveaways round out the fun. See more than 35 vintage pre-1928 automobiles on display...

Cost: $10-$12

Where:
New Hope Valley Railway
3900 Bonsal Rd.
New Hill, NC  27562
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 »

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Flyleaf joins more than 400 stores nationally with a day of events and special merchandise in celebration of independent bookstores. Johanna Banana will read from favorite titles featured...

Cost: Free

Where:
Flyleaf Books
752 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
View map »


Sponsor: Flyleaf Books
Telephone: 919-942-7373
Website »

More information

When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion, which results in a tremendous peach. The peach launches James on a journey of enormous...

Cost: $17/adult, $11 ages 12 and younger

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


Website »

More information

Parent and child create an an insect hotel for beneficial bugs.

Cost: $40 for one adult and one child, additional people $15

Where:
Rebus Works
301 S. Kinsey St.
Ste. 2
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Website »

More information

A young girl, Coppelia, sits on her balcony all day reading, speaking to no one. A boy named Franz falls deeply in love with her and wants to marry her, even though he is already engaged to...

Cost: $12-$27

Where:
Fletcher Theater
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

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Follow a stream channel in the park to find out how water moves and who lives there. Ages 6-8. Register online. Choose course code #198889.

Cost: $3

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
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Meet pre-screened (interviewed, references checked, background checked, CPR and First Aid certified) babysitters and nannies who are available for part-time, full-time, or on demand as needed...

Cost: Free

Where:
Snickerdoodles Play Cafe
3721 Lynn Rd #112
Raleigh, NC  27613
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Sponsor: Select Sitters
Telephone: 919-561-6233
Contact Name: Kara Varnell
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Buy native plants from the garden and local vendors. Enjoy food trucks, music, kids' activities and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
N.C. Botanical Garden
100 Old Mason Farm Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
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When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion, which results in a tremendous peach. The peach launches James on a journey of enormous...

Cost: $17/adult, $11 ages 12 and younger

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Take a night hike with staff to search for nocturnal wildlife. Ages 10-13. Registration required.

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Walk with a park naturalist to look and listen for wildlife in the woods and fields as daylight transitions to night. Ages 4 yrs and older; children must be accompanied by an adult. Register...

Cost: $2

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
Website »

More information

Enjoy a perfromance featuring original ballet, modern, jazz, swing and hip hop dances by  students as well as Jennifer Tarrazi-Scully - Choreographer.

Cost: Free

Where:
NCSSM Community Dance Concert
1219 Broad St.
Durham, NC  27705
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Annual Guides

GPS [Go. Play. See]

GPS, soon to be replaced by The Triangle Go-To Guide, connects you to all the Triangle has to offer, from museum expansions to new parks and schools to youth sports and family fun. Plus, discover our 2016 Readers' Favorites.

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

The Triangle Go-To Guide will replace the GPS in 2017 and continue to connect you to family fun resources across the Triangle. Plus, find out who our 2017 Readers' Favorites are.