Penn Holderness on Family Life, Parenting, YouTube and Health

Get to know the family behind the videos and podcasts


Published:

The Holderness family prioritizes health and fitness. Penn enjoys CrossFit workouts (photographed here at CrossFit Sua Sponte in Raleigh with Kim, Lola and Penn Charles). All photograpy are courtesy of Morton Photography.

Courtesy of Morton Photography

Spend a few hours with the Holderness family of Raleigh and you’ll learn what we did: What you see is … well, pretty much what you get. Penn, a former sports anchor; wife Kim, a former news and entertainment anchor; and children, Lola and Penn Charles, have achieved international fame via YouTube videos they have created over the last five years that parody parenting and family life. They recently started producing podcasts on marriage as well. It all started with their “Christmas Jammies” YouTube video in 2013. Since then, the family has created hundreds more. And we, their fans, have collectively laughed over their musical ruminations on going back to school, New Year’s resolutions, snow days and more. Watch any of their YouTube videos and you will undeniably conclude one thing: This family has a lot of fun together. 

During our interview with Penn we learned — and found refreshing — that he and Kim celebrate the importance of humor within their family. They take pride in their ability to laugh at themselves. When it comes to parenting and health, however, they take that very seriously. 

How did you meet Kim?
We met in 2002 … 2003 — somewhere around there — in Orlando. She was a news reporter who had just moved to Orlando. I was a sports reporter for a different TV station in Orlando. When you work in local news you get off at 11:30, and there’s really no one else to hang around with except for other people who work in local news. Everyone else is asleep!

What brought you to Raleigh, and where did you come here from?
Kim and I were actually working for network television in New York (City). We had already gotten married at that point. So, we met in Orlando, got engaged, she moved up to New York and took a job for “Inside Edition,” which is an entertainment TV show, and I took a job at ESPN. But neither of us really liked those jobs as much as we thought we were going to like them. So those both lasted about three years. And then we had a kid, and we lived in Tribeca, which is a great neighborhood in New York, but it was very expensive. We went to a preschool to try to apply, and we got so much anxiety from the pressure it took to try to apply to a preschool in New York that we were like, “Let’s get the hell out of here!” And so we did. My family’s from Durham so we said, “Let’s get closer to home.” And so, yeah, we moved here.”

Courtesy of Morton Photography

“Penn Charles is constantly moving,” Penn says. “He plays soccer, basketball, tennis. He played flag  football but that's done. He’s such a little runner. He runs everywhere he goes.”

What inspired the “Christmas Jammies” video that started your family’s YouTube fame, and do you consider that to be the video that “started it all”? 
Yeah, that was definitely it. That was kind of a game changer for us. There was a two-fold inspiration. I used to write these Christmas letters to my family and we would mail them out. Instead of a picture and a card it would be like a “here’s what we’ve been doing” thing. I enjoyed doing them. So one year, I made a musical Christmas card. It got several thousand [YouTube] views! We were like, “Wow! What’s this YouTube thing?” People saw it who weren’t even my friends! And so, in another part of our lives we had decided that I was going to get out of the local news business because we wanted to start producing our own videos and our own content and doing it for other people. So I put in my notice that I was going to start doing this. We had real estate clients and that was kind of the brunt of our clientele. We were going to go and help them make videos to promote their companies and try to get them on YouTube and eventually make them work well. So we were like, “Let’s do another family Christmas card. Let’s work a little harder on it. Let’s make it really fun so we can feel comfortable that this is what we’re going to do, but also make it about our family like it normally is.” So that’s exactly what we did and, you know, it just kind of exploded! Not only could we still make videos for other companies, but we kind of accidentally created another brand here, and we sort of learned that after several years of wondering what we were going to do, we thought, “We can make a living doing this!” So we said, “Guess we’re going to make more YouTube videos.” There have been about five years of them now. 

How many YouTube videos have you created and, of those, which is your favorite and why? 
We’ve made well over 300 videos and, of those, we’ve made around 120 music videos. I think it’s about eight more than Madonna! I’m pretty excited about that. The “Christmas Jammies” video was great because any time you involve the whole family it’s fun, but there’s another one we did at kind of a similar time when the kids got out of school because it was snowing. We did this video called “Snow Day,” and it’s about what it’s like to have a snow day. And the kids really liked making it because we were outside in the snow. We’ve done several of them, but the first one, I guess, was my favorite because it wasn’t a parody, it was an original song. We ended up being interviewed by Fox and it validated that, “Oh, we can make more than one video. It’s not just going to be one video and we’re done.” But it was a true family effort so that was my favorite one.

Do you recall which one of your videos has the highest number of views?
Yeah, it was actually last year — an original spin on Dean Martin’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” We wrote a P.C. version of it, put it out in early December and it got over 75 million views. That was our biggest hit that we’ve ever had. 

COURTESY OF MORTON PHOTOGRAPHY

Penn says Lola is no longer a child, so her role in their videos “needs to reflect that of a young woman and not of a baby, or child, or something that demeans her.” 

How has this YouTube fame and video-making process affected your kids? 
We don’t make them do the videos. Even if we’re working with a brand, we say, “If they don’t want to do this and they’re not feeling it, then look, they’re kids” — so I think because we have it that way, they actually really enjoy making the videos. We minimize the amount of work that they have to do substantially. They don’t do any of the writing, they don’t do any editing. They kind of pop in for a cameo. They are aware of their relative celebrity status, and that’s probably something that a lot of kids don’t have. That’s a different type of normal than you have as a child. We do the best that we can to manage it. There have been times when people have come up to them and asked for pictures when we haven’t been around, but they’ve been very mature about it. 

Kim and I always get asked, “Are you worried that you’re going to mess up your kids?” And my answer is, “Yeah!” And my next question is, “Are you?” and they’re like, “Hell,yeah!” I think that’s a healthy emotion to have. I think if you’re not worried about messing up your kids, you’re probably going to mess up your kids! It has been a lot easier to talk to people about this because I think they all feel the same way. Also, they go to a school and they live there in a social environment where the kids and teachers don’t see them as celebrities, they see them as children, and that has been very rewarding and very cool to see. They have a healthy number of friends. Not too many, not too few, and we’re lucky to live in a community that gets it.

Has the video-making process changed as your kids have grown older? 
We have to write to our children as they are, and not what they used to be like. My daughter’s a teenager now, so her role in these videos should reflect that of a young woman and not of a baby, or a child, or something that demeans her. My son’s not a toddler anymore. He’s a fully grown, crazy 9-year-old. We need to reflect that. They need to be able to be themselves. And if we have them acting, it needs to be a role that they are challenged by. Most of what we do is kind of reality-based, so that’s not too difficult. The other thing is that they want to make their own videos and have their own channels. And I say, “Do that! Go for it!” That’s where the work comes in. That’s where they’re going to need to learn how to do some of the stuff that I’m doing. I tell them, “Come up anytime you want to, watch me edit. I’ll show you how to work the camera and you can do that.” Lola has started producing TikTok videos and they’re actually really good. 

How do you all come up with ideas for the videos?
It varies, but normally we just kind of look at what’s going on in our lives. And a lot of times Kim is the one who says, “You know what? Lola is getting really addicted to slime.” Or, “This Fortnight game is driving a lot of parents crazy,” even though our kids don’t really play it. Or, “Oh my gosh, do we have to do a science project again?” And that’s all it really takes. I just kind of go upstairs and I look for the hook, which sometimes is original music and, you know, I’ve been a songwriter for 20 years now. For a long time I was a bad songwriter, and I’ve had to get a little better at it! But sometimes it’s just a song that’s out there waiting —  that’s how parodies work. So, what will fit Lola and her slime obsession, for example? Kim and I will start talking. “My Tupperware’s gone, she stole my saline solution, her bathroom looks like a meth lab …” and I’m like, “Oh, this is great stuff! It’s all true, so let’s just make fun of ourselves about this.” So the next key is finding the song that goes with it … A lot of times I’ll start by looking at songs from the ’80s and ’90s because that’s what Kim and I grew up with. So, I start thinking about something like Cyndi Lauper and, you know, “Time After Time” and “Slime After Slime” — there couldn’t be a better fit. So that’s your hook. An hour later the song is written, a day later the song is shot, and it doesn’t take very much longer after it has been shot because the material is usually pretty good — and we put it out when you wake up in the morning.

What types of workouts do you, Kim and the kids enjoy doing to stay in shape? 
When I need an actual workout — and want to throw up afterwards — CrossFit is the majority of what I do. There are days I can’t get out of the house, or the timing’s not great, so I’ll do a CrossFit-similar thing at home — body motions like burpees, squats, and sprinting up and down the street. And it’s funny — a lot of times Penn Charles will join me, when it’s not too difficult. I probably play tennis two or three times a week as well. That’s a sport I picked up about four years ago that I really like. The kids also like it. Lola’s team qualified for the state championship tournament not too long ago. Kim is a crazy a la carte fitness person. She’ll go for a run one day, then she’ll do Orange Theory the next day. She’ll do something called “metabolic” another day. … She doesn’t have full-time memberships to any of these places, she has a la carte memberships to all these places. Penn Charles is constantly moving, so he plays soccer, basketball, tennis. He played flag football, but that’s done. He’s such a little runner. He runs everywhere he goes.

What do you suggest for new dads, or dads who feel stuck in an exercise rut, who want to get back into shape?
I used to be them. I was about 20 pounds heavier when I lived in Orlando. The humidity was awful and why would I ever want to go outside? You want to die after 5 seconds. Over the last 15 or 20 years, I think I just start and don’t stop. It’s two things: It’s making a commitment to some type of exercise every day. The other commitment is diet. You can work out all you want, but if you eat like crap, it’s not going to change anything. Find some discipline in those parts of your life — and it doesn’t have to be all-day discipline — but it has to be enough that you can feel good about yourself when you go to sleep.

COURTESY OF MORTON PHOTOGRAPHY

Lola and Kim have a playful relationship. Penn describes Kim as “a crazy a la carte fitness person. She’ll go for a run one day, then she’ll do Orange Theory the next day. She’ll do something called ‘metabolic’ another day.”

What dietary habits do you feel are important for maintaining your family’s good health?
As a family, a lot of it is centered around the meals we cook for them, and finding ways to get away from the beige. Kids can process food better than adults can. Start incorporating some of your dietary decisions in your children’s food, and don’t let them off the hook just because they would rather have a hot dog, or macaroni and cheese. Stay true to that and make a little more of an effort to cook those healthy meals, because they will find something they like. We spend a little extra time cooking — and a lot more time cleaning because it takes all these dishes! But we try to make dinners with zero-processed food, which is challenging, because that’s bread, cheese, sugar, pasta and all that other stuff. So we’ll do rice and fish and greens — and maybe put some ranch dressing on it, which is processed, but those are little things. I give a lot of credit to Kim for this because she cooks without processed foods all the time, and it’s delicious. It takes a little more work, but it puts flavor in things. Kim and I both do intermittent fasting as well. I do it without realizing it — I don’t eat until noon. I wake up and I’m not hungry, so I’ll wait till noon to eat. She does the same thing. So then you just kind of have a six-hour period when you eat all your food, then the rest of the time you don’t. It’s not for everybody, but for us it works really well. 

What’s next for the Holderness family?
Kim is working with a doctor on a meal plan that may also have some fitness aspect to it. It’s more of a meal plan than a cookbook — a digital plan that will come out once a week. We’re going to keep making those videos. We’re looking at a proposal that we’ve been working on for about a year now since we started doing the podcasts. We realized that we have this audience of people who enjoy our videos. They also, just like us, want to be good at being married and good at being parents. So we’re working on a book proposal about how to get along as a married couple and navigate careers, all of that, based on what we’ve learned as people who not only live together, but work together and have some tips on that. It’s being co-written with our pastor from Raleigh, who has a license in marriage counseling. That proposal will drop in the next couple of months and the book will come out hopefully sometime in the next year. 

There's much more to learn about the Holderness family! Check out their podcasts and videos at theholdernessfamily.com.


Beth Shugg is the editor of Carolina Parent.

 

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September 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
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Enjoy local bands, arts and crafts vendors, car show, kids' area, fun contests and games, plus a barbecue cook-off contest featuring veteran cooking teams.

Cost: Free

Where:
River Park
114 E. Margaret Ln.
Hillsborouh, NC  27278
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Visual artists from near and far will showcase their work, and 75 performing arts groups provide continuous music, dance and entertainment throughout the festival including extended Saturday...

Cost: $5 suggested donation; free for children under 12

Where:
Durham Arts Council
120 Morris Street
Durham, NC  27701
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Sponsor: Durham Arts Council
Telephone: 919-560-2719
Contact Name: Susan Tierney
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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
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Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
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Take the family for a showcase of popular and folk music and art, dance performances, educational booths, children's activities and food from different regions of Latin America.

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
Fayetteville St. City Plaza
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Did you know that beavers are actually large rodents? Join us at the park and discover the parts of a beaver and what they like to eat. Test your knowledge in a round of trivia and take a walk in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Step back in time with our 19th-century costumed interpreters and watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal. Tour fee: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60 & over), $3/Child (ages 7-16),...

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

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
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This cultural exp features live entertainment, a kids zone, food vendors, games and much more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Knightdale Station Park
494 Knightdale Station Run
Knightdale, NC  27545
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It's 50% off ALMOST EVERYTHING! The word GREEN or BLACK will be written under the price on tags and you won't believe what's left!!! Check us out on facebook at Kids EveryWEAR Consignment Sale...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cary Towne Centre
1105 Walnut St
Cary, NC  27511
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Sponsor: Kids EveryWEAR Consignment Sale
Contact Name: Gail Walker
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Take the family for a balloon artists, face painting, carnival games, obstacle courses, arts and crafts and a magician. This event celebrates the grand opening of the David R. Kahn Community Campus...

Cost: Free

Where:
David R. Kahn Community Campus
12804 Norwood Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27613
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Enjoy all things pepper, kids crafts, live music, artisans, local farmers and much more.

Cost: $5 – $25

Where:
Downtown Pittsboro
Pittsboro, NC


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PepperFest is a celebration of sustainable agriculture, farmers, and the creativity of the Piedmont’s top chefs, brewers and artisans. This outdoor event is held in NC’s...

Cost: $5-$30

Where:
Downtown Pittsboro
205 Lorax Lane #5
Pittsboro, NC  27312
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Sponsor: Abundance NC
Telephone: 919-444-9300
Contact Name: Tami Schwerin
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The autumnal equinox signals the beginning of fall. It is the point when there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness at the equator. Mark the change of seasons by heading to the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

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The autumnal equinox signals the beginning of fall. It is the point when there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness at the equator. Mark the change of seasons by heading to the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

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Grab your magnifying glass and help solve the many mysteries along the Old Beech Nature Trail. Who left the pile of acorns by the rotten log? Whose scat is that? Use your senses and detective...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
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The autumnal equinox signals the beginning of fall. It is the point when there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness at the equator. Mark the change of seasons by heading to the...

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Let’s celebrate the arrival of fall! Make a craft inspired by the leaves’ changing colors. We will bring the materials if you bring the imagination! For all ages (adult accompaniment...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Rags to Riches Theatre for Young Audiences presents the classic tale for all ages. 

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Century Center
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Let’s celebrate the arrival of fall! Make a craft inspired by the leaves’ changing colors. We will bring the materials if you bring the imagination! For all ages (adult accompaniment required...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

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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
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The library invites you to celebrate and enjoy poetry with a series of events for all ages hosted by Hillsborough’s Poet Laureate, Dee Stribling! On the last Wednesdays of the month throughout...

Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
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Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
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Cost: Free

Where:
State Farmers Market
1201 Agriculture St.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Benson
500 S. Market St.
Benson, NC  27504
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Website »

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 “Shinrin-yoku” is a Japanese healing technique which means "taking in the forest atmosphere." Developed in the 1980s, it has become a cornerstone of preventive health...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

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This family-friendly urban bluegrass festival features a dance tent, workshops and exhibit hall with instruments and gear in the Raleigh Convention Center, food vendors, a youth stage, juried...

Cost: Free-$60

Where:
, NC

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Enjoy down time in nature, or take part in guided art making, herbalism, outdoor yoga, storytelling, or basic women’s camping skills. Dinner and breakfast included, but take camping...

Cost: $50/member, $55/nonmember.

Where:
North Carolina Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Come out to the 5th Annual Wolfpack Games at Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center on Friday, September 27th at 6 PM. Enjoy a fun atmosphere and get an exclusive sneak peek at the 2019-2020 NC State...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center
2611 Cates Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27695
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Enjoy free bowl cuts by Arrow, Worm Farms; a Most Annoying Sound Off; and Costume Contest. Wear a best orange or blue tuxes. Gates and food trucks will open and begin at 6pm with the movie starting...

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Raleigh Meadows
Campus Shore Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27606
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Sponsor: VisitCentennial
Telephone: 704-651-3179
Contact Name: Jude DesNoyer
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Mums and pumpkins take center stage at this festival featuring live music and food trucks.

Cost: Free

Where:
Knightdale Station Park
810 N. First Ave.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Website »

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Rodeos, a mule-pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, carnival rides, street performers, bluegrass shows and more are all part of Benson Mule Days. See website for hours.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Benson
500 S. Market St.
Benson, NC  27504
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Website »

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

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Give rugby a try. Take part in tag rugby pick-up games every Saturday morning at Baileywick Road Park, near the Second Shelter.  No experience necessary. All ages. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Baileywick Road Park
9501 Baileywick Rd
Second Shelter Field
Raleigh, NC  27615
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Sponsor: Raleigh Redhawks Rugby
Contact Name: denise travis
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Welcome fall's arrival with a food truck rodeo, car show, face painting, a craft show and more.  

Cost: Free

Where:
125 U.S. 1-A
Youngsville, NC  27596
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Website »

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Celebrate the Fall Harvest with the Cary Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday, September 28 along West Chatham Street in Cary! There will be contests and games, craft booths and food trucks lining...

Cost: Free

Where:
West Chatham Street
Cary, NC  27511


Sponsor: Cary Downtown Farmers Market
Telephone: 919-244-6463
Contact Name: Lindsey Chester
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Take part in a 1.4-mile walk for inclusiveness. Registration and activities begin at 10 a.m.; walk begins at 10:30 a.m. Enjoy refreshments, games, raffle and a decorating station. All ages and...

Cost: $15/family, $5/individual

Where:
Kids Together Playground
111 Thurston Dr.
Cary, NC  27518
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Website »

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Campbell Law School will host a bike ride from “The Creek to the Capital” the morning of Saturday, September 28 as part of its yearlong anniversary celebration. Riders of all skill...

Cost: $40 fee includes T-shirt/lunch

Where:
Finish line @ Campbell Law School
225 Hillsborough St
Raleigh , NC  27603
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Sponsor: Campbell Law School
Telephone: 919-865-5978
Contact Name: Lisa Snedeker
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Enjoy a day at the park and listen to stories from professional storytellers in this event presented by Wake County Public Libraries and Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space.

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: Historic Oak View County Park
Telephone: 919-250-1013
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Live Entertainment all day, including a Talent Contest. Win the Raffle. Enjoy at least a dozen international options prepared by parishioners-- Mexican, Irish, Filipino just to name a few. ...

Cost: Free festival admission. Food and raffle incur fees

Where:
J. Ashley Wall Towne Square
J. Ashley Wall Towne Square W. Third St. & W. Cypress St.
Wendell, NC  27591
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Sponsor: St Eugene Catholic Church
Telephone: 919-449-5234
Contact Name: Susan Welsh
Website »

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Enjoy live performances, cultural exhibits, children's activities, dragon boat racing and more. Taste a wide collection of ethnic foods and delicacies created by local chefs.

Cost: $5 advance tickets; $8 at the door. Free for ages 12 and younger

Where:
Booth Amphitheatre
8003 Regency Pkwy.
Cary, NC  27518
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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
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Travel to Germany without leaving the Triangle at this German-inspired festival featuring live music and food, as well as the ever-popular wiener dog races.

Cost: Free

Where:
Lafayette Village
8450 Honeycutt Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27615
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This family-friendly urban bluegrass festival features a dance tent, workshops and exhibit hall with instruments and gear in the Raleigh Convention Center, food vendors, a youth stage, juried...

Cost: Free-$60

Where:
, NC

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Want to get inside Historic Yates Mill? Join us for a half-hour tour (starting at 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30 & 3:00 p.m.) to view the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring the mill's...

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

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
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In 1979, the NC Legislature designated the Eastern Box Turtle as our state reptile. Learn how you can help conserve this valuable state symbol. Meet Lake Crabtree's adopted turtle, Shel...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
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Take the family for live music, crafts and food. See website for hours.

Cost: Free

Where:
Carrboro Town Hall
301 W. Main St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Mums and pumpkins take center stage at this festival featuring food trucks and great music. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Knightdale Station Park
810 N. First Ave.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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East Cloud Kungfu hosts a Parent's Night Out event, featuring a safe environment for kids as they about the wide world of kungfu.   Check it out!...

Cost: $25 first child, $20 each additional child

Where:
East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
5655-A Western Blvd
Raleigh, NC  27606
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Sponsor: East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
Telephone: 252-646-7053
Contact Name: Imari Colon
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Railroad Days' 44th consecutive year features the Railroad Days pageant at 7 p.m., where a queen in five age divisions will be crowned. The festival continues Oct. 4-5 in downtown Selma.

Cost: $12/person for pageant admission

Where:
Selma Elementary School
311 W. Richardson St.
Selma, NC  27576
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Rodeos, a mule-pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, carnival rides, street performers, bluegrass shows and more are all part of Benson Mule Days. See website for hours.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Benson
500 S. Market St.
Benson, NC  27504
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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.