Preserving Your Family’s Legacy

Pass family stories and wisdom to future generations using these unique services


Published:

Photos Courtesy of StoryWorth and Wisdom Will

If hindsight is 20/20, wouldn’t it be nice to give our children and grandchildren a master document or book explaining every valuable lesson we ever learned? Now, thanks to online services that allow users to securely enter life lessons and memories in one place, it’s possible to leave a beautiful, organized and printed legacy behind for generations to treasure. Here some ways you can accomplish this.


Wisdom Will

Charlotte-based small business owner Jeff Davis, who has three teenage children, launched a new product last spring called Wisdom Will — both a product and service designed to be presented to a younger person during a milestone in his or her life, such as graduation or marriage. Unlike a traditional will, theaWisdom Will is not a legal document and it is not meant to replace a person’s last will and testament.

Davis created this online resource to help people document and organize all of their wisdom and life lessons, no matter what age they are or stage of life they are in.

“It captures all the things you’ve learned about life that would be so powerful for your kids to know as they lead their own lives,” he says. “I believe that if you educate a young person about things that did or didn’t work out for you, then you are giving them one of the most valuable gifts imaginable … you are arming them with hindsight and helping them navigate some of life’s biggest challenges.”

The service features 16 categories, including parenting, education, dating and marriage, money, career, habits, faith, and specific topics, like drinking — “areas that all young people are sure to encounter in life,” Davis says. Users can even create their own topics.

A Wisdom Will costs $59.95 per year and memberships are for one-, three- or five-year periods. When a user completes a Wisdom Will, software converts all of the information entered into one master PDF. Davis hopes to someday offer a printed and bound version of this document. During December, he is offering 25% off the full price if you use the code “HOLIDAY25” at checkout. Learn more at wisdomwill.com.


StoryWorth

StoryWorth is a service that prompts users with weekly emailed questions to answer throughout the year and compiles a keepsake book filled with a story of that person’s life at the end of the year. If you give this as a gift, the recipient’s story can be shared with you, and then either you or the recipient can upload the stories — as well as photos — via email, an app or the website. Users can choose from one of several book templates. The service and book costs $99. Learn more at storyworth.com.



Photo courtesy of StoryWorth


Legacy Books

If your goal is to capture your family’s history in a truly unique keepsake book, Legacy Books promises precise attention to detail as part of its mission to display your life’s journey in a custom-crafted, high-quality hardbound book. This service includes the availability of designers, writers and researchers who work with you to obtain your approval every step of the way. Prices vary depending on the level of service and quality of materials you choose. Learn more at legacybooks.com.


Photo Books

Photo websites such as Shutterfly and SmugMug offer keepsake photo books that make wonderful gifts as well. Choose from a variety of templates, pages sizes and paper quality to produce a more customized book. Text is minimized, since these are photo books, so these services are better options for relatives who may prefer telling stories with pictures rather than words. Learn more at shutterfly.com/photo-books and photobook.smugmug.com.


All of these services and/or products make for unforgettable holiday gifts, so keep them in mind when shopping for loved ones who appreciate preserving their family history.

 

Bonus Section: The Story Behind Wisdom Will’s Creation

Ever since his children were very young, Jeff Davis of Charlotte has been documenting his own stories and life lessons to share with them when the time was right. However, not until a traumatic and life-changing experience in fall 2017, when his family’s home caught fire in the middle of the night, did he bring his vision to life.



Photo of Davis family's house fire, courtesy of Wisdom Will


Looking back, he says that fire might be the best thing that ever happened to him, because it motivated him to put his energy into creating Wisdom Will so others would have a tool for documenting what they hope will become their legacies.

Although still in its early stages, the product has been well-received among users.

“I really like how Wisdom Will guides me through the process,” says Marsha Thrasher, a Charlotte preschool teacher and mom of three. “I’ll have lots of things I think of throughout the days and weeks, but I have a hard time remembering everything when the time comes to write them down. It would be so much harder to start with a blank sheet of paper.”

Davis says he designed Wisdom Will to help users overcome the writer’s block that often accompanies taking on such a significant task.

“The more I talked to people, the more I realized that for so many people, starting a will is completely overwhelming, so I break this up into smaller subcategories to help people get started and stay on track,” he says. “An online journal like this makes it easy to get started and stay organized.”



The Davis family, courtesy of Wisdom Will


Thrasher says her parents have caught the fever as well.

“When my parents heard about all the nuggets of wisdom that I was handing down to my kids through the Wisdom Will, they got really interested in doing the same for me,” she says. “And they are probably very interested in sharing some with their grandchildren, too.”

Because Wisdom Will generates a virtual treasure map for current and future generations to live by, Thrasher says using the service has given her piece of mind in knowing she can pass on valuable lessons to her kids that might otherwise be drowned out by the distractions of daily life.

“I find myself constantly bombarding my kids with important info that they need to know in order to survive and succeed in this modern world, but I’m not sure how much they retain from brief moments in the car to and from school or practice,” she says. “My hope is that by capturing these life lessons through a more formal process, they will one day be more fully absorbed and not get lost in the crazy chaos of our day-to-day lives.”

Davis says he hopes his own kids will someday look back and say, “My dad warned me about this in his Wisdom Will.”

“One or two small but not insignificant things could save someone’s life — like warning them of the hazards of drinking and driving, or the importance of making smart choices in business and one’s personal life,” he says.

Perhaps most importantly, Davis feels the sheer act of sitting down and writing his Wisdom Will made him reflect on how he continues to live his own life, encouraging him to set even better examples for his kids for years to come.


Elizabeth Lincicome is a mother, communications expert and freelance writer based in Raleigh.

 

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Cost: Free

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More information

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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

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Cost: Varies depending on camp week

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View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
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
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Telephone: 191-990-25432
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More information

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Website »

More information

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Cost: 20

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View map »


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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
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View map »


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

More information

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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
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View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
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Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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More information

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More information

Show More...
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Cost: Varies depending on camp week

Where:
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View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

More information

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Cost: $11

Where:
Downtown
500 S Salisbury St
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View map »


Sponsor: Let's Roam
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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
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View map »


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

More information

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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
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View map »


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

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
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View map »


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

More information

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Cost: 20

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View map »


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Website »

More information

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

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Explore astronomy, biology, architectural and engineering principles, technology and so much more through our hands-on, play-based activities. Spend an evening with your preschooler, experiencing...

Cost: free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Sponsor: Saint Rapahel Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Katie Mistele
Website »

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

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Hounded by Death, the character of Everybody desperately seeks out everyone and everything they know in hope of finding something meaningful to take to the grave. These 90 minutes of theatrical...

Cost: Ticket prices start at $15

Where:
PlayMakers' Repertory Company
120 Country Club Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
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Telephone: 919-962-7529

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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
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Sponsor: Let's Roam
Website »

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

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Summer Garden Camps at the JCRA invite your child to investigate nature during half or full day camps.  Campers tend to the garden, harvest vegetables, catch insects, and create crafts from the...

Cost: Varies depending on camp week

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
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Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
Website »

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

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

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

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

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Join us for Family Trivia Night!  Test your knowledge of pop culture, books, music and more. Pizza and drinks provided.  Call or stop by to register: 919-245-2532. Best for kids ages 8 and up...

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
Website »

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Art Walk featuring local galleries and artist studios in historic downtown Hillsborough on the Last Friday of every month (no Art Walk in December).

Cost: FREE

Where:
Downtown Hillsborough (multiple locations)
102 N. Churton St.
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Hillsborough Arts Council
Telephone: 919-643-2500
Contact Name: Torey Mishoe
Website »

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Kids! Are you sick of the Winter? Enjoy a Summer's night at Peach Road Center. Enjoy a Summer-like evening with us. Get into the luau spirit and play summer games!  

Cost: Free

Where:
Peach Road Community Center
911 Ileagnes Rd
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: City or Raleigh Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-807-8545
Contact Name: Christy Famolare

More information

Hounded by Death, the character of Everybody desperately seeks out everyone and everything they know in hope of finding something meaningful to take to the grave. These 90 minutes of theatrical...

Cost: Ticket prices start at $15

Where:
PlayMakers' Repertory Company
120 Country Club Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Telephone: 919-962-7529

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

Join our bird enthusiast, Vernon, for an easy walk while looking and listening for our feathered friends. Discover different types of birds and their habitats.​ No preregistration required. Meet...

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
Website »

More information

How did people predict the weather before The Weather Channel, and can animals really help? Come to the Finley Center to put our colonial weather proverbs to the test and make a pop-up woodchuck...

Cost: For all ages; FREE. Registration is not required

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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

Summer Garden Camps at the JCRA invite your child to investigate nature during half or full day camps.  Campers tend to the garden, harvest vegetables, catch insects, and create crafts from the...

Cost: Varies depending on camp week

Where:
JC Raulston Arboretum
4415 Beryl Rd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: JC Raulston Arboretum
Telephone: (919) 513-7011
Contact Name: Elizabeth Overcash
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

Join us to meet the educators, see the farm and learn more about our Preschool for 3-5 year olds and Camps for 4-10 year olds. We'll have a campfire for some warmth but please come dressed for the...

Cost: 0

Where:
Longleaf Forest School
4826 Mt. Moriah Road
Durhan, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: Longleaf Forest School
Contact Name: Tara Lawson
Website »

More information

Chinese New Year Festival, also Lunar New Year Festival. Largest public event in the Triangle. MAIN STAGE has vocal and orchestral music, folk dance, Lion and Dragon dances, martial arts, and comic...

Cost: $10 entry at door, military and senior discounts, kids<6 free

Where:
Dorton Arena, NC State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Road
Enter Gate 1,2,4,5,11
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Sponsor: NC Triangle Area Chinese American Society
Contact Name: Michael, Shin
Website »

More information

Chinese New Year Festival or Lunar New Year Festival, largest public event in the Triangle. MAIN STAGE with musical and dance performances, Lion Dance Dragon Dance, martial arts, comic skits emceed...

Cost: $10 entry at door, military and senior discounts, kids<6 free

Where:
Dorton Arena, NC State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Road
Enter Gate 1,2,4,5,11
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Sponsor: NC Triangle Area Chinese American Society
Contact Name: Michael, Shin
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

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

Did you know that Disney, Netflix, Google and NASA, just to name a few, are all using Python? Python can be used for creating web applications, automation, programming robots and artificial...

Cost: Free: registration required

Where:
, NC


Website »

More information

FEB. 1, 2020 | 1 – 4 P.M. | BLUE JAY POINT COUNTY PARK Spend a winter afternoon getting to know Blue Jay Point County Park at our Winter Open House. Whether you’re a regular visitor or have...

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

Hounded by Death, the character of Everybody desperately seeks out everyone and everything they know in hope of finding something meaningful to take to the grave. These 90 minutes of theatrical...

Cost: Ticket prices start at $15

Where:
PlayMakers' Repertory Company
120 Country Club Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Telephone: 919-962-7529

More information

Come on out to support the NC State Gymnastics team as they take on North Carolina in a RED out on February 1st! The first 300 fans in attendance will receive an exclusive red NC State Gymnastics...

Cost: $3-$7

Where:
Reynolds Collisuem
2411 Dunn Ave.
Raleigh , NC  27607
View map »

More information

Come on out to support the NC State Gymnastics team as they take on North Carolina in a RED out on February 1st! The first 300 fans in attendance will receive an exclusive red NC State Gymnastics...

Cost: $3-$7

Where:
Reynolds Collisuem
2411 Dunn Ave.
Raleigh , NC  27607
View map »

More information

Hounded by Death, the character of Everybody desperately seeks out everyone and everything they know in hope of finding something meaningful to take to the grave. These 90 minutes of theatrical...

Cost: Ticket prices start at $15

Where:
PlayMakers' Repertory Company
120 Country Club Rd
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Telephone: 919-962-7529

More information

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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.