Triangle Summer Movies Under the Stars

Enjoy free or discounted films this summer that both you and your kids can have fun watching in the evenings under the summer sky.


Published:

Photo courtesy of North Carolina Museum of Art

From Cary to Carrboro, your family can enjoy free or discounted films — many of which are shown under the summer night sky. For kid-friendly summer movies during the day, see Triangle Summer Movie Deals for Families.

Jump to:
Apex | Benson | Carrboro | Cary | Chapel Hill | Durham | Garner | Henderson | Knightdale | Morrisville | Raleigh | Roxboro | Smithfield  | Wake Forest | Zebulon


APEX

Apex Music & Movies in the Park Series
facebook.com/townofapex
2600 Evans Road
919-249-1120
Free outdoor concert and movie series at Apex Nature Park Amphitheatre. All movies begin at dusk. Bring your own chair or blanket and picnic dinner, but leave pets and alcohol at home. See website for dates and call for movie titles. 

Free Wednesday Night Movies 
facebook.com/thehalleofApex
237 N. Salem St. 
919-249-1120
Bring your date, your teenager or your friends for a free movie just for teenagers and adults. The first Wednesday of every month at Halle Cultural Arts Center. 2018 dates: March 7, April 4, May 3, June 6, July 11 and Aug. 1. Call for movie titles.  

Pizza and a Movie
facebook.com/thehalleofapex
237 N. Salem St. 
919-249-1120
Spend a fun-filled evening viewing a film in the Halle Cultural Arts Center's cozy theater. Tables and chairs are set up to accommodate 80 for this special event. Enjoy a slice or two of pizza while watching the movie. Bottled water, fruit and a dessert is included. Children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. 2018 dates: March 15, April 19, May 24, June 21, July 26 and Aug. 23. Tickets are $2-$5.


BENSON

Movie Night in the Grove
facebook.com/town.benson
400 E. Main St. 
919-894-5117
The Town of Benson offers a free movie night on the first and third Friday of every month. Beginning in May, movies are held outdoors at the Downtown Singing Grove, weather permitting, and begin at sunset. 


CARRBORO

Free Friday Night Flicks
100 N. Greensboro St.
919-918-7385
A family movie will be shown at the Century Center on select Fridays. Doors open at 6 p.m. Children under 12 must have a parent or guardian present to be admitted. All ages are admitted; no registration is required. 


CARY

Movies by Moonlight
facebook.com/boothamphitheatre
8003 Regency Pwky
919-462-2025
Outdoor movies at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre are shown on select Thursdays and Fridays, May 25 - Aug. 17. Free for children 12 and younger and $5 for general admission. Bring picnics as well as blankets or chairs. Movies start at dusk (approximately 8:30 p.m.) and the gates open at 7 p.m. A portion of the profits benefit WakeMed Children's Hospital. Purchase tickets at the amphitheater box office.  

The Cary Theater
122 E. Chatham St.
919-462-2051
The Cary Downtown Theater offers independent, documentary, and classic films. All movie tickets are $3 to $5. See the website for showings and ratings. 


CHAPEL HILL

Movies Under the Stars
150 E. Rosemary St.
Outdoor movies are shown on top of the Wallace Parking Deck on select Thursdays from June 7 until Aug. 16. Free admission and free popcorn. Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets. Movies start at 8:30 p.m., or sundown. Featuring sports-themed movies this season.   

Movies by Moonlight
​The Green, 15-501 South
919-969-8049
​Movies start at dusk and are $5 per person. Screenings are at Southern Village Green across from the Lumina Theater on Saturdays, May 19 – June 9. No glass bottles or pets allowed on the Green. 

Varsity Theater
facebook.com/varsityonfranklin?ref=ts​
123 E. Franklin St.
919-967-8665
$5-7 movies year round. Visit the Varsity's online schedule to view what is currently playing.


DURHAM

Family Movie Night
2000 S. Alston Ave.
Bring your entire family to movie night at Campus Hills. On the fourth Friday of each month, enjoy popcorn, drinks, and a movie that the entire family will enjoy. Doors open at 5:30, Showtime is at 6 p.m. Cost for adults and non-residents. 

Rock the Park Concert & Movie Series
Locations and times vary.
Durham Parks and Recreation offers a summer concert and movie series in various Durham parks on Saturdays during June 9-Aug. 18. Both series are free and open to the public. Food vendors will be on site and food will be available for purchase. Check the website for locations, dates and times. 


GARNER

Friday Family Flick and Camping
facebook.com/townofgarner
921 Buffaloe Road
919-661-6982
Free movies screened on select Fridays at 8:30 p.m. at Lake Benson Park. There is also an overnight camping option ($12/family for town residents; $16/family for nonresidents). Registration for camping is required; no registration necessary for the movie.


HENDERSON

Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre
facebook.com/raleighroadtheatre
​3336 Raleigh Road
Tickets cost $8 for ages 12 and older, $5 for ages 3-11. Children under age 3 are free. One of only six drive in theaters left in operation in North Carolina. Check website for movie showings. 


KNIGHTDALE

Outdoor Movie Night Series
facebook.com/knightdalenc
810 North First Avenue 
Free and open to the public. Make sure to bring a blanket and/or chairs. The series will be at the Knightdale Station Park Amphitheater. Movies begin at dusk. Groups from local schools will be running the concession stand. All proceeds will directly support the associated school.


MORRISVILLE

Morrisville Movies
facebook.com/townofmorrisville/
1520 Morrisville Parkway 
Free movies will be shown at Field #1 at Morrisville Community Park. Come early to get a good spot and enjoy dinner from local food trucks (bring cash!). Movies are family-friendly and begin at dark. Enjoy bounce houses and music at 5:30 p.m. before the movie begins. Movies begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. Check website for dates. 


RALEIGH

North Carolina Museum of Art Summer Films
facebook.com/ncartmuseum
2110 Blue Ridge Road
919-839-6262
Enjoy an outdoor movie series on the lawn in HD format. Picnics are welcome. Parents please note: many screenings are family-friendly, but there are a few R-rated titles each season. Prices vary for music/movie combos. Check website for dates.

AMC Classic Blueridge 14
600 Blue Ridge Road
919-828-8007
Tickets are $2.40 year round. Check website for movie times. 

Movies in the Garden
facebook.com/events/340312006478733/​
301 Pogue St. 
Free outdoor movies in the Stephenson Amphitheatre next to the Raleigh Rose Garden on Thursdays July 5 – Aug. 2. Gates open and pre-show activity begins at 7:00 p.m. and movies starts at 8:30 p.m. Food and concessions available. 

North Carolina State University Campus
Corner of Cates Avenue and Dan Allen Drive
919-515-5168
Movies are shown at the campus cinema in the Witherspoon Student Center. (Not all movies are family-friendly.) Admission is free and freshly popped popcorn is served free of charge (one box per person) available 30 minutes before the showing.

Raleigh City Farms' Movies on the Farm
800 N. Blount St.
919-322-9596
Free family-friendly movie showings on the final Fridays of June, July and August. The farm opens at 7:30 p.m. and movies start at 8:30 p.m. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome, as well as well-behaved (leashed) four-legged friends. Concessions will be sold.

Raleighwood Cinema Grill
facebook.com/raleighwoodcinemagrill
6609 Falls of Neuse Road
919-847-0326
​Family matinee shows for $5.50 before 6 p.m. and $4 before noon. Purchase tickets with cash only. Arrive 30 minutes prior to show time.


ROXBORO

Palace Theatre Specials
5050 Durham Road
336-598-5050 
$5 movies all day on Tuesdays. ($3.50 surcharge for 3-D movies)


SMITHFIELD

Howell Theater
facebook.com/howelltheatre
141 South Third Street
919-938-1201
​The Howell Theater is a vintage theater (circa 1935) that offers $4 movies all day.


WAKE FOREST

Flix4Kids
facebook.com/wfrenaissancecentre
405 S. Brooks St. 
919-435-9428
The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre hosts G and PG movies on the second Monday morning of each month at 10:30 a.m. Movies are free and open to the public, and concessions are available for purchase.


ZEBULON

Family Movie Night
facebook.com/townofzebulon
301 S. Arendell Ave. 
919-823-0432
Second Friday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Zebulon Community Center. Children must have a parent/guardian present. Free movie and popcorn for all ages! Doors open at 6:30 p.m. 

 

This article was originally written in 2014 and updated April 22, 2018 by Megan Finke.

 

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July 2018

Run Club meets every Sunday at 8 a.m. in Midtown Raleigh or Wake Forest. Stroller friendly; children invited. 

Cost: $10/run or $100/annual pass

Where:
Optimist Park Community Center/Greenways
5900 Whittier Drive
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Sponsor: FIT4MOM
Telephone: 919-348-0472
Contact Name: Missy Currin
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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
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Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
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Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
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Take part in Maple View's annual event that features live music by Back Porch Orchestra & The Mason Lovette Band. Enjoy delicious ice cream specials and award winning dairy products, the...

Cost: Free

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Maple View Farm Ice Cream
6900 Rocky Ridge Rd.
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Maple View Farm Ice Cream
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Cost: Free

Where:
Carrboro Library, Hillsborough Library, Kidzu
900 Old Fayetteville Road
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Sponsor: Orange County Library
Telephone: 191-996-93006
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Discover clay through a safe and engaging activity. Dress for the weather and to get messy or wet. Register online. Choose course #220634.

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Telephone: 919-996-2760
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Monday, July 16; 10:30–11:00 a.m. Practice your shapes and develop your fine motor skills through games and hands-on activities. Then go on a nature hunt to find plants and animals of different...

Cost: $2/child

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
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Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
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Enjoy a family-friendly movie. See the website for the movie title. Showings at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Crabtree Valley Mall
4325 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27612
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Enjoy activities inspired by Eric Carle's popular book, "The Grouchy Ladybug." Ages are 4-9.

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Where:
Carrboro Library, Hillsborough Library, Kidzu
900 Old Fayetteville Road
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Telephone: 191-996-93006
Contact Name: Jody Smith
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The Art Therapy Institute has been working in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools with the Exceptional Children's Program for the past ten years. Enjoy a summer art therapy groups in June and...

Cost: $20 per session

Where:
Art Therapy Institute of NC
200 N Greensboro St. Suite D-6 (2nd Floor Carr Mill Mall)
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Book Harvest and Scholastic are hosting the ultimate summer reading road trip event to celebrate “A Magical Summer of Reading.” In an effort to get kids reading this summer, the 2018...

Cost: Free

Where:
Burton Magnet Elementary School
1500 Mathison St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Sponsor: Scholastic Inc.
Telephone: 212-343-6876
Contact Name: Josephine Djonovic
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Athlete and artist Ernie Barnes is known for his colorful, elongated figures and for his special way of making the figures look like they were in motion. Look at some of his paintings, strike a...

Cost: $5/child

Where:
N.C. Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Cost: $7 ages 1 and older.

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Tuesday, July 17; 11:00 a.m. – Noon What's swimming underneath the surface of Crowder's Pond? Explore the animals that call this habitat home in a hands-on pond study. Learn the aquatic food...

Cost: $1/Person

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Sponsor: Crowder County Park
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Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
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Cary, NC  27616
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Meet a favorite princess or superhero from 11 a.m.-noon and 1-2 p.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Crabtree Valley Mall
4325 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27612
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Enjoy activities inspired by Eric Carle's popular book, "The Grouchy Ladybug." Ages are 4-9.

Cost: Free

Where:
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Chapel Hill, NC  27516
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Cost: Free

Where:
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Raleigh, NC  27612
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Cary, NC  27616
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Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
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Cost: $4/child

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3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Cost: Free

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Chapel Hill, NC  27516
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Sponsor: Orange County Library
Telephone: 191-996-93006
Contact Name: Jody Smith
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Cost: Free

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2800 Pickett Rd.
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Take part in a yoga session focusing on strength, flexibility, balance, breathing and relaxation. Ages 10 and older. Registration encouraged.  To register, call 919-245-2536...

Cost: Free

Where:
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137 W Margaret Lane
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Cost: Free

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Sharon O'Donnell visits Quail Ridge Books to discuss her new book and tell humorous and poignant stories of having a child at 38.

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4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
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Meet a staff member at the information desk and follow your guide outside to the garden exhibit or into one of the museum galleries. Look around and listen to a history-related story. 

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Join us at Chatham Marketplace in Pittsboro every Thursday at 10 a.m. for a casual storytime on the porch or even out in the yard. 

Cost: Free

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480 Hillsboro St.
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Cost: $6

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
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Raleigh, NC  27614
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Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson Nature Preserve staff
Website »

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Enjoy an easy-paced and stroller-friendly walk along the greenway. Suggested for ages 3 and younger with parent. Register online. Choose course #219871.

Cost: Free

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Park
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Telephone: 919-996-2760
Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood
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Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
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View map »


Website »

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Ages 7-12 enjoy fashion and design activities from 11 a.m.-noon.; ages 13-18 enjoy the same activities from 1-2 p.m.

Cost: Free

Where:
Crabtree Valley Mall
4325 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27612
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy activities inspired by Eric Carle's popular book, "The Grouchy Ladybug." Ages are 4-9.

Cost: Free

Where:
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Inside McDougle Middle School
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Sponsor: Orange County Library
Telephone: 191-996-93006
Contact Name: Jody Smith
Website »

More information

Learn about sea turtle adaptations for success in the ocean and their incredible life cycle. Carolina Children's Museum is a proud sponsor of this free program provided by Dragonfly Nature...

Cost: Free; donations encouraged

Where:
Devils Ridge Golf Club (In the Players Club)
5107 Linksland Drive
Holly Springs, NC  27540
View map »


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Website »

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Join award-winning children's book author John Claude Bemis as he shares fun activities for opening up the imagination and coming up with exciting story ideas. Rising 3rd graders and up. 

Cost: Free

Where:
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137 W. Margaret Lane
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
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Little ones enjoy storytime.

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Barnes & Noble
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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

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Open Arts
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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

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Pump It Up Raleigh
10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
Raleigh, NC  27617
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Telephone: 919-828-3344
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Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
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304 Blackwell St.
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This epic musical is about wishes, family and the consequences of the choices that we make. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to lift their family curse by journeying into the woods,...

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Raleigh Little Theatre
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See the G-rated movie under the stars at Booth Amphitheatre. Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast cars, the legendary Lighting McQueen finds himself pushed out of the sport that...

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Enjoy a movie outdoors at the amphitheatre. Take a blanket or lawn chair.  Call the Halle Cultural Arts Center for film title. Pets and alcohol not permitted.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Apex Nature Park Amphitheatre
2600 Evans Rd.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: The Halle Cultural Arts Center
Telephone: (919) 249-1120
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Saturday, July 21; 10:00–11:00 a.m. Take a walk in the woods and discover the animals and plants that call our park home. Help collect data for our Natural Resource Inventory Database and other...

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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Join staff for a leisurely hike along our trails while learning how to identify plants, insects, birds and any other critters that happen along our path (not stroller accessible, so baby backpacks...

Cost: $1/person

Where:
Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Orange County Partnership for Young Children is partnering with Kidzu Children’s Museum to host Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Kick-Off. Visit us at the table set up outside of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kidzu Children's Museum
201 S. Estes Dr.
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
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Sponsor: Orange County Partnership for Young Children
Contact Name: Hannah Willcox
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Meet a real turtle and hike to see others. Play turtle games and bring home a rock 'turtle' in a terrarium you design. Ages 3-5 with caregiver. Register online.

Cost: $6

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 Nature Preserve
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Children's booksellers read their favorite picture books. All ages.

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Kids enjoy arts and crafts. No registration required. Parents/adults must accompany children.

Cost: Free

Where:
Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
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Saturday, July 21; 1:00–3:00 p.m. Stop by our FREE discovery table to learn about bees! Registration is not required. The display table is located by the Upper Playground.

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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View the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring the mill's history and aspects of its preservation. All ages. Registration encouraged online; tickets available inside...

Cost: $5/adult, $3/ ages 7-16. Free for ages 6 and younger.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Join the Dungeons & Dragons group for awesome fantasy storytelling and action-packed game play over refreshments. Fans and gamers 15 and older are welcome to join the game or watch and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Public Library
137 W Margaret Lane
Hillsborough , NC  27278
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919.245.2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
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Enjoy activities inspired by Eric Carle's popular book, "The Grouchy Ladybug." Ages are 4-9.

Cost: Free

Where:
Carrboro Library, Hillsborough Library, Kidzu
900 Old Fayetteville Road
Inside McDougle Middle School
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
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Sponsor: Orange County Library
Telephone: 191-996-93006
Contact Name: Jody Smith
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arcBARKS, the maker of healthy dog treats operated by The ARC of Greensboro, will have free samples for all dogs at this dog- and human-friendly event. Co-sponsor Shoe Crazy Wines will have...

Cost: Free

Where:
Special Treats Chocolate Shop
Timberlyne Shopping Center
1129 Weaver Dairy Rd.,Unit R
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
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Sponsor: Special Treats
Telephone: 919-883-2151
Contact Name: Dan Friedman
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Explore the historic heart of downtown Raleigh on a walking tour of Fayetteville Street. Tours highlight the people, places, architecture and political movements that have shaped...

Cost: Adults (18+) $10; Youth (7-17) $4; Children (6 & under) Free.

Where:
City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Scott Reintgen discusses his newest book, "Nyxia Unleashed."  p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 19.0px Calibri; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1...

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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This epic musical is about wishes, family and the consequences of the choices that we make. A childless baker and his wife endeavor to lift their family curse by journeying into the woods,...

Cost: $15/person

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2017-18 Education Guide offers 660 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. Plus, find out who our 2018 Readers' Favorites are.