Sports Travel Teams: Option or Necessity?


Published:

Members of Triangle Volleyball Club's 13 Black team compete at a travel tournament in Atlanta.

Photo courtesy of Michele Schwartz

If, as author Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 hour rule” theory suggests, 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” are all it takes to become world-class, there will be a stunning number of elite athletes in college and professional sports in the next few years. Ten thousand hours is nothing to the increasing number of kids playing a year-round sport for a club travel team — that’s a five- or six-day-a-week commitment to a single sport for 11 months a year.

“I’m scared to really do the math,” jokes Amy Tornquist, when asked how many soccer games she has attended over the last year. This full-time chef in Durham has two daughters who play competitive “classic” soccer. “Twenty regular season games,” she says, “plus three or four games per tournament — times two.”

Tornquist’s daughters play because they love the sport and because Tornquist appreciates soccer as a teaching tool. Experts couldn’t be more in sync with parents like Tornquist about the more-than-physical benefits associated with playing youth sports.

At Triangle Volleyball Club in Morrisville, associate director Mike Schall is proud of the club’s commitment to their mission statement: “Educating the whole person.” Schall says Triangle Volleyball Club strives to teach athletes not only the sport of volleyball, but also discipline, respect, responsibility, commitment, leadership, work ethic and the importance of teamwork.

Photo courtesy of Michele Schwartz

 

These lessons come in handy down the road. A study done by the Harvard Business Review found that more than half of women in top executive positions had played a college sport (97 percent had played a sport growing up), and hiring partners noted these sport-learned traits as being key to their hiring.

Go for the Goal

Here are some of the reasons athletes — and their parents — decide to commit to a club team.

Fitness. Club sports, with their regular training sessions, offer an easy, year-round solution in a protected environment. Most clubs emphasize conditioning and offer separate fitness programs, usually identified as speed or agility training.

Advanced training. Clubs often offer professionally trained coaches who have years of high-level coaching and playing experience. Many clubs focus on fundamentals, offering additional skill-specific sessions.

Life lessons. Studies have found that sports involvement leads not only to improved health, but to better grades, less drug use, higher self-esteem and key social skills.

Payback. Many kids dream of playing for their favorite college, while parents dream of corresponding scholarships. Most clubs offer exposure to college coaches and scholarship potential as a selling point.

Keeping up. “No parent wants their kid to fall behind,” says Ian Andersen, whose 11-year-old son, Zack, plays soccer for Greensboro United. Peer pressure doesn’t motivate Andersen — Zack has adored soccer since age 2 — but he knows some parents who are already thinking about high school or college and are out there because, he says, “everyone else is doing it.”

The Trappings

Clubs offer sleek uniforms, personalized sweatsuits, matching backpacks and, of course, the cute car sticker or magnet in team colors. And there’s the travel. What kid doesn’t like staying at a hotel with a team of friends and eating sport-approved snacks for four or more weekends per year?

As club teams get stronger and attract upper- to middle-class athletes and their sport-focused parents, recreational and community teams naturally weaken. School programs are suffering, too. Up2Us, a nonprofit promoting youth sports, notes the recent cumulative $3.5 billion cut in public school sports, and estimates that by 2020, 27 percent of U.S. public high schools will no longer have any sport teams or programs of any kind.

Photo courtesy of Michele Schwartz

Playing Defense

Should athletes really play 10,000 hours of any one sport? In addition to an increased chance of overuse injuries, visions of playing at a Division I college on full scholarship are rarely realized. According to ScholarshipStats.com, only about 2 percent of high school varsity athletes end up playing Division I sports, let alone getting a scholarship to do so. Scholarly and non-scholarly critiques offer additional reasons to proceed with caution.

Cost. In addition to yearly club fees, families must figure in the cost of uniforms, equipment, travel, meals and hotels for weekend tournaments. According to a 2014 University of Florida Sport Policy and Research Collaborative report, travel-team parents spend an average of $2,266 annually on their child’s sports participation, and at the elite levels some families spend more than $20,000 per year.

Exclusivity. Increasing specialization at an early age means more casual youth athletes drop organized sports altogether before they even have a chance to try out for a middle school team.

Overuse injuries. Dr. Scott Burbank at OrthoCarolina in Charlotte and team physician for the Charlotte Independence professional soccer team, has observed a substantial increase in overuse injury among his young patients. “It’s not surprising given how much they play,” he says. “Kids are particularly susceptible to growth-plate injury, and if you stress a growing skeleton all year long, it will start to feel that stress.”

Mental toll. The mental drain of over-specialization is equally clear. “These kids who started playing for travel clubs at age 9, 10, 11 — by the time they’re in college, they’re just tired, their bodies are worn-down. It has become a job,” says Greg Dale, an author, professor of sport psychology and ethics at Duke University, and director of the Sport Psychology and Leadership Programs for Duke Athletics.

Less time for academics and other interests. “I’m a big believer in getting done what needs to get done academically before a player comes to the field,” says Jim O’Neill, head lacrosse coach at R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, a coach for Winston-Salem Lacrosse and district attorney for Winston-Salem. “It’s the academics that will benefit these athletes in the long run. Your ability to play competitively is a small window. Academics are for life.”

Parental pressure. “When I was growing up, youth sports was about children competing against other children,” says John O’Sullivan, founder of the Changing the Game Project, an initiative to “put the ‘play’ back in ‘play ball.’” “Now, far too often, it’s about adults competing with other adults through their children, and as a result 70 percent of kids quit before they reach high school,” he says.

Burbank agrees. “It’s a societal pattern of behavior. Intuitively, parents think the more you play, the better you get, and it has become a race. Kids will do anything to please parents and coaches: even play through serious pain.”

Parents who sign their kids up for year-round clubs recognize the problem.

“Club sports cost a lot and some parents expect to see a return,” Andersen says. “We have to remember that no one is making us sign up. No one is promising us our kid is going to be a star. Expectations put pressure on everyone, including the kid. We’ve got a lot of young kids thinking too hard, afraid to mess up.”

So, should your child play year-round, travel team club sports? On practical, financial and philosophical grounds, it works for some families, but not others. Club sports can deliver a lot of benefit and enjoyment to your family if you take advantage of it in a healthy way.

“If your kid is smiling and having fun, then you’re getting something right,” Andersen says.

 

Caitlin Wheeler is a freelance writer living in Durham.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Content

So My Teen is Done With College Apps — Now What?

Here are a few things to keep in mind after your teen submits his or her college applications.

2018 Triangle Turkey Trots to Try

There are plenty of Turkey Trots in the Triangle if you want to burn off Thanksgiving calories.

How to Find the Chainsaw Art Fallen Tree in William B. Umstead State Park

A beautiful piece of art made from a fallen red oak tree awaits visitors just off of a wide, multiuse trail.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

November 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
View map »


Sponsor: FIT4MOM
Telephone: 919-348-0472
Contact Name: Missy Currin
Website »

More information

Show up in your PJs for breakfast and Seussical fun before a 10 a.m. showing of "The Grinch" (the new animated 2018 movie). Pose with The Grinch and Max and...

Cost: Member: $11/adult, $9/child. Non-member: $12/adult, $10/child

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Come for a tour and try out a Music or Creative Movement class. Any child who will be preschool age (ages 2-transitional kindergarten) for the 2019-20 school year is invited to participate in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Nora Duran
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
Website »

More information

The comic book pop culture takes over Durham with vendors, a cosplay contest, special guests, panels by industry professionals, and more. Purchase tickets online. 

Cost: $25-$35/person. Free for ages 9 and younger with a paid adult

Where:
Durham Convention Center
301 W. Morgan St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

Tour 20 pottery studios and two teaching facilities. Learn how pottery is made and ask questions of all the professional potters. Locally crafted pottery will be for sale at all...

Cost: Free

Where:
Claymakers
701 Foster St
Durham, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-544-2451
Contact Name: Cynthia Aldrich
Website »

More information

See artists' studios and their creations during a self-guided tour. Visit the website for details.

Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County
, NC  27510


Sponsor: Orange County Artists Guild
Website »

More information

Shop antiques, crafts and art, and enjoy food trucks at this artisan and vintage market in downtown Cary.

Cost: Free

Where:
Fidelity Bank Parking Lot
100 W. Chatham St.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Contact Name: Leslie & Jessica
Website »

More information

Design, build and test a marshmallow tower with NC State Engineering ambassadors. 

Cost: $7/person. Free for age 1 and younger

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Kids ages 6-10 track deer in the nature preserve and discover their hiding places. Preregister online using course code #228039.

Cost: $3

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
Website »

More information

Young adults with developmental disabilities enjoy a book club featuring "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets."  The group meets most Sundays at 4:45 p.m.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Shop for unique gifts at this three-day fair. See website for times.

Cost: Free

Where:
State Farmers Market
1201 Agriculture St.
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come for a tour and try out a Music or Creative Movement class. Any child who will be preschool age (ages 2-transitional kindergarten) for the 2019-20 school year is invited to participate in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Nora Duran
Website »

More information

Enjoy a special Jewish-themed storytime with Morah Dassy Cotlar.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come for a tour and try out a Music or Creative Movement class. Any child who will be preschool age (ages 2-transitional kindergarten) for the 2019-20 school year is invited to participate in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Nora Duran
Website »

More information

Enjoy the story about turkeys and numbers by Tony Johnston and learn about colors outdoors. Ages 18 mos – 3 yrs with adult. Register online. 

Cost: $2/child

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


Telephone: 919-870-4330
Website »

More information

Take the family for Kids Night at Chick-Fil-A in Garner. Enjoy a free indoor playspace, face painting and balloon twisting with Mimi the Clown. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Chick-Fil-A
2720 Timber Dr.
Garner, NC  27529
View map »


Sponsor: The MelodyMaker Entertainment
Telephone: (919)639-9328
Contact Name: Melody Scruggs
Website »

More information

Stone Soup Supper is back for its fourteenth year in a row, with more chefs than ever before. Enjoy soups from 20 local chefs while shopping unique pottery pieces from The Triangle Potters...

Cost: $25/person

Where:
McKimmon Center
1101 Gorman St
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Telephone: 919-836-1642
Contact Name: Jordan Hewitt
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Come for a tour and try out a Music or Creative Movement class. Any child who will be preschool age (ages 2-transitional kindergarten) for the 2019-20 school year is invited to participate in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Nora Duran
Website »

More information

Enjoy stories with Amy Godfrey.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Regulator Bookshop
720 Ninth St.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

Preschoolers ages 3-5 (accompanied by an adult).  The winter birds are arriving at the nature preserve! Make paper-tube binoculars and talk a walk to spy on our bird buddies in the forest and...

Cost: $3

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
Website »

More information

Strut down a woodland trail to learn about that fantastic feathered fowl: the turkey, and enjoy theme related stories and activities for parent and child aged 3-5 years. Register online. ...

Cost: $4/child

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


Telephone: 919-870-4330
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Celebrate the grand opening of Duluth Trading's new store at Crossroads Boulevard in Cary. Enjoy a ribbon-cutting ceremony with local dignitaries at 9 a.m., and live lumberjack shows...

Cost: Free

Where:
Duluth Trading
301 Crossroads Blvd.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Website »

More information

Explore a part of art. Ages 2-5 with caregiver. Purchase tickets online for workshops at 9:15, 10:15 or 11:15 a.m.

Cost: $6/member, $8/nonmember

Where:
NC Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607-6494
View map »


Telephone: 919-715-5923
Website »

More information

Come for a tour and try out a Music or Creative Movement class. Any child who will be preschool age (ages 2-transitional kindergarten) for the 2019-20 school year is invited to participate in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Nora Duran
Website »

More information

Mix, measure and flip seasonal hotcakes and taste the comforts of cozy fall cuisine. 

Cost: $7/person. Free for age 1 and younger

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy a magical lighting exhibition for the entire family, under the cover of darkness artfully lit on a crisp November evening. Enjoy live music, food trucks (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday),...

Cost: $10/member, $20/nonmembers, $5 for children

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Help plant a new tree that flowers, produces fruit, and has flaming leaves. After a brief ceremony to declare Chapel Hill as a Tree City, you can toss a shiny new penny and a shovelful of dirt to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Chapel Hill Public Library
100 Library Dr.
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
View map »


Website »

More information

Come for a tour and try out a Music or Creative Movement class. Any child who will be preschool age (ages 2-transitional kindergarten) for the 2019-20 school year is invited to participate in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Nora Duran
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

More information

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
View map »


Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
Website »

More information

Stop by the market to enjoy fresh North Carolina collards with all the fixings.

Cost: Free

Where:
State Farmers Market
1201 Agriculture St.
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Website »

More information

Go on an owl prowl to discover the kinds of owls and other night-time birds that are found in the Piedmont. All ages. Register online. 

Cost: $1/person

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

During the holiday season, come share the excitement as Park West Village hosts Winter Wonderland in the District. Take the family to enjoy train rides, magical winter lights, live music and visits...

Cost: Free; $5 donation for sledding

Where:
Park West Village
3400 Village Market Place
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Telephone: 919-234-6710
Contact Name: Conner Dixon
Website »

More information

Kick off holiday festivities with Waverly Place’s 7th Annual Tree Lighting Celebration. Arrive early for dinner and socializing with family and friends, then make your way to The Park area...

Cost: Free

Where:
Waverly Place Shopping Center
307 Colonades Way
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy a magical lighting exhibition for the entire family, under the cover of darkness artfully lit on a crisp November evening. Enjoy live music, food trucks (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday),...

Cost: $10/member, $20/nonmembers, $5 for children

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


Website »

More information

Give Gala has been celebrated for its unique donation model where tickets to the event are exchanged for time and services that benefit terminally ill children and their families. Attendees...

Cost: Free

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Enjoy a baby expo offering loads of product information, vendors, parent tips, resources and samples.  

Cost: Free

Where:
Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: Buy Buy Baby
Website »

More information

See Raleigh's annual Christmas parade, featuring large helium balloons, dance and performance groups, floats, Santa and more. Parade held rain or shine. Sponsored by ABC 11.

Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
Raleigh, NC  27601


Website »

More information

Enjoy face painting and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a Woodplay’s largest sale of the year on playsets and Springfree Trampolines

Cost: Free

Where:
Woodplay Playsets of the Carolinas
9521 Lumley Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-781-6556
Website »

More information

Come for a tour and try out a Music or Creative Movement class. Any child who will be preschool age (ages 2-transitional kindergarten) for the 2019-20 school year is invited to participate in...

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Raphael Preschool
5801 Falls of the Neuse Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
View map »


Sponsor: Saint Raphael Preschool
Telephone: 919-865-5725
Contact Name: Nora Duran
Website »

More information

Ages 1-5 and caregiver take a relaxing stroll to experience nature. Register online. Choose course #117302. 

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Preschoolers ages 3-5 (accompanied by an adult).  The winter birds are arriving at the nature preserve! Make paper-tube binoculars and talk a walk to spy on our bird buddies in the forest and...

Cost: $3

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
Website »

More information

Originally from Salvador da Bahia, Caique Vidal is an accomplished performer, percussionist, and songwriter, blending the rhythms of samba, reggae, salsa, bachata, pop, rock and Bossa Nova in both...

Cost: $5

Where:
Carolina Theatre of Durham
309 W. Morgan St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Telephone: 919-560-3030
Contact Name: Jaimie Lee
Website »

More information

Take Fido to enjoy a pop-up dog park featuring four acres for dogs to roam, and a small dog area too. Food vendors and pet-themed vendors will be on site.

Cost: Free

Where:
Dix Park
801 Biggs Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn about the state’s American Indian culture from musicians, dancers, craftspeople and storytellers from eight state-recognized tribes. Over 100 presenters will fill the museum and...

Cost: Free

Where:
N.C. Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy snow sledding, photos with Santa, an inflatable obstacle course and bounce house, and an appearance by Matt Iseman, host of NBC's "American Ninja Warriors."

Cost: Free

Where:
Saint Mary's School
900 Hillsborough St.
Raleih, NC  27603
View map »


Website »

More information

Join costumed interpreters Jon and Karena Potter in learning and dancing 19th-century country dances. Registration not required.

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Take part in a fun and playful aerial yoga and movement class for parents and children age 5 and older. Stretch, move, play and learn aerial yoga poses. Breathing techniques will be taught to...

Cost: $35 child and adult pair, or $15/child and $25/adult

Where:
Cary Hot Yoga
952 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Cary Hot Yoga
Telephone: 888-587-9530
Contact Name: hoa bui
Website »

More information

Visit a tabletop display to learn how colonial frontier communities prepared for the dark, chilly days ahead. Knead bread, roll candles and try your hand at corncob darts to sharpen your...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

This is a fundraising event for Fuquay-Varina Downtown Association and features things people love about North Carolina: BBQ, Blues and Craft Beer! Guests are encouraged to sample delicious...

Cost: Free admission; $10 for 10 tasting tickets

Where:
Stephens Hardware Bldg
405 E Broad St
Fuquay-Varina, NC  27526
View map »


Sponsor: Fuquay-Varina Downtown Assoc
Telephone: 919-552-0848
Contact Name: Rachel Cornett
Website »

More information

Talented dance students perform the lavishly staged holiday ballet alongside guest artists from Carolina Ballet. Show times are at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $12-$27

Where:
Fletcher Theater, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

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
View map »


Website »

More information

See Wilkerson's fall flush and join a naturalist guide for a hike focused on our beautiful deciduous trees. The program is designed for adults, but children ages 5 and up are welcome with...

Cost: $2

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
Website »

More information

All evening and into the night, 3000 pounds of molten iron will be poured into molds, in an exciting fiery display. Additionally, there will be Liberty Arts artists’ work for sale, scratch...

Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Central Park
501 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
View map »


Website »

More information

Build a boat from just cardboard and duct tape and try to make it across Campus Hills Pool with just your wits and a paddle. Trophies will be awarded. Ages 6-15. Advance registration...

Cost: $6/resident, $11/nonresident per two-person team

Where:
Campus Hills Pool
2000 S. Alston Ave.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Website »

More information

Usher in the holidays with a tree-lighting and other seasonal activities.

Cost: Free

Where:
Lafayette Village
8450 Honeycutt Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Website »

More information

Enjoy a sunset kayak adventure. Meet at the launch point 1 hour before sunset, just in time to review guidelines and equipment. Then go on  a leisurely paddle, keeping an eye out for wildlife...

Cost: $35/person

Where:
Jordan Lake
, NC


Sponsor: frolyk
Telephone: 866 481 6166
Contact Name: Lili Engelhardt
Website »

More information

Discover what's happening as the sun sets and listen to stories around a campfire. All ages with adult. Register online. Choose course #117094.

Cost: $18/resident, $24/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Talented dance students perform the lavishly staged holiday ballet alongside guest artists from Carolina Ballet. Show times are at 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $12-$27

Where:
Fletcher Theater, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

During the holiday season, come share the excitement as Park West Village hosts Winter Wonderland in the District. Take the family to enjoy train rides, magical winter lights, live music and visits...

Cost: Free; $5 donation for sledding

Where:
Park West Village
3400 Village Market Place
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Telephone: 919-234-6710
Contact Name: Conner Dixon
Website »

More information

Enjoy a magical lighting exhibition for the entire family, under the cover of darkness artfully lit on a crisp November evening. Enjoy live music, food trucks (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday),...

Cost: $10/member, $20/nonmembers, $5 for children

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


Website »

More information

Look through telescopes, facilitated by Morehead staff and dedicated volunteers, at a variety of objects in the sky. Jupiter, Saturn and Mars will be prime targets, along with many other deep...

Cost: Free

Where:
Dix Park
101 Blair Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit Module

Magazine

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Directories

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

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. Plus, find out who our 2018 Readers' Favorites are.