Why College Visits Are Worth Time, Expense


Published:

The Harvard University campus in spring.

Photo by Jannis Tobias Werner/Shutterstock

Residing in the digital age, it’s tempting to forgo more and more tasks that, a decade or two ago, involved an actual trek out into the real world. Hassles such as buying paper towels or searching for the perfect used car that used to require legwork, human interaction, and possibly even wearing pants can now be done with a click of a mouse from one’s own living room.

Similarly, parents and students may find themselves considering skipping the annoyances of long car rides or plane trips, days away from work/school, and the slew of hotel bills that come from visiting your teen’s prospective colleges. After all, it’s possible to take a virtual tour of campus, chat with an admissions officer in an online forum, and find answers to most questions about anything from dorm life to financial aid on a school’s FAQ page. So, given the availability of fairly comprehensive virtual excursions, is it still worth the time and expense of a physical trip? We at College Transitions believe that, when feasible, it is for the following reasons:

1. Campus visits allow you to use your senses, including your gut.

For many, college will be life’s greatest expense outside of buying a home and should thus be given every bit as much attention. Would you ever considering buying a house, sight-unseen, from an online listing? What looks like a lush backyard may actually be swampland, the beautiful hardwood floors may be rotting and moldy, and two of the three alleged “bedrooms” may feel more like medium-size closets.

Just as with a new home, it helps to see, smell, feel, and fully experience a college campus before forking over that tuition money. Equally important will be the gut-sense you get around campus. Have a meal in the cafeteria, sit in on a class, read the student newspaper, and talk with a few current students. Does it feel like it could be home for four years? Does it have a positive vibe? Do you feel safe and comfortable walking around campus? The only way to answer these questions is to plant your feet on campus and soak it all in.

2. Distance is more than an abstract concept.

There are a multitude of reasons that 72 percent of college students choose to attend school in their home state, the chief one, of course, being reduced tuition at public universities. Yet, many teens are equally influenced by the proximity to family. After all, it’s comforting to know that a home-cooked meal, a free washer and dryer, and most importantly, a network of love, support, and guidance is no further than a few hours away.

If you don’t visit your prospective colleges then you are missing out on accurately assessing how important distance to family is to you. In the abstract, a school that is 200 miles away isn’t that much different than a school that is 2,000 miles away. One can rationalize that a 4-hour plane trip and a 4-hour car ride are roughly equivalent. As an armchair globetrotter it’s easy to acquire a false bravado. Actually packing your bags for the opposite coast, waiting for hours in the airport, crossing time zones, experiencing jet lag, and seeing how it feels to be so far from home is an appropriate test that will bring clarity to the geographical parameters of your college search.

3. Go on an official and unofficial tour.

It’s wise to begin with the official tour offered by your college. While sanitized and sales-pitchy, you’ll likely get a good sense of the heart of campus, and of the school’s main architectural and social attractions. It will also be a chance to ask your tour guide questions about dorm life, the social scene, and other anecdotal information that is tough to glean from websites and guidebooks.

After the official tour ends, we recommend setting off on a self-guided tour to make sure the infomercial version of the school appears to align with reality. Chat up a few random students about their favorite and least favorite things about their school. Explore the surrounding town or city. Dine at a restaurant or two. The more information you can take in, the better, whether of the school-sanctioned or unofficial variety.

4. Connect with an admissions officer.

If you are visiting a liberal arts school or a mid-size university, you will likely be able to schedule a one-on-one evaluative interview. If you are attending a larger university that does not offer a formal one-on-one interview, try to participate in an information session with an admissions official. Either way, you’ll want to come prepared to talk about your academic interests and achievements, extracurricular activities, and also have a number of thoughtfully-crafted questions for the admissions officer about their institution. Particularly at small liberal arts colleges, making a positive and lasting impression as a nice and engaging human being can pay dividends when application review time rolls around.

For more on how to prepare for a college interview and what type of questions one should expect, revisit our previous blog on the subject.

If you can’t swing an in-person tour …

As we stated at the beginning, we believe that visiting a college is immensely helpful, when it’s feasible. Sometimes due to budgetary or time constraints, seeing some of your prospective schools simply isn’t possible, especially if you have a lengthy and geographically diverse college list. If you aren’t able to view a campus in person, there are still actions that you can take to better form an assessment of a school’s fit.

For those who can’t make it to campus, attempt to schedule an alumni interview at a location near you. Doing so will still afford you the opportunity to humanize your application and make a lasting impression with someone affiliated with the university.

Connect with current students at your prospective college through social media or via your high school’s guidance department. Chances are, unless you attend a tiny high school, a recent alum is currently attending your institution of interest and will be willing to share his or her experiences.

If you aren’t making a pilgrimage to campus, there are plenty of other ways to please the demonstrated interest gods. Attending a local admissions event, following a school on Facebook, and corresponding over email with an admissions counselor are all excellent ways to show a potential higher education destination that you have a genuine interest in attending.

College Transitions’ bottom line

There’s nothing wrong with buying paper towels online but when it comes to a six-figure purchase like a college education, an in-person inspection is recommended. If a school is within reasonable driving distance but doesn’t feel worth the time, effort, and money to visit, then it should be eliminated from your list.

Dave Bergman, Ed.D., is a co-founder of College Transitions, a team of college planning experts committed to guiding families through the college admissions process. He is also a co-author of “The Enlightened College Applicant: A New Approach to the Search and Admissions Process.” Learn more at collegetransitions.com.

 

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About this Blog

College Transitions

Expert advice for finding the right fit


About This Blog

College Transitions is a team of college planning experts committed to guiding families through the college admissions process. As counselors and published higher education researchers, we aim to bring perspective (and some sanity) to college planning, and we strive to provide students with the support they need to enroll and succeed at a college that is right for them. Learn more at collegetransitions.com

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Calendar

March 2017

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

Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


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

More information

Enjoy an Easter egg hunt and activities. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $5-$20

Where:
Three Bears Acres
711 Beaver Dam Rd.
Creedmoor, NC  27522
View map »


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

Discover Indian cultural arts through a dazzling array of dance and music. Enjoy a crafts bazaar, cultural cuisine, various performances by local dance groups, vocalists and musicians of all ages,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Exposition Center
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Shop for gently used kids clothing, maternity wear, baby gear, books, toys and more. All items are half-price.  

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Diaper Bank of North Carolina
Contact Name: Kidcycle Team
Website »

More information

A young girl dreams about taking flight in the makeshift airplane that she has built in her backyard. After a huge storm, she finds an elderly woman who looks and sounds like a bird, but who just...

Cost: $14/adult, $10 ages 12 and younger

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


Website »

More information

The Wake Forest Police Department’s annual carnival features fun and entertainment for the entire family, including rides, games and food.

Cost: Unlimited ride wristbands are $20

Where:
Wake Forest Home Depot
11915 Retail Rd.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Website »

More information

Learn the basics of orienteering, including reading bearings, calculating your stride and more. Use your new skills to navigate through the woods on a 1-mile orienteering course. Ages 7 and up....

Cost: Free

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Parkway
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
Website »

More information

Participants develop their naturalist skills and understanding of local nature. Ages 5-8 with parent. Registration required.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

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


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Join the adventure with Tarzan, Jane and the jungle kingdom as they come to life on stage. "Tarzan" is performed by students at Green Hope High School. Purchase tickets online, $8-$15, or...

Cost: $8-$20

Where:
Green Hope High School
2500 Carpenter Upchurch Rd.
Cary, NC  27519
View map »


Sponsor: Green Hope Fine Arts
Telephone: 919-380-3700
Contact Name: Melissa Poppe
Website »

More information

Enjoy a contemporary spin on Shakespeare’s whimsical tale of fairies, lovers and woodland mischief. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Kennedy Theatre
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate Passover and enjoy Jewish food. Hear presentations on Jewish culture, history and practice. All ages.

Cost: Free

Where:
Cary Arts Center
123 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27513
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Sponsor: Town of Cary
Website »

More information

Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander reads from his new book, "The Playbook." A ticketed book signing follows the reading. Book purchase required. Register online.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

A young girl dreams about taking flight in the makeshift airplane that she has built in her backyard. After a huge storm, she finds an elderly woman who looks and sounds like a bird, but who just...

Cost: $14/adult, $10 ages 12 and younger

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


Website »

More information

Enjoy a contemporary spin on Shakespeare’s whimsical tale of fairies, lovers and woodland mischief. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $10-$15

Where:
Kennedy Theatre
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

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Enjoy the first day of spring on an easy hike for families with young children. Two experienced ranger-parents will share tips and tricks for hiking with little ones. This easy stroll is...

Cost: Free

Where:
Eno River State Park, Few's Ford Access
6101 Cole Mill Road
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Sponsor: North Carolina State Parks
Telephone: 919-707-9348
Contact Name: Sean Higgins
Website »

More information

Ages 3-5 enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Preschoolers enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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Toddlers enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Learn about worms and how they're important for plant growth. Ages 3-5 with adult. Register online. Choose course #200059.

Cost: $3/child

Where:
Durant Nature Preserve
8305 Camp Durant Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Website »

More information

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

Cost: $12/resident, $16/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Will Opposite Day turn best friends into worst enemies? Read what happens to Dill and Bizzy in this delightful story.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Babies enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

On National Agriculture Day, try your hand at back-to-basics living, just like the Ingalls and Wilder families. Do your chores, practice your lessons and your handiwork, and make sure to brush up...

Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

Where:
Whole Foods North Raleigh
8710 Six Forks Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Telephone: 919-354-0350
Contact Name: Sherry Thrasher

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Toddlers enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Bertie knows he's ready to fly from the nest and into the sky. But every time he's about to take wing, others squawk at him to stop and follow their advice instead. Learn what happens when...

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Babies enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

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Show Less...

Preschoolers enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Join others for an easy paced hike around the greenway. Ages 3 and younger; older siblings, strollers and leashed pets welcome. Register online. Choose course #199061.

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Take part in citizen science projects. Help clean or repair habitat boxes, monitor current boxes and assist with other tasks. Ages 10 and older. Meet at the Cypress Shelter. Register online.

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park and the American Tobacco Trail
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

A young girl dreams about taking flight in the makeshift airplane that she has built in her backyard. After a huge storm, she finds an elderly woman who looks and sounds like a bird, but who just...

Cost: $14/adult, $10 ages 12 and younger

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Shop for gently used clothing, toys, books, baby equipment and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Factory
1839 S Main St
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Make DIY toys and learn how creative play is key to preschooler’s developing skills with Skilly-do co-founder, great-grandmother, early childhood expert and author, Mary Mayesky...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church Preschool
4415 Pleasant Grove Church Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27613
View map »


Sponsor: Skilly-do.io
Contact Name: Claire

More information

Explore the garden for all things spring, including frogs, flowers and new leaves. Enjoy a story and craft, too. Age 3-5 with adult. Register online.

Cost: $8/member, $10/nonmember

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


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

More information

See talented ballet students perform divertissements of the classical ballet, "Le Corsaire." Enjoy a story about pirates, betrayal, liberation and the triumph of true love. Children's...

Cost: $7

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Cary Ballet Company
Telephone: 919-454-4252
Contact Name: Suzanne Murley
Website »

More information

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

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Pump It Up Raleigh
10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
Raleigh, NC  27617
View map »


Sponsor: Pump it Up
Telephone: 919-828-3344
Contact Name: Owner/manager Kellie Paterson McHugh
Website »

More information

Join NCSU Natural Resource students for an afternoon with wildlife. Meet live reptiles and amphibians and learn about mammals you may encounter while exploring the park. Take a sunset wagon...

Cost: $2/person

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

Spot the early signs of spring, from songs to smells. Discover the buds on the trees on a walk around the pond. Decorate a flower pot and take home a flowering bulb. All ages with adult....

Cost: $1/person

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


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

See talented ballet students perform divertissements of the classical ballet, "Le Corsaire." Enjoy a story about pirates, betrayal, liberation and the triumph of true love.

Cost: $18-$22

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Cary Ballet Company
Telephone: 919-454-4252
Contact Name: Suzanne Murley
Website »

More information

Enjoy a musical adaptation of the classical tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Journey with Gerda to discover adventure, meet interesting characters and learn the importance of friendship. Purchase...

Cost: $12/adult, $8/child

Where:
Holly Spring Cultural Center
300 W. Ballentine St.
Holly Springs, NC  27540
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Children's Theatre
Telephone: 919-656-8373
Contact Name: Melanie Youngdahl
Website »

More information

A young girl dreams about taking flight in the makeshift airplane that she has built in her backyard. After a huge storm, she finds an elderly woman who looks and sounds like a bird, but who just...

Cost: $14/adult, $10 ages 12 and younger

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF) for the 1st Annual Tour De Triangle Century Ride. UHCCF has set an ambitious goal to award 20,000 medical grants to children and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cary Academy
1500 N. Harrison Dr.
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Sponsor: UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation
Website »

More information

Shop for gently used clothing, toys, books, baby equipment and more.

Cost: Free

Where:
The Factory
1839 S Main St
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Children enjoy a hands-on opportunity to see and touch heavy machinery and meet the people who build, protect and serve Durham and Orange counties. Kids can explore fire engines, ambulances, tow...

Cost: $5/person. Free for ages 1 and younger

Where:
Belk at the Streets of Southpoint
6910 Fayetteville St.
Durham, NC  27713
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn about the art of Romare Bearden and create unique collages inspired by your favorite jazz  musicians. Register online. Artspace Connect & Create workshop series...

Cost: $15/nonmember, $10/member

Where:
Artspace
201 E. Davie St.
Durham, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

The Raleigh Police Department helps children learn to ride safely while also testing their bike skills. Children must bring their own bicycle and already be able to ride. Free greenway maps will be...

Cost: Free

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


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

More information

Families enjoy stories.

Cost: Free

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


Website »

More information

Take part in an introductory aerial and acrobatics class for kids ages 6-10 who want to learn beginner silks and sling moves in a creative and exploratory environment, with a focus on safety,...

Cost: $25

Where:
Lux Performance Arts
1231 Perry Rd, Suite 102
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Lux Performance Arts
Telephone: 314-337-2142
Contact Name: Jamie Trudeau
Website »

More information

Take part in an introductory aerial and acrobatics class for kids ages 6-10 who want to learn beginner silks and sling moves in a creative and exploratory environment, with a focus on safety,...

Cost: $25

Where:
Lux Performance Arts
1231 Perry Rd., Ste. 102
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Lux Performance Arts
Telephone: 314-337-2142
Contact Name: Jamie Trudeau
Website »

More information

Enjoy a beginner-friendly class and use basic sewing skills to make your own reusable tote bags. This is great project for anyone who is interested in taking their beginner sewing skills...

Cost: $20

Where:
The Scrap Exchange
2050 Chapel Hill Rd.
Durham, NC  27707
View map »


Sponsor: The Scrap Exchange
Telephone: 919-213-1278
Contact Name: Anna Graves
Website »

More information

Take part in a combination acrobatics and aerial class for our smallest students. In this class, your child will build a foundation of coordination, flexibility, balance, and strength. Ages 3-7...

Cost: $25

Where:
Lux Performance Arts
1231 Perry Rd., Ste. 102
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Lux Performance Arts
Telephone: 314-337-2142
Contact Name: Jamie Trudeau
Website »

More information

Enjoy 12 food trucks and kids activities.

Cost: Free

Where:
Rosemary St. (in front of Wallace Deck)
Chapel Hill, NC  27514


Website »

More information

Shop for gently used kids clothing, maternity wear, baby gear, books, toys and more. All items are $1.  

Cost: Free

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


Sponsor: Diaper Bank of North Carolina
Contact Name: Kidcycle Team
Website »

More information

A young girl dreams about taking flight in the makeshift airplane that she has built in her backyard. After a huge storm, she finds an elderly woman who looks and sounds like a bird, but who just...

Cost: $14/adult, $10 ages 12 and younger

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


Website »

More information

Kick it into high gear doing TaeKwonDo with the Amerikickers. Team members will demonstrate skills like breaking boards and teach visitors some new moves.

Cost: $5 ages 1 and older

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


Telephone: 919.834.4040
Contact Name: Taylor Rankin
Website »

More information

Look under rocks, logs and leaf litter and inside vernal pools to discover the places salamanders and their eggs can be found. Learn about the lifecycle of the salamander and make a craft to take...

Cost: $6/participant

Where:
Durant Nature Preserve
8305 Camp Durant Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27614
View map »


Website »

More information

Celebrate Creek Week by exploring a stream at the preserve. Take a short hike to the creek, use magnifying glasses and nets to discover the creatures that live there, and learn about the importance...

Cost: Free

Where:
Horton Grove Nature Preserve
7360 Jock Rd
Bahama, NC  27503
View map »


Sponsor: Triangle Land Conservancy
Telephone: 919-908-0054
Contact Name: Kelsey Ellis
Website »

More information

Take a special guided tour through the historic Duke house that explores life for the women at Duke Homestead. Lead by costumed interpreters and featuring period medical artifacts, visitors...

Cost: $3 ages 12 and older

Where:
Duke Homestead State Historic Site
2828 Duke Homestead Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

See talented ballet students perform divertissements of the classical ballet, "Le Corsaire." Enjoy a story about pirates, betrayal, liberation and the triumph of true love.

Cost: $18-$22

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Sponsor: Cary Ballet Company
Telephone: 919-454-4252
Contact Name: Suzanne Murley
Website »

More information

Enjoy a musical adaptation of the classical tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Journey with Gerda to discover adventure, meet interesting characters and learn the importance of friendship. Purchase...

Cost: $12/adult, $8/child

Where:
Holly Spring Cultural Center
300 W. Ballentine St.
Holly Springs, NC  27540
View map »


Sponsor: Carolina Children's Theatre
Telephone: 919-656-8373
Contact Name: Melanie Youngdahl
Website »

More information

Experience the fun of geocaching and search for caches along the trail. GPS units provided or take your own. Ages 6 and older. Meet at the picnic table near the restrooms at the New Hill Parking...

Cost: $1/person

Where:
American Tobacco Trail -New Hill Parking Area
1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Rd.
Apex, NC  27502
View map »


Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park and the American Tobacco Trail
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
Website »

More information

NOTE: This event has been canceled due to the fact that no North Carolina NCAA basketball teams will be playing on that day based on the brackets that were posted this week. Ride the train,...

Cost: $7-$10

Where:
New Hope Valley Railway
3900 Bonsal Rd.
New Hill, NC  27562
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A young girl dreams about taking flight in the makeshift airplane that she has built in her backyard. After a huge storm, she finds an elderly woman who looks and sounds like a bird, but who just...

Cost: $14/adult, $10 ages 12 and younger

Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Enjoy a musical adaptation of the classical tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Journey with Gerda to discover adventure, meet interesting characters and learn the importance of friendship. Purchase...

Cost: $12/adult, $8/child

Where:
Holly Spring Cultural Center
300 W. Ballentine St.
Holly Springs, NC  27540
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Sponsor: Carolina Children's Theatre
Telephone: 919-656-8373
Contact Name: Melanie Youngdahl
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Explore the forest as the sun sets, listen to Native American stories and enjoy s'mores around a campfire. All ages with parent. Registration required.

Cost: $20/resident, $28/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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See talented ballet students perform divertissements of the classical ballet, "Le Corsaire." Enjoy a story about pirates, betrayal, liberation and the triumph of true love.

Cost: $18-$22

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
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Sponsor: Cary Ballet Company
Telephone: 919-454-4252
Contact Name: Suzanne Murley
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Annual Guides

GPS [Go. Play. See]

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

Education Guide

The 2016-17 Education Guide offers 643 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

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