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Written by:  Compiled by Lauren Townsend
Date: June 1, 2012

When it comes to family-friendly places to eat, shop and visit in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary and other Triangle towns, parents know best. We asked you about your favorite places and sorted through all of the responses. In some cases, the top vote-getters were extremely close, so we awarded two. Businesses or places that also had an overwhelming number of votes are recognized as Honorable Mentions.

Without further delay, here are your top recommendations for families in the Triangle:


Story Time
Barnes & Noble offers separate weekly story time for preschoolers and toddlers featuring occasional appearances by book characters. Locations throughout the Triangle area;
Various Library Branches throughout the Triangle host free story times for children of all ages. Locations throughout the Triangle area.

Hands-On Activity Place
Marbles Kids Museum. See Rainy Day Outing for information.

Class for Ages 0-4
Little Gym offers classes for kids ages 4 months to 12 years in four different age groups featuring gymnastics equipment. Locations in Cary, Durham, Holly Springs and Raleigh;

Class for School Ages
Science in the Summer is a free program for elementary and middle school students sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline. Children learn through hands-on experiments with certified teachers. scienceinthe

Blue Jay Point Park offers monthly nature classes and summer mini-camps for children ages 3 and older featuring stories, crafts and outdoor activities. 3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd., Raleigh;

Day Camp
Chestnut Ridge Camp offers weeklong day and residential camps with archery, kickball, pottery, a high challenge course, dancing and fishing. 4300 Camp Chestnut Ridge Rd., Efland;
Honorable mention:
YMCA branches offer half-day and full-day camps, some at off-site locations, for ages preschool through teens.

Overnight Camp
Chestnut Ridge residential camps include evening activities such as talent shows and pool parties. See Day Camp for more information.

Track-Out Camp
BounceU offers weekly track-out camps for children ages 5 and older. Kids choose different topics and participate in hands-on activities. 3419 Apex Peakway, Apex;

YMCA is another top choice for track-out camps. See Day Camp.

Drop-In Child Care
Right Time Kids lets parents drop off their children while they run errands or have a night out. Children 18 months to 12 years play on indoor playground equipment, watch movies and enjoy snacks. Hourly rates. Locations in Raleigh and Wake Forest; www.righttime


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