Since moving to Cary almost 4 years ago, my husband and I have learned a lot about the Triangle and our community. In terms of activities, the greater Raleigh area has so much to offer, which is one reason its population and popularity has grown so dramatically in the past few decades. Parks? Check. Dining? Check. Arts? Check. Sports? Education? Leisure? Check check check.
But what I enjoy about this area is that I’m still learning about secret, little gems right in our backyard.
Ever had a conversation with someone and discover a local activity, bargain, or a business you didn’t even know about?! … The “Oh my gosh! I never knew that!” feeling? Yup. 99% of the time I have that reaction after a fellow mom clues me in to something else awesome in the Triangle.
So I made a list of some of those fun, amazing tidbits to share with the moms who’ve relocated to Raleigh… and who knows, maybe there are even surprises for Triangle natives.
More importantly – comment below or on our social media pages! What hidden gems can you share with moms in the Triangle?
Out and About Family Activities
The Town just announced the plans for the new Carpenter Park, near Morrisville Carpenter Road and Louis Stephens Road. The 16-acre parcel will have a playground, sport court, lawn area and more. Click HERE to read more about the plan and timeframe.
Meanwhile, Jack Smith Park is well underway near Penny Road and Holly Spring Road. Much of the land has been cleared and sources close to the project hope for a Fall opening. This huge parcel will include the Town’s first splash pad, playground, sport courts, and a dog park. You can read more about the plans HERE.
The JC Raulston Arboretum is an awesome spot for picnics and family time. It’s free, open year round, and boasts tons of open space and gorgeous landscapes. Pack a picnic lunch and some sunscreen and plan to spend the afternoon exploring the flora. Plus, they have tons of children’s events, like Storytime in the Garden, Y-Guides and summer camps. Located just off 440 near NCSU, you can read more about their children’s programs HERE. *Please do keep in mind however, that JC Raulston is part of the university and thus designed for research collection. The use of items like soccer balls, kites, frisbees, etc. is strongly discouraged.
Have kids obsessed with airplanes or just picking up Nana at RDU? Make time for the Observation Park at RDU. You can watch planes arrive and depart, have lunch at the picnic area or play in the sandbox. Bring sunscreen – not much shade here for obvious reasons!
Looking for a new place to stroll, hike or run? Check out the trails around the NC Museum of Art. You can enjoy some really interesting outdoor exhibits and sculptures while getting some fresh air and exercise. And parking is a breeze.
Click HERE for a map of the property.
Did you know that Cary is home to the ACC Mens and Womens Tennis Championship? Matches are played throughout the day at the Cary Tennis Park. This year’s tournament runs April 22-26. Advance tickets are not available – they are only sold on-site and children under 8 are free.
Speaking of the ACC… it might be hard to score football and basketball tickets to one of the three local ACC teams, but did you know that most of the olympic sports are free to attend? For example, college baseball, mens and womens tennis, and softball are still ongoing this spring. Older children might enjoy volleyball, soccer, and field hockey in the Fall.
Does your little one love trains? You might want to give the local Amtrak train a try! Pick it up between Raleigh – Cary – Durham. The trains run approximately every two hours and can drop you off in the respective downtowns. Just enough time to enjoy a meal, a stroll and pop into come local shops before heading back home!
And did you know…
There is a ½ mile paved walking path between Marla Dorrel Kids Together Park and Macdonald Woods Park in Cary?
You can find local Raleigh races from kids fun runs to half and full marathons at www.RunningintheUSA.com.
That Fuquay-Varina actually has two distinct historic downtowns? Cute shops, eateries and breweries await.
Last summer, a friend clued me into Stone Theatre’s (Park West Village 14) Summer Movie Magic events. Head to Morrisville at 10am every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from June 16th through August 20th to see a variety of second run, family friendly movies. Child admission is $1.00, and adults are free when accompanying a child. $1.00 drinks and $1.00 popcorns are available at the concession stand. The film line-up is now available HERE.
I’m guessing most of our mom readers have visited one of the many Wake County Libraries, but if you haven’t made it over to Cameron Village to see Mr. Erik and his guitar for Storytime… well, your preschooler is missing out! Imagine a toddler mosh pit filled. He does a terrific job of incorporating music, reading, and listening. You can also find Mr. Erik at Whole Foods Cary and around our community.
The Carolina Puppet Theatre performs frequently at the Renaissance Center of Wake Forest (check website for schedule) and at the Holly Springs Cultural Center (first and third Tuesday of each month at 11am). You need to purchase tickets in advance, but this is a fantastic, fun outing for young children.
Have you ever visited a fire station to learn more about fire safety? If you have a group large enough, you can schedule a group visit. In Raleigh, simply fill out this FORM. In Cary, you may schedule a tour of a fire station by contacting the Administration Office at (919) 469-4056.
And did you know…
The Town of Cary added culinary preschool programs to their spring and summer line up? Combining a story and matching cooking activity, your little ones can bake and decorate cupcakes, make spaghetti with the Yeti, etc.
The Town of Cary also added Teen Quidditch (yes, we mean muggle-style Harry Potter Quidditch) it started March 30th.
Cary Towne Center renovated and opened their indoor play area this winter? Now you can ride the train, hop on the carousel, hit the play area or even stop in Dave & Busters for older kid fun.
Stay tuned for a sequel post specifically geared toward parent and adult activities…
In the meantime, what are your outdoor/indoor Triangle hidden gems? We’d love to know!