Outside activities are my families go-to even when it’s cold and wet. When it’s too cold and wet, we try to embrace the Danes and their Hygee lifestyle. This basically means stay inside in wool socks, read, drink tea, bake and anything cozy. Yes please! But when it’s too cold and wet for too long, I resort to my little black book. This exists in my mind, a list of things to do indoors around town. Sometimes you just need to get out of the house and go somewhere! We’ve still got a little bit of February left which means the cold isn’t over. And let’s not forget that April showers….
So, we thought this would be a perfect time to start putting together a guide to all the indoor fun to be had in Raleigh. I’ve listed some of our favorites below but we want to hear yours. Depending on how much we’ve missed, we’ll update this guide on the regular. Or we will create a new one entirely!
Scroll through to see some of our top indoor places in town to hang with little ones. Let us know what we’ve missed in the comments!
Guide to Indoor Fun in Raleigh with Little Ones
Quail Ridge Books-Mondays at 10:30, ages 2-5.
Read with Me-Tuesdays at 10:30, with the option of staying for a craft activity for $5.
NC Museum of Natural Sciences– Tip: The butterflies and sloth in the Living Conservatory, a city favorite, is closed on Mondays. Similarly, the Discovery Room is closed on Mondays. However, Tuesday the Discovery Room has a special Toddler and Preschool time from 10am to noon. Even with the closures, there is tons to see here any day of the week. Grab lunch at the Daily Planet Cafe on the first floor of the NRC where you can get fresh, local sandwiches and salads. Admission to the museum is free.
Marbles Kids Museum-Free for members and kids under 1. All others pretty much cost $7 which is well worth the price. Click here to learn about all the different exhibits at Marbles and don’t forget to take the kids, no matter how small, up and down the musical staircase. Or check out the new Sun Sprouts areas. For moms of babies and young toddlers, there’s pretty much little nooks and areas for your tiny ones all through out the museum. Tip: Marbles stays open late (7pm) on Thursdays and the first Friday of every month.
NC Museum of History- If you have a child 3-5, the museum will lend you a themed backpack to help you and your little one explore the museum with fun North Carolina educational activities. On the first Tuesday of every month, kids can also come participate in an interactive story and project at the museums Time for Tots. If you can’t make their scheduled events fear not. It’s a simple thing, but my two kids love being able to sit in the wooden canoe on the third floor, and playing in the little kids exhibit. It’s a small almost enclosed little corner with blocks, a toy tractor, puzzles and more.
Greystone Recreation Center – Pay a visit to this indoor playground and rock wall for the climbers in your life, operated by the City of Raleigh. Check the website for hours and grab lunch (or breakfast) at Sola Coffee after or before you wear the kids out!
Mommy+Me Open Gym at Artistic Gymnastics- This is one Friday per month from 9:30-10:30 for kids 5 and under. Kids can roam free jumping on the trampoline, playing in the foam block pit or balancing like gymnasts. It’s rarely crowded and not a huge place so if you have a toddler and a baby, it’s fairly easy to manage. Open gyms are also great for encouraging little ones to move, learn balance and strength.
Project Enlightenment – We will be doing a more in-depth post on Project Enlightenment soon but had to include it here. When my first born was a baby, this was a great easy, peaceful rainy day outing. It’s run by the Wake County School system and the resource center (2nd floor) is open to both teachers and parents to come check out books, use their craft resources plus there’s puzzles, blocks, figurines and more babies and toddlers love to play with. It’s a simple, sweet place with kind and experienced staff.
As my kids get older, I’d love to have a few more options to keep in mind for when the weather warrants indoor play other than our home. Let us know where you’ve been taking your kids for fun this winter in the comments and we can add to this list!