During the summers, my family and I love to squeeze in weekend trips with our son. We take off early on Friday and don’t come back until sundown on Sunday. However, this leaves us playing catch-up during the week on laundry, chores, and grocery shopping, which, admittedly, can be exhausting week after week. We decided that this summer, we would take more weekend day trips and really explore all the fun places our state has to offer. I’ve compiled a list of our favorite Summer Day Trips that are both kid and adult friendly.
This. Place. Is. Awesome! The majority of the animals here were rescued from poor health or habitats, and with over 450 animals spanning over 60-acres, there’s a lot to see! We started with the Safari Tour around the grounds and were given bags of donated bread to feed the animals. You can even feed carrots to Stretch the giraffe! This is truly a unique experience and your kids will have a blast.
Address: 159 Mini Lane, Cameron, NC 28326
Pricing: $12.00/person + tax (includes parking, admission, and safari tour)
Tips: Closed on Monday; Feed bags for animals are $3.00; Carrots for Stretch are $1.00/cup
You can easily spend an entire day here and not know it. This 50-acre farm has so much to offer kids of all ages. There is a huge tree house, a jumping pillow, an obstacle course, paddle boats, and during the summer months, a sprayground. Try the toboggan slides also but hold on; my husband was shocked at how fast they go!
Address: 711 Beaver Dam Road, Creedmoor, NC 27522
Pricing: $8.00/adult, $15.00/child
Tips: Check their website for hours as they are sporadic; they do have a small café with snacks and drinks, but they encourage you to bring a picnic.
If you prefer a more traditional zoo, this is your place. 5 miles of trails takes you through two continents, with several stops along the way. We started in Africa, had lunch half way through in Junction Plaza, and continued through North America. I would recommend getting there as early in the morning as possible, so you can see the animals feeding and roaming before the heat of the day hits. And be sure to spend some time watching the polar bears; they put on quite a show for us when we went.
Address: 4401 Zoo Parkway, Asheboro, NC 27205
Pricing: $15.00/adult, $11.00/child
Tips: Wear comfortable walking shoes, pack snacks for the kids and plenty of water.
Albino alligator. Need I say more? This is one of our favorite aquariums to visit during the summer. With so much to see and do, your kids will have a blast. We could spend hours here, seeing all the different habitats represented. My son loves watching the scuba divers and touching the horseshoe crabs and sharks. And how cool is it to see a rare albino alligator?!
Address: 900 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach, NC 28449
Pricing: $12.95/adult, $10.95/child
Tips: The aquarium is located right next to Fort Fisher Park Office which is a great spot to park and picnic on the beach.
Admittedly, this is a l-o-n-g day trip but SO worth it! We have taken our son several times and each time there is something new and fun to do. We always start with the Ferris Wheel and other rides at the County Fair, make our way through the arcade, then take the chairlift to Miner’s Mountain. Up there, we make sure to play on the playground and catch a show at the theater. But don’t forget about the train ride around the mountain; you may just run into some cowboys and Indians!
Address: 300 Tweetsie Railroad Lane, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
Pricing: $45.00/adult, $30.00/child
Tips: Be sure to visit High Gravity Adventures, located right in the parking lot at Tweetsie.