World Culture for Kids: Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

I’m thrilled to bring my World Culture for Kids series back with today’s post about Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, written by Sarah of Parents Who!

World Culture for Kids at Mama Smiles Joyful Parenting

3 Simple Ways to Enjoy Raleigh-Durham With Your Family

Bring to life real world experiences at Marbles Kids Museum, get in touch with your inner child by paddle boating and riding the carousel at Pullen Park, and spend an afternoon studying nature at a strawberry farm.

This last May my husband and twin toddler boys boarded a plane to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina to visit my sister April and her husband Burke.

This city is a wonderland of gems for kids and families. Today, I’m sharing 3 simple ways to enjoy Raleigh-Durham with your kids and family.

Marbles Kids Museum

Marbles is the best children’s museum I have ever been to. Hands down.

Marbles Museum 1

My husband and I arrived to find our sons playing with “stomp” rockets in the foyer. They had been there with their Aunt and Uncle for 30 minutes and hadn’t even made it 5 steps past the ticket attendant.

Marbles Museum 2

If there had been a house for sale down the street I would have bought it that day just to be close to Marbles every day.

Marbles Museum 3

What we loved about it: Fire trucks with hoses, ambulances with real x-rays to view, gardens with plush vegetables to pick, a hockey rink to play a game of hockey – the list goes on and on.

Why we’ll come back: There’s room for invention, curiosity, exercise, learning and just outright silliness.

Pullen Park

Pullen Park was the first public park in North Carolina.

Aside from the speed of the carousel (spoiler alert: it’s fast!), everything else is slow and easy and adaptable to various ages and interests within the family.

The playgrounds have no shortage of things to climb on. One has a huge spider web type climbing apparatus that our boys didn’t want to leave. At all.

And we didn’t make them.

Pullen Park 1

There’s a see-saw, diggers, even water (bring water shoes or extra clothes if you don’t like dirty kiddos in the car).

The boys rode on little boats that went around and around. They rang the bell and waved.

The paddles boats were up next (Tip: If there’s a line don’t let that dissuade you, it goes pretty fast.)

We were all given life jackets, no time limit and total freedom to our own small lake. The boys were too small to paddle so they steered and pointed out interesting items and wildlife.

Pullen Park 2

At about $1 ride, the park is super affordable and a lovely place to spend an afternoon outdoors.

What we loved about it: The large and varied playgrounds, extensive café menu and beautiful shady spots to eat, the speedy and beautiful indoor carousel.

Why we’ll come back: The train was out of service when we were there so we definitely want to come back and ride it. Also, the Pullen pops! They have silly flavors and were a huge crowd favorite!

Picking strawberries

Speaking of tasty, while you’re in North Carolina be sure and check out one of their strawberry picking farms.

Not only was this a good lesson in science and nature for our boys, it was also a great opportunity to help explain how food arrives at our table.

We visited Hunts Strawberry Farm but there are a plethora of farms to choose from.

The strawberry fields at Hunts had more than enough for everyone to pick all they wanted.

Strawberries 1

We later got to sort the berries, weigh them and each buddy went home with their own fresh basket of strawberries to do with what they pleased.

Strawberries 2

We ended up making some strawberry sauce with some of the berries, and plunking the rest down on top of some angel food cake.

Strawberries 3

Be sure and call ahead to make sure they are open and there are berries left to pick.

And bring cash. Some farms do not accept credit cards

What We Loved: Sampling the berries as we picked, watching the boys begin to judge which strawberries were right for picking, the amount of strawberries left on the vines

Why We’ll Go Back: Delicious strawberries, great prices, outdoors, all the family had fun!

 

What a fun, family-friendly trip! Do you have a post to contribute to this series? Send me an email: mamasmilesblog at gmail dot com. Thanks!

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

6 thoughts on “World Culture for Kids: Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina”

  1. Elisa | blissfulE

    Sounds brilliant! Ideal family fun.
    Also, the story subscription reminded me of Sparkle Stories – they have a podcast with a free story every week, as well as a paid subscription.

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