Summer is winding to a close for most kids on the traditional school calendar here in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas…and really everywhere else in the country truth be told. Just a couple of weeks left to play outdoors, ride that new bicycle you got for your Birthday (or last Christmas). Endless days at the neighborhood pool are about to be bygones…at least until next summer. So, what is a family to do in the final days of summer freedom? We’ve got some picks for you!
Spend an afternoon hiking at Raven Rock State Park
Located about 45 minutes from downtown Raleigh and just over an hour from Durham, is one of the most beautiful state parks the Piedmont region of North Carolina has to offer – Raven Rock State Park in Lillington (Harnett County). With miles of trails of varying difficulty (including some for horses!), options for picnicking, canoeing, or fishing, there’s something for every nature lover in the family.
“My husband and I recently hiked the Raven Rock Loop trail with a detour down to the Fish Traps to the Cape Fear River and were in awe of the beauty of the park. With scenic vistas high above the river perfect for picture-taking to actually getting to the river’s edge to jump across the rocks, we enjoyed our day immensely. We’ll definitely be back,” says our Digital Media Marketing Director, Lisa Sullivan.
For the price of a few gallons of gas and a priceless journey, this might be one option to take the family to.
Go for an adventure at Adventure Landing in Raleigh or at Wheels Fun Park in Durham
If mini-golf, go karting, laser tag, and perfecting your baseball swing at the batting cages are your thing, check out Adventure Landing, especially on Friday nights. Their Friday Night Family Fun Night is a GREAT deal. For $24.99, a family of four can enjoy unlimited mini-golf, unlimited laser tag, and a large pepperoni pizza to curb the hunger after playing all those games! Not bad….and inexpensive too.
Don’t feel like trekking into Raleigh for all you can play mini-golf? Well, if you live in or around the Durham area, check out Wheels Fun Park. There you get all the same attractions and then some! Try your hand at skateboarding in the skateboard park, strap on some skates for some old fashioned roller skating, or check out their indoor play gym. Prices are relatively inexpensive. The smiles on the faces of your children …priceless.
Take the family to a Durham Bulls or Carolina Mudcats game
Grab your catchers mitt and head to either of the two minor league ballparks we have in the Triangle. Whether you live in Durham or Zebulon / Knightdale or somewhere in between there’s some fantastic baseball to be had. Each ballpark has its own schedule for additional family fun promotions so be sure to check each link. The Durham Bulls will be hosting a FREE Play4Health day on Saturday, August 25th too.
Our Boyce Duffie had this to say about checking out the games at the DBAP -
“(Head to) the Durham Bulls, especially on Friday nights. Parking is easy, great places to eat, games are fun and family-based. Every Friday night after the ballgame they have a wonderful fireworks display too.”
Take your family (including the pooch) to Lake Benson Park in Garner
Our Lisa Sullivan does that nearly every weekend but when we asked our agents to share their favorite family fun spots with us, this place came up several times. Being that the park is located just 10 minutes from downtown Raleigh and 30 minutes from the Durham or Wake Forest areas, Lake Benson Park is easy to get to and full of all kinds of options for family fun.
With 3 miles of trails spanning the park and its sister location, White Deer Park, you can jog, walk, or bike to your hearts content. There are two playgrounds for the little ones and an expansive field covering several acres for you Frisbee® throwers, football tossers, or if you just want to throw a blanket down for a picnic.
Our Paul Capps shares -
Both are incredibly great, super fun, beautiful, inspiring on so many levels, and wonderful for family bonding.
There you have it – a few of our favorites for family fun as the summer winds down. Of course, there’s plenty more to do in the Triangle. Please, if we missed your favorite activity/attraction, share your thoughts in the comments below.
In the meantime, we’ll see you at the ball game, we’ll race you on the track, and beat you to the scenic vistas (well, the kids might; we adults might need a rest first).
Raven Rock State Park and Lake Benson Park images courtesy of Lisa Sullivan.