Families that are scouting Research Triangle Park, or any of the other booming parts of central NC, as possible destinations for putting down roots always ask where to take the kids in the Triangle. Here are 6 favorite destinations you’ll want to visit more than once—and that you’ll actually enjoy too!
Marbles Kids Museum
Named after the nickname for brains, Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh, will spark the imagination of both kids and adults. This is no destination filled with dusty artifacts though! This popular and highly interactive museum encourages visitors of all ages to learn and discover through imagination and play. With hands-on exhibits, a steady stream of new seasonal offerings, and an IMAX theater, Marbles Kids Museum does a great job of engaging the senses.
Museum tickets must be purchased in advance, but tickets go on sale three weeks before the admission date, so you can plan ahead. Find events here, and just click on the Tickets tab to purchase general admission by date. 201 East Hargett Street, Raleigh.
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center will inspire awe in children and adults alike. The science center features a variety of highly interactive displays. Explore the universe through exhibits featuring nearly every scientific discipline: astronomy, biology, biomedical engineering, public health, and more.
The beautiful full-dome planetarium features several live shows with multimedia presentations that give you a tour of the stars. Take a live guided tour of the Carolina night sky, or learn what it takes to be an astronaut with an incredible space exploration show that’s unlike anything you have ever experienced. Shows do sell out, so again, plan ahead! 250 E Franklin St, UNC-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill
Urban Air Adventure Park
Voted as “Best Place To Take Energetic Kids” and “Best Trampoline Park,” Urban Air Adventure is the ultimate indoor playground for the entire family. From the moment you enter the park you’ll have decisions to make about how high, wild and challenged you really want to go. Many of the rides are geared for your younger children, but all have height guidelines so everyone stays safe (and it’s easier to set expectations in advance!).
Urban Air takes the ever-popular trampoline park to a whole new level when it comes to indoor parks! Attractions include bumper cars that you drive, bump, spin, and flip; virtual reality adventures; rope courses; climbing walls; and more. 7810 Poyner Pond Circle Suite 100, Raleigh
The North Carolina Zoo
We’re pretty lucky here in Central NC, because we have a unique zoo so close to home. The North Carolina Zoo is the world’s largest natural habitat zoo, meaning animals have plenty of room to roam. With over 1800 animals, the North Carolina Zoo is truly a celebration of nature’s diversity.
Animals at the North Carolina Zoo live in two natural habitats representing Africa and North America. In addition, the park features a desert habitat and a walk-through aviary filled with over 3000 tropical plants where over 100 exotic birds, representing 36 species, fly freely overhead. Wear comfortable shoes—there’s plenty of ground to cover! 4401 Zoo Parkway in Asheboro
Museum of Life and Science
The Museum of Life and Science is a unique nature experience designed to promote creativity, imagination, and new ways to look at the world. This one-of-a-kind museum features 84 acres of indoor and outdoor adventures that help explain the world around us.
Learn about North Carolina wildlife or experience hundreds of tropical butterflies surrounding you in a lush rainforest environment. Kids will discover how the earth moves and mountains and sand are created, and how water shapes the planet. Or just take some time for a relaxing stroll and get in touch with nature. There’s plenty here that’s sure to capture the imagination for all ages! 433 W. Murray Avenue, Durham.
Duke Lemur Center
Small but mighty—and a little closer to home than the NC Zoo, is the Duke Lemur Center. Self-guided and private tours are available, both of which promise to introduce you to 17 of the over 200 mammals that call the center home. Tours are just 45 min long, on average. Advance reservations are mandatory (even to pay a visit to the shop), and fill up early. 3705 Erwin Road, Durham.
Those are among our favorite destinations to help you add some fun (and discovery) to your weekends when you’re wondering where to take the kids. They can also burn off steam at one of the multiple parks, greenways (paths and trails ranging from paved to wood-chipped) and playgrounds all across the Triangle. And if schools are on your community-consideration list, scan our recent article about Wake County’s schools.
And when it’s time to start looking for the perfect neighborhood and home for your family—just give us a call!