Summer activities for the kids in Raleigh, NC

Whoa! It’s almost half way through June already. Where is the year going? We are in the throes of summer and I’ve got to find some fun things to do with these kids besides a few weeks of camp and lots of neighborhood playground time.

I know I’m not alone in looking for fun things to do with the kids in the Triangle, so I’ve updated my list from 2012.
Summer activities to do in raleigh, NC with the kids

Here are a few fun ideas that are all within the Triangle area:

  • Pullen Park – playground equipment, Train Rides, Bumper Boats, a Carousel and the perfect spots for a picnic.  Everyone leaves happy, even Mama.
  • NC Museum of Life and Science (Durham) –   Science park, butterfly conservatory, Dinosaur trail, and lemurs make this a great day activity.  Kids under 3 are free.  Kids over 3 are $10 and adults are $14.  (If you go a few times a year, a family membership is TOTALLY the way to go!)
  • NC Museum of Natural Science (Raleigh) – First of all, it’s free.  Second, the cafe for lunch or snacks is AWESOME and super affordable.
  • Marbles – If you haven’t been, you really should check it out, especially with kids 2 and older. $5 entry for kids over 1. The new energy exhibit, Kid Grid, just opened and is sure to intrigue.
  • City of Raleigh Wading and Spray Pools – Don’t have a local pool to play at?  Visit one of the City of Raleigh pools.  Several have fabulous wading areas and spray grounds for the little ones.  $2/kid, $4/adult. Too hot outside? Hit up the Buffaloe Road Aquatic Center. It’s indoors and is only $1 more than the outdoor pools.
  • Rainbow Play of NC - Monday through Friday, they host open play from 10-2 at $5/kid on their indoor playground.
  • PlayNation Indoor Playground (Morrisville) – Bounce house, large indoor swing set, climbing wall and more!  $5 for kids 16 months to 2 years and $7 for kids 3 and up.  Parents are free!
  • Greystone Indoor Playground – If it’s a rainy day or just too darn hot, this indoor area is a great escape from the house.  Go early once school is out if you have younger ones.
  • $1 Kids Movies – My neighbor and I are all over this.  Get a sitter for the babies and take your preschooler to a movie on Tues, Weds or Thurs at some of the local movie theaters.  Carolina Parent has a great round-up of all the movie offerings.
  • State Farmers Market – My son loves this place as much as I do.  Strawberries, apples, blueberries – you name it.  If it’s in season, it’s here.  Plus they have two yummy restaurants on site that are fabulous.
  • Lake Crabtree – Seven miles of trails for the hike of your choice or just pack a picnic and enjoy some time on one of their playgrounds.
  • RDU Observation Park – We are huge fans of this park. The kids love to watch the airplanes and play in the sand. It’s a great spot for a picnic lunch with friends. Too hot? You can always head over to the General Aviation Terminal and watch the planes from the inside and grab lunch at the Crosswinds Cafe.

If you are feeling super brave, here are a few day trip ideas.

  • Morehead Planetarium and Science Center – They have a new show on their docket for summer, Magic Tree House: Space Mission. My son LOVES that book series so this is on our list for sure!
  • NC Zoo (Asheboro) – An easy 45 minute to an hour drive from Raleigh, the zoo is a great outing for the family.  With over 1,100 individual specimens, there is sure to be an animal or two to make every member of your family happy.  My favorites are the giraffes. When you go, be sure to check out the new KidZone, a place for kids 2-10 to play.
  • Ft. Fisher Aquarium – Leave early in the morning, spend your late morning and lunch time there and pray the kids sleep on the way home.
  • Imagination Station Science Museum (Wilson) – This cool museum is all about science and technology.  There are all sorts of displays to learn about the human body, animals and various scientific measurements.
  • Greensboro Science Center – A zoo, museum and aquarium all in one. See penguins and sharks, crocodile and wallabys and walk through a dinosaur exhibit.

And that’s really just the tip of the ice berg.  There is so much more to do in this area.  For more ideas, visit or Social Butterflies.

What are YOU going to do this summer?

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  1. says

    Has anyone ever went to Hard Knocks in Raleigh? They just opened a bit ago and some friends have talked about it. It looks like a great place for parties and to keep the kids busy this winter holiday or even in the summer time.


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