13 “Must Do” Summer Stops in the Triangle

Summer is here, people. We are less than two weeks in and loving it! I’m so excited and my kids are probably even more excited. It’s time for a break!

We have a few vacations planned and since I still have to work, the kids have some camps on the agenda. But there is still a TON of time to be filled with family adventures and there is so much to do right around us. The Triangle is full of “must do” summer activities. Whether you just need an hour out of the house or an entire day trip planned, I’ve got you covered with lots of summer activities in the Triangle.

Summer Fun

Raleigh/Wake County
1. Three Bears Acres - If you want to fill an entire day, a trip to Three bears Acres should be on your list. It’s not a cheap day but considering that you can spend HOURS, it’s worth it a few times, in my opinion. ($15 for kids, $8 for adults) Pack a lunch, a change of clothes (you’ll get dirty/wet) and get ready to have fun!

2. Museum of Art Park – This walking trail is perfect for a mid-day picnic or a quick afternoon getaway. There’s plenty of space for running around and even a few areas that the kids can play in.

3. Fresh Ice Cream - We all need a frozen treat every now and again and there are lots of places around Raleigh to help you out. But local ice cream stop, FRESH, on Glenwood is my favorite. Everything is (you got it) Fresh.

4. Winterpast Farm – My daughter has been begging to put a bunny for over a year now. This petting zoo, in Wake Forest, is top on my list for a summer visit.

5.All Children’s Playground at Laurel Hills – Have you been to the new playground? It’s AMAZING. We went three days in a row the other week and I know we will be hitting it up all summer long.

6. Hill Ridge Farms - It’s not just for getting your Halloween pumpkin! During the summer, Hill Ridge has a Splash Pad, as well as all the other fun activities you’ve come to love – jump pad, train rides, giant slide etc. It’s a great day trip!

7. Go Ape Zip Line Adventure – Who doesn’t love to climb trees? Even kids as small as 3foot, 3 inches can partake in their TreeTop Junior adventures. This place sounds like an awesome way to spend the day with the whole family. Pretty sure my husband will love this!

8. Wilkerson Nature Preserve – This has been on our list for awhile now and this is the summer we’re doing it. Annie Louise Wilkerson donated 157 acres of land to the city to be used for nature and wildlife education. (Fun fact: Dr. Wilkerson delivered my Mother-in-Law and was an old family friend.)


9. Museum of Life & Science - We’ve been here at least twenty times and we never tire of it. On a hot day, you can go in the mist and the creek beds, and kids can play in the tree house for hours. It’s a great summer outing!

10. Durham Bulls Game - Every year we say we’re going to hit up a game and ever year the season ends and we haven’t gone. NOT THIS YEAR! It’s already on our calendar.

11. Duke Lemur Center - Have any Madagascar fans? They are sure to love visiting the Lemur Center. Tours are by reservation only so plan ahead.

Chapel Hill
12. Planetarium – On a super hot day, the Planetarium is a great place to cool off and learn a little bit in the process. They have a variety of shows for every age group.

13. NC Botanical Gardens – Have a kid who loves flowers? Spend a few hours at the Botanical Gardens for a fun afternoon out of the house. Be sure and check out the “in progress” Wonder Garden for kids of all ages.


Don’t forget about summer movies! They range from free to around $2.50 per show.

Regal Summer Movie Express

PNC Downtown Raleigh Movie Series – movie selection more appropriate for teens (and some tweens)

Movies in the Garden


What did I miss? What are your favorite summer activities in the Triangle?

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  1. says

    The lemur center is on our list too and I haven’t been to laurel hills in awhile. We went to Wilkerson nature preserve last summer and you’d never guess you were in the middle of the hubub of the city. So peaceful and a fun little spot.

  2. says

    Wishing we lived a little closer! These all look like fun. Maybe an in-state vacation is needed. We love the beach but sometimes the Triangle is so much fun.

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