I think most parents can identify with the need to get out of the house every now and again. Raleigh is incredibly lucky to have a fabulous children’s museum downtown that has lots of activities for toddlers to elementary school age children. Plus, the IMAX theater on location offers great films for a family of all ages.
We hadn’t been to Marbles in several months so last week on one of those overcast mornings we headed out. It’s $5 per person to get in, so I wanted to make sure we could stay for at least two hours.
My son’s favorite area is the hockey rink in the Power2Play area. This area focuses on being health and getting your heart pumping through sports like basketball, hockey, dance and gymnastics. There’s also a great padded area for kids to dance, complete with four different types of music to get your body grooving. My daughter was a fan!
I love the Around the Town area, which offers lots of choices for imaginative play. They’ve made some major updates in recent months so I was delighted to see the new farm area, complete with a cow to milk and chickens who lay eggs. Kids can pretend to shop in a grocery store, cook in a kitchen, drive a boat, drive a fire truck, perform on stage, play with trains and so much more.
The Splash area is always a kid favorite because who can resist climbing on a huge pirate ship or exploring a science submarine.
Moneypalooza is my least favorite area, but it’s only because it always chaotic and crazy. There is big play area on the middle of the room and it’s easy for kids to disappear out of view of their parents. The last time we went to Marbles I couldn’t find my son for about 10 minutes and was having a minor panic attack. Of course he hadn’t gone far and was still in the room, but that didn’t matter. This room is the reason I like go to Marbles with two adults!
Marbles is open Tuesday though Sunday from 9-5. I think we are going to ask for a Family Membership for Christmas so that we can enjoy all Marbles has to offer on a much more frequent basis. A basic membership is $100 for two adults and all children in a household, and also offers early sign-ups and discounts for camps and classes.
Looking for lunch? A new cafe called Pogo just opened up where Roly Poly used to be, next to the IMAX theater. It touts itself as a vibrant eater with local, farm-fresh ingredients. To be honest, I was a little disappointed. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but when we arrived it looked a bit too much like a cafeteria vs. a fun eatery. I ordered the kids the macaroni and cheese, which they both enjoyed, but my turkey sandwich was a bit lacking. It was supposed to come with goat cheese, but all I could taste was the horseradish (that I didn’t even know came on it!) Maybe they made it wrong. I’ll admit I didn’t ask. By this point, we were just ready to go home.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention more about the IMAX theater. We haven’t taken the kids in awhile because it’s so incredibly loud, but I saw that they are bringing The Wizard of Oz to IMAX in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the film. Also? Catching Fire ! This movie should be incredible up on that HUGE screen.
Where is your favorite place in Raleigh to go with your kids?
Do you own or know of a business that should be featured on My City Monday? Give me a shout at erinclane AT gmail DOT com. Also, don’t forget to showcase your favorite city places on Instagram with the hashtag #mycitymonday.