Fun & family living in CHAPEL HILL, CARRBORO, DURHAM & the North Carolina Triangle.
Home   About Us   Blog   ChillKids Family Magazine
Sign up for our FREE Email Newsletter for fun things to do!




Year Round Fun

NC Beaches & Mountains

NC Skiing, Tubing and Snowboarding

Family Dining

Kids' Classes & Activities

After School Programs

Birthdays & Special Events

School Information

Coffee & Cafes

Kids' Recreation & Sports

Parks & Playgrounds


Bike Paths


Hiking Paths



Local Holiday Lights

Family Shopping & Services

Chapel Hill Neighborhoods

Newcomers' Guide

Chapel Hill Soccer Leagues

BLOG: NC Family Fun!

Berry Picking

4th of July Fireworks & Parades

SAT Test Prep

Gyms & Fitness

Kids' Haircuts


Family Photography

Local Sports Events & Schedules


Local Government

Parenting & Other Community Groups

Child Safety & Health

Family Health Resources

Spotlight on Local Arts & Artists

Pets' Corner

Foreign Language Resources

Parents' Night Out


Carrboro Festivals

Home Cleaning Services


From Chapel Hill, Durham, Hillsborough, to Cary and Raleigh NC there are endless fun activities and places for all ages to enjoy!

Please click on individual categories below, or scroll down. FEATURED FAVORITE FAMILY OUTING:

Dinosaurs & Astronauts!!!
(and butterflies, and farmyard animals, and wolves and lemurs and rockets, and trains, and water fun and so much more at the Museum of Life + Science . . . ) NEW in Summer 2012: Cool off in the wonderful new exhibit, INTO THE MIST!


Amusement Centers / Carousel Rides

Adventure Landing
(further afield in Raleigh, NC)
3311 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, North Carolina 27604. 
(919) 872-1688.
Offers miniature golf, batting cages, video arcade, laser tag, team-building, speedway Go-Karts, Snack Bar, and birthday party packages.  Visit their website for directions and special offers.


Pullen Park (further afield in Raleigh, NC)
520 Ashe Ave., Raleigh, NC 27606-2150
(919) 831-6468
Children will enjoy riding an antique carousel, as well as other children's rides (boat rides, train rides), playground and fun stuff for kids and families.  Tickets are required for rides, and tickets cost $1 each.  (Some rides require more than one ticket.  The carousel can get expensive particularly since most kids would love to ride it over and over again!)  (A stop at the park can be a fun way to break up the drive to the beach if you are driving through Raleigh.)

Directions to Pullen Park:  Take I-40 east to the Wade Avenue exit.  Take the first I-440 exit (outer beltline).  Get off at the second Western Boulevard exit, toward NC State (not Cary) and continue straight.  After you cross over Avent Ferry Road, take the second left (sign points to Gov. Morehead school), and the Pullen Park parking lot will be on your left.


Burlington City Park & Antique Dentzel Carousel (further afield in Burlington, NC - around a 30-45 minute drive from Chapel Hill areas)
S. Church Street, Burlington, NC 27215
(336) 222-5030

Ride a train through the park and ride the antique Dentzel carousel!  The carousel is a recently fully restored turn-of-the-century piece with 46 authentic hand-carved animals and is the centerpiece of the 76-acre City Park in Burlington. There are 46 hand-carved wooden animals including 26 horses, four ostriches, rabbits, and pigs; reindeer, giraffes, lions and tigers, and two chariots. These animals are hand-carved out of bass and poplar wood and are a hollow series of boxes and wood pieces glued together with hide glue into the basic shape, and then carved by hand. The carousel was originally constructed between 1906 and 1910 by the Dentzel Carousel Company of Germantown, PA. and then purchased by the City of Burlington in 1948.  The Dentzel carvers were noted for their realism with the carving of the veins and muscles of the animals. The eyes are made of glass with true pupils, and the tails are real horse hair.  It is one of only 12 remaining Dentzel Menagerie carousels in the United States.


Pump it Up - "The Inflatable Party Zone"
10700 World Trade Boulevard, Suite 112, Raleigh, North Carolina 27617.  (Located near the Airport.)
(919) 828-3344.
Pump It Up has inflatable designs that are engaging, challenging and interactive.  Kids can play on recreational inflatables in the indoor arenas, and the inflatables are available for private children's parties and other special events.  Bouncing, sliding, climbing, and tumbling for kids of all ages.  The indoor inflatables include a custom inflatable bounce house, inflatable slide, inflatable obstacle course, inflatable boxing arena, inflatable jousting arena, and many other interactive inflatables.

^ Back to Top


Arts and Crafts

Click here for the CHillKids guide to local Arts and Crafts Classes.  Click here for area Crafts and Sewing supplies.  Click here for Museums, Art Exhibits and Art Galleries.

^ Back to Top


For a complete list of local movies theaters with links to the theaters for movies/times, see
The Chelsea 1129 Weaver Dairy Road (located in Timberlyne Shopping Center around the corner from Subway and Sage restaurants), Chapel Hill.  (919) 968-8600.


The Lumina 620 Market Street (Southern Village), Chapel Hill.  (919) 856-0111


Movies at Timberlyne Weaver Dairy Road (Timberlyne Shopping Center, 120 Banks Drive), Chapel Hill.  (919) 933-8600.


The Varsity, 123 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill.  (919) 967-8665.


Marbles Kid Museum - IMAX Theatre (Films in 3D), 201 East Hargett St., Raleigh, NC 27601. (at the corner of Hargett and Blount streets across from Moore Square.)
(919) 834-4040.

Click link for the IMAX schedule


^ Back to Top


Free (or cheap) Movies :


Chapel Hill Public Library Family Movie Matinee - Free Movies - University Mall Summer Program Space

See Chapel Hill Family Summer Movie Matinee List of Movies / Dates

Chapel Hill Library Events Calendar


FREE Summer Movies at Northgate Mall (Durham, NC) Studio 10 Movie Theaters - 9:30 am Tues-Thurs in June and July 2012

The movie theaters at Northgate Mall in Durham, NC are offering FREE family movies at 9:30 am Tuesdays-Thursdays in June and July 2012. See the Northgate Mall Movie Camp Schedule 2012
Northgate is offering a special "Kid's survival pack" to enjoy during the Summer Camp movies: drink, popcorn & (fruit snacks) candy for $4.50.


Saturday Science Cinema at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences (WRAL Digital Theatre).
11 W. Jones St., downtown Raleigh, NC  27601. 
Every Saturday at 3 pm.
Free movie presentations feature high-definition wildlife adventures, contests and prizes.  From the website"Nature lovers and film buffs alike now have a new source of inspiration every Saturday at 3 pm. Saturday Science Cinema is our new, free program combining awe-inspiring nature films ? shown in the Museum's high-definition movie theater ? with live presentations from Museum educators. Each full program lasts just over an hour, but the learning doesn't stop there. Kids and their parents are encouraged to ask questions of the program host or explore the halls of the Museum and discover more information about specific elements of the film."
(919) 733-7450.

Free Movie each First Friday of the month at NC Museum of Natural Sciences.
11 W. Jones St., Raleigh, NC  27601.  (919) 733-7350, ext. 302 or toll-free 877-4NATSCI.
Enjoy exhibits, food and a free "Natural Horror Picture Show" movie (typically old classics and other sci-fi classic titles such as "The Invisible Man" (1933) and "The Angry Red Planet" (1960) from 5 - 9 pm every First Friday of the month at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.  Click link for the Museum's calendar to find out what movie will be showing (Free) on a given First Friday of the month.


Movies Summer Friday Nights at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh - View the schedule for Summer Music & Movies in the Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., Theater in the Museum Park. General admission $4 unless otherwise noted; Free to NCMA members and children 6 and under. Members must show current membership card and photo ID at the Box Office.  All movies begin at 9 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

^ Back to Top


Equestrian / Horse Events
For information about riding classes, please click here.

N.C. Equestrian Trivia:  Legendary racehorses Man O War, Lexington, and Secretariat (1973 Triple Crown Winner) can be traced back to the North Carolina lineage of Sir Archie, a great North Carolina racehorse who resided in Northampton County, N.C. in the early 19th Century.


Boothill Farm, Carol Zachary, 2618 Orange Chapel-Glover-garden Road, Chapel Hill. (919) 967-2994.
Shows will resume in 2013: Hunter Jumper Schooling Shows, with food and prizes, every second Saturday, April through November, beginning at 9 am. (No shows in 2012).


Bull City Carriage Company offers carriage tours of the Durham Brightleaf Square District and Duke's East Campus, Friday and Saturday nights (weather permitting) from 6?11:30pm. The horse-drawn carriage holds four passengers; the 20?30 minute tours begin and end at the corner of Main and Gregson Streets.  Cost is $9 per person or $15 per couple; kids are free. For more information, call Robert Johnson at (919) 528-9056.


State-Run Horse Facilities

James B. Hunt Horse Complex, State Fairgrounds, Raleigh
1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh, NC.  
Events include Appaloosa Horse Shows, Arabian Horse Shows, rodeos, dressage, and more.
(919) 821-7400 or (919) 733-2145.

Western North Carolina (WNC) Agricultural Center
, Fletcher, NC (much further afield)
(828) 687-1414 or (828) 667-5121.

Sen. Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center, Williamston, NC
(much further afield)
(252) 792-5802 or (252) 809-0163.

North Carolina Steeplechase Events

Block House Steeplechase, Tryon, NC . (much further afield)
(sponsored by Tryon Riding & Hunt Club)

The Queen's Cup, Mineral Springs, NC (much further afield)
For the benefit of the Catawba Lands Conservancy.

Stoneybrook Steeplechase, Raeford, NC (much further afield)
At the Five Points Horse Park.

^ Back to Top


Farms and Berry Patches
Berry Picking Tips:  Don't pick your berries into a deep container, as the weight of the berries on top could damage the berries underneath.  It's a good idea to pick your berries into low-sided containers or fill lots of small containers.

Berry Handling Tips:  Always handle berries very gently, keep them dry and refrigerate them, and don't wash them until you are ready to use them.  (Wash gently!)  If you have some mushed/wet berries among your fresh-picked berries, pick them out as they can cause the other berries to go bad quickly.  Also, do not wash berries before freezing them; instead, freeze them straight from picking, and then wash them only after thawing, right before you use them. 

NC Farm Trivia:  April/May is the beginning of the season for North Carolina strawberries, peaches, cabbage, greens, snap beans, and sweet potatoes.  In the Chapel Hill area, the season for blueberries typically begins in July (this year, probably mid-July).
MORE NC PICK-YOUR-OWN:  In addition to our listings below, see for more Pick-Your-Own options throughout the NC Piedmont area (listed by County).

Ganyard Hill Farm
, 319 Sherron Rd. in Durham.
Ganyard Hill Farm provides Elementary School Field Trips and Family Farm Amusement and has become a popular annual Fall destination for many local schools and families.  Offering pumpkins, hayride tours of the farm with a complimentary pumpkin, cornfield mazes, giant haystack, a cotton field for cotton picking, farm animal feeding, haymaze, corn fields to pick, shuck and feed the animals, educational murals about bees, pumpkin plant life cycle, cows, chickens, a picnic area, and more (all included in the price of admission). A one of a kind place that offers a true farm experience!  Family groups are welcome to drop in and enjoy all the activities any time during open hours during the fall season. No reservations are needed.  Fall Hours of Operation: Monday?Saturday 9:00 am?7:00 pm, Sunday 10:00 am?7:00 pm
Directions to the NEW Ganyard Hill Farm location in Durham.
(919) 596-8728.


Hillridge Farms
, (further afield), 703 Tarboro Road, Youngsville, NC 27596.  Petting barn, train rides, gemstone panning, antique farm equipment, catfish feeding dock The Hillridge Farm fall festivals feature covered hay rides and pumpkin picking as well as pony rides, a moon bounce and music in addition to the farm's year-round fun.  Also explore a 3-acre corn maze and try the New Giant Slide.  The Hill Ridge Farms SUPERPASS is good every weekend during the Fall Harvest and Pumpkin Festival and includes:
- Hill Ridge Farms Express - unlimited rides
- Unlimited time in the Kiddie Park
- One Hayride with FREE Pumpkin from the Pumpkin Patch
- One Gem Stone Panning Bag
- Farm Animal Corral
- Fish Feeding Dock
- Picnic & Playground Area
(919) 556-1771.


McKee CornField Maze Open for the Fall Season - October)
5011 Kiger Rd., Rougemont, NC  27572.
Great Fun for the Entire Family in the country!  An annual tradition for local families.  "A Field of Fun" cornfield maze celebrates our country's love for baseball.  The 14 acre cornfield maze has 2 mazes to amuse young and old alike.  The 12 acre corn field maze has one of the biggest baseball diamonds in the US.  The 2 acre cornfield maze for children or young at heart has a baseball bat carved into the field.  Also available:  mums, pumpkins, corn stalks, corn, straw, gourds, and other fall decorations.  Animals, shady picnic area, play area, and Maple View Ice cream!  
Admission: Check the website for information; discounted rates for children, Senior Citizens and groups of 20 or more.
Hours:  Check the website for up-to-date hours/times
ALSO:  Haunted Maze Frightening Excursion, (traditionally held on several evenings prior to Halloween, from dusk to 9pm.
(919) 732-8065.

Directions to McKee CornField Maze:  
From Durham, take Guess Rd. approx. 10 miles to Hwy 57.  Turn left on Hwy 57.  Go approx. 2 miles.  Turn left on Kiger Rd.  Go 1.5 miles on Kiger.  Turn right on drive.  Watch for signs.

From Raleigh/I-40:  Take I-40 to Hillsborough. Exit off of I-40 on Hillsborough Exit.  Turn right on Hwy 86 traveling through downtown Historic Hillsborough.  Cross over Hwy 70.  Go 0.5 miles.  Turn right on Hwy 57.  Travel 8 miles to Kiger Rd.  Go 1.5 miles on Kiger.  Turn right on drive.  Watch for signs.

From Burlington/I-85:  Take I-85 to Hillsborough.  Exit off on Hillsborough Exit 164.  Turn left on Hwy 86 traveling through downtown Historic Hillsborough.  Cross over Hwy 70.  Go 0.5 miles.  Turn right on Hwy 57.  Travel 8 miles to Kiger Road.  Turn right on Kiger Road.  Go 1.5 miles on Kiger.  Turn right on drive.  Watch for signs.


N.C. Farm Tour / State Directory of Agritourism
Browse by location to find farms close to home or near your vacation destination; also browse by category to find petting farms, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree cutting, and more.


Old Time Wagon & Draft Farm, Holly Springs, NC  (Further afield; approx. 1 hour form Durham and Chapel Hill, 35 minutes from Raleigh and Cary.)  [Call first to confirm whether the farm will be open when you wish to visit; website currently is not accessible.]
This 14-acre historical farm is a great way to experience how local farms operated in the old days.  Watch draft horses at work, and enjoy a tractor-pulled wagon ride!  The farm also has a large park area with picnic tables, a general store/museum, and a show arena for the beautiful draft horse, as well as a petting zoo.  Field trips, birthday parties, picnics and tour options available.  [Website currently is not accessible.]
500 W. Stephenson Road, Holly Springs, NC, 27540.
(919) 557-0821


Vollmer Farm (further afield, just East of Raleigh in Bunn, NC)  617 NC Hwy 98E, Bunn, NC 27508.
Directions from Chapel Hill.  Directions from Raleigh.
Vollmer Farm is a fifth-generation farm that has been welcoming guests to their fall Pumpkin Farm since 1987, and to their spring Strawberry Farm since 1995. In addition to the fruits of the harvest available at the produce stand, the fall activities include a giant 100-foot underground slide, a four-acre corn maze, horse rides, hayrides and farm animals.

(919) 496-3076.


Seasonal Blueberry Picking - (Season July - early August)
Blueberry picking is a fun activity for the whole family and gives children a hands-on experience of nature and the delicious fruits of nature!
A local favorite Hillsborough Blueberry Patch offers seasonal Blueberry Picking in Hillsborough, NC. (Previously known as Nice Berries and Philoxenia - was two Patches run by different owners in same location).

Nice Berries (patch on the right-hand side as you enter)

Philoxenia (fka Blueberry Hill) (patch on the left-hand side) (previously operated for the benefit of the Human Kindness Foundation), 8411 NC Hwy 86, Cedar Grove, NC  27217
Located 11 miles outside of Hillsborough.  (Take 86N through Hillsborough, and continue North on HWY 86 for @ 11 miles past the intersection of 86N and the Hwy 70 Bypass in Hillsborough.  You will see "Pope's Tires" on your right.  Continue 100 yards and take a right at the Blueberry Sign into the driveway.  Park and pick from either the berry patch on the left - Philoxenia; or on your right - Nice Berries.Pick the ORGANIC BERRIES on the left (picking buckets are in the kiosk stand), then weigh them and pay for them at the kiosk stand (honor system).  In the past was $2 a pound; prices subject to change.  What a great deal for organically farmed blueberries!

(919) 923-3137

Beginning around July through August (sometimes through September - depending on the year's crop), the Blueberry Hill blueberry patch is expected to have an abundance of wonderful, delicious, organic blueberries.  (For example, Blueberry Hill sold nearly six tons of delicious organic blueberries in 2005 - a great yield for a two-acre patch!)

Interesting historical note about the Human Kindness Foundation (established in 1973) that previously/owned /ran the self-pick blueberry patch in Hillsborough:  If you aren't familiar with the Human Kindness Foundation or its founder, spiritual teacher Bo Lozoff (who passed away in Hawaii in 2012 in a motorcycle accident), take a look at the their website

Children's icon Fred Rogers (of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood fame) was so greatly impressed with Foundation founder Bo Lozoff, that in speeches Fred Rogers often named among his heroes Ghandi and Bo Lozoff. 
When he passed away in February 2003, Rogers left a sizeable bequest to Mr. Lozoff in his will in support of the Foundation's work. 

The Dalai Lama also is an admirer of Mr. Lozoff, and wrote the foreword to Mr. Lozoff's book, It's a Meaningful Life: It Just Takes Practice (Viking). 
Of Mr. Lozoff's book, the Dalai Lama said, ""Anyone of any faith, or none, can benefit from the universal ideas and realistic advice in this book."  In addition, Bo’s first book, We’re All Doing Time (available in paperback and ebook), with over 400,000 copies in print, was hailed by The Village Voice as “one of the ten books everyone in the world should read.”

Supporters of the work of Bo & Sita Lozoff's Human Kindness Foundation, can visit their website catalog to see the books, CDs, tapes, videos, t-shirts, stained glass, artwork and other items they sell to support the Foundation at

Bo and Sita Lozoff's' son, Josh Lozoff, is an AMAZING local (Chapel Hill) magician of international renown, who has also done a great deal of service work both at home and abroad. Now Joshua is regarded as one of the top magicians working today. (Previously he also has worked as an actor in L.A.; including his role as Logan in the movie "Clueless", a notable recurring role on the TV show "Cheers," as Gino Tortelli, and a recurring role as the young (flashbacks) George Clooney character on the TV show "Sisters." You can see Joshua's martial arts talent on display (he holds a 2nd degree black belt in Aikido) in the film  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Original Movie (now available on DVD at Amazon).

Small world, right? - all connected right here in the NC Triangle. If you get the chance to go to one of Josh's magic shows don't miss it! (Or book him for a party, wedding or event in the NC Triangle!)
Learn more about Josh Lozoff's fascinating close-up magic at
. . .Now back to Blueberry Picking in Hillsborough!


Faircloth Farm - 577 Gilmore Rd., Chapel Hill, NC  27516  Call before visiting for hours and availability.
(919) 967-2131
Herndon Hills Farm - Durham - Pick your own Blueberries, Blackberries and Muscadine Grapes (or buy pre-picked) -- Beautiful family farm is located a stone's throw from Southpoint Mall -
7110 Massey Chapel Rd. / Barbee Rd., Durham, NC  27713 Herndon Hills Farm has run a pick-your-own-farm since 1987 (and the farm has been home to the Herndon family since the late 1700's.)  Call before visiting for hours and availability.
(919) 544-3313

Call (919) 544-3313 for hours and daily update.

Directions: To get to the Herndon Fills Farm from I-40, take the Fayetteville Road exit (Exit 276) and go south. Take the first left on Herndon Road. Go 1/2 mile. Take a right on Barbee Road. Go 1/4 mile to farm on right.

Seasonal Strawberry Picking
Strawberry picking is fun for children and the whole family!

Strawberry Picking at Jean's Berry Patch

Jean's Berry Patch, 3003 NC Hwy 751, 9.5 miles south of I-40 on the left (at intersection with Lewter Shop Road), Apex, NC 27523.  Seasonal strawberry picking at its best! Pick your own or buy pre-picked.  A fun activity for the whole family.
(919) 362-5800.

Hunt's Strawberries, 4505 Watkins Rd., Raleigh, NC  27616.Call first for availability.
(919) 266-1619
Lyon Farm Strawberries, 5 minutes north of Durham, Exit 186A off I-85, follow the signs. Strawberry picking from Spring through mid-June.  Kids will also enjoy feeding the goats!  Have a strawberry picking birthday party on the farm (children can pick berries, feed the goats, have ice cream and cake in the picnic area.  $4.50 per child includes quart container of berries).
(919) 528-3263.

Waller's Family Farm
, 5005 Kerley Rd., Durham, NC  27705.
  Pick your own strawberries!  A fun activity for the whole family.  (Located just a few minutes away from the shopping center at New Hope Commons and Patterson Place; from New Hope Commons on 15-501, take Mt. Moriah Rd. to Erwin; left on Kerley; Waller Family Farm is at the intersection of Mt. Sinai and Kerley Rd.)
(919) 225-4305


Hanover Park Vineyard (further afield in Yadkinville, NC around 1 1/2 hours from Chapel Hill)
1927 Courtney-Huntsville Rd., Yadkinville, NC  27055.
Come see lots of Fall activity in the vineyard!  Bring the family to explore the vineyard and have a picnic beside the 1897 farmhouse under the shade of the old oak trees.  Interesting trivia: Hanover Park Vineyard is the first bonded winery established in Yadkin County since prohibition.  Hours:  Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 12-6; Sunday 1-5.  Directions:  I-40 to exit 170 onto US-601.  Go North 9.8 miles.  Turn right onto Courtney-Huntsville Rd.  The vineyard is one mile on the left.
(336) 463-2875.

^ Back to Top


Farmers' Markets and Arts & Crafts Markets
Carrboro Sunday Arts & Crafts Market
2nd and 4th Sunday of each month (April - December), 1-5pm 
Next to the Carrboro Town Hall at the Carrboro Town Commons
Contact:  Sally Bond, (919) 929-3986.


Carrboro Farmers' Market, Town Commons, 301 W. Main St.

Carrboro Saturday Farmers' Market is held on Saturdays, 7 a.m. - 12 noon
next to the Carrboro Town Hall at the Carrboro Town Commons.  (Not held in Winter.)

Carrboro Wednesday Farmers' Market is held on Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
(Not held in Winter.)


Fearrington Farmers' Market
"Growers Only" Market, Open Rain or Shine!
Fearrington Village, Hwy. 15/501, Pittsboro, NC
Open April - November on Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. - early evening


Hillsborough Farmers' Market
Open Saturday mornings in the CCB parking lot downtown on N. Churton Street and Wednesday afternoons in the Sherriff's Dept. lower lot on E. Margaret Lane. 
(Not held in Winter.)


Pittsboro Farmers' Market
Chatham County Fairgrounds, Pittsboro, NC
Open April-November Thursdays, 3:30-6:30 p.m.


Southern Village Farmers' Market
Held in Southern Village (off of 15-501) across from the Lumina Theater.  Directions.
(Not held in Winter.) Thursdays, 3:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.


^ Back to Top



Click to see the CHillKids list of festivals and other events.

^ Back to Top



Gemstone Panning
Hill Ridge Farms
Gemstone panning is available at Hill Ridge Farms (call first for days/hours) - also don't miss the Hill Ridge Farms Fall Pumkin & Harvest Festival (with gem panning options); annual Holiday Festival of Lights display, train rides, birthday parties, farm animals, picnic areas, school field trips.
Hill Ridge Farms is open year-round (check website for dates/hours/admission)

1870 Farm (Chapel Hill, NC)
Visit to learn about gemstone panning opportunities for birthday parties; also summer camps and (new in 2016!) Preschool at 1870 Farm in Chapel Hill.

^ Back to Top


Health Clubs

02 has 10 ocations in the NC Triangle, including 2 convenient locations in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, NC!

02 Chapel Hill, NC Location
Village Plaza, 257 S. Elliott Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(conveniently located in the Village Plaza on Elliott Rd. between Franklin St. and 15-501)
(919) 932-7115

The 02 Chapel Hill, NC location features:

* Personal LCD Screen on Every Treadmill, Elliptical, Bike and Stepper with over 60 Channels available

* Cardio Cinema Room: watch the hottest new movie releases on the BIG movie screen with surround sound

* Personal Trainers available
Testimonial:  The personal trainers at 02 are excellent!  I can't say enough good things about the personal training team at 02; they are professional, fun, hard-working, and they help their clients get the results they want.  It's fun to actually witness people getting amazingly fit working out with the trainers at 02.  They can help you take your fitness to a whole new level

* Classes for Seniors

* Kids' Camps/ Classes/ Child Care

* Group Fitness Classes: Pilates, Yoga, BodyPump?, Kick Boxing, Spinning, Boot Camp, Silver Sneakers and more!

02 Carrboro, NC Location
503 W. Main St., Carrboro, NC
(919) 960-9910

02 in Carrboro, NC offers a convenient location with easy parking (near the Carrboro Fire Station, Town Hall/Farmers' Market, a block from Weaver Street Market) and Fitness Classes, Cardio, Free Weights, Yoga & Pilates, Child Care and more.

02 Client Testimonial:  As a mother with young children, I highly recommend both the Chapel Hill and the Carrboro 02 locations.  Both offer free childcare, convenient hours, and easy parking, making it possible for mothers to take time to focus on their own fitness and health.  Making time to work out at the gym can improve your quality of life in so many ways.  (If mom's happy, everyone's happy!)


Chapel Hill - Carrboro YMCA
980 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (Historic Airport Rd.), Chapel Hill, 27514
Fitness Center and Aquatic Center; offers fitness classes, fitness training, and lots of activities and camps for children.
(919) 442-9622


Orange County SportsPlex (fka Triangle Sportsplex) in Hillsborough, NC features a state-of-the-art Gym (& Fitness Classes), Ice Skating, Kids Camps, Olympic & Kids' Swimming Pool & Lots of Fun for the whole family!

^ Back to Top


Historic Attractions

Alliance for Historic Hillsborough
Take a trip through time when you visit beautiful historic Hillsborough, a pre-revolutionary-war-era town located near Chapel Hill, Durham and RTP off Old 86.  Stop by the visitor's center (a lovely 18th-century house) and enjoy shopping and dining in the downtown.

Click here to visit

Highlights of Historic Hillsborough:

Walking Tour of Revolutionary War Era Sites, Departs from the Orange County Visitors Center, 150 E. King St., Hillsborough.  Guides dressed in period costume offer walking tours of Historic Hillsborough; includes a map of over 40 historic sties.  Tape-recorded tour also available.  
(919) 732-7741.

Alexander Dickson House
, 150 E King St., Hillsborough, NC.
Late 18th-century Quaker-plan house is the home of the Orange County Visitors' Center.  Adjacent garden features traditional 18th- and 19th- century plants used for cooking, medicinal remedies and dying cloth.
(919) 732-7741.

Ayr Mount (ca. 1815) and the Poet's Walk, 376 St. Mary's Rd., Hillsborough, NC. (919) 732-6886.  (See listing below for more information.)

The Burwell School, 319 N. Churton St., Hillsborough, NC.
Site of the Rev. and Mrs. Burwell's School for Young Ladies from 1837-1857.  Two-story frame house (c. 1841), brick music building (c. 1849), brick necessary house (c. 1940) and formal gardens.  Free.  Thurs.-Sat. 11am-3pm; Sun. 1-4pm; guided tours on the half-hour.
(919) 732-7741.

Occaneechi Indian Village at the foot of Cameron St. (along the banks of the Eno River).  Recreated Occaneechi Indian Village (complete with abodes made of mud, straw, and sticks) marks the site along the Eno River where the tribe lived 300 years ago, and is home to interesting festivals and Occaneechi historical living re-enactments throughout the year.
(919) 304-3723.  

Old Orange County Courthouse, N. Churton St. & E. King St., Hillsborough.  Built in 1844-1845 and still used for county judicial business; Greek Revival architecture.
(919) 732-7741.

Old Town Cemetery, N. Churton St. & W. Tryon St., Hillsborough, NC.
(919) 732-7741.

Ruffin-Roulhac House, 101 E. Orange St., Hillsborough, NC.
Early 19th-century home once owned by Chief Justice Thomas Ruffin is now used as the Town Hall.
(919) 732-1270.


Ayr Mount and the Poet's Walk 376 St. Mary's Rd; Hillsborough. 
(919) 732-6886.
The historic Federal-era plantation home (ca. 1815) has been carefully restored and is beautifully furnished with period antiques and fine art.  Guided tours (for a fee) during regular visiting hours.  The Poet's Walk is a lovely one-mile walking trail traverses woodlands and pastures along the banks of the Eno River, with views of the Kirkland family cemetery, the Indian trading path, and a pond that is home to a chorus of frogs.  (Dogs allowed, but must be on leash.)  Poet's Walk open daily (year-round), 9am-5pm (till 6pm, Mar.-Apr. & Sep.-Oct.; till 7pm, May-Aug.).

Bennett Place 
4409 Bennett Memorial Rd. Durham, NC 27705
(919) 383-4345
From the website: "This simple farmhouse was situated between Confederate General Johnston's headquarters in Greensboro and Union General Sherman's headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1865 the two soldiers met at the Bennett Place, where they signed surrender papers for Southern armies in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. Today James Bennett's reconstructed farmhouse, kitchen, and smokehouse give visitors a glimpse into the life-style of an ordinary Southern farmer during the Civil War years."

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  Closed Sunday and Monday.


Duke Chapel 
Duke University, Durham, NC
(919) 684-2921
This beautiful, famous neo-gothic chapel has a 5,600-pipe organ and a 50-bell carillon.  The University Carillonneur performs a 15-minute recital on the 50-bell carillon Monday through Friday from 5:00 to 5:15 p.m. and before and after the Sunday worship services (at 10:45 a.m. and 12:00 noon). The carillon is located near the top of the Chapel tower and can best be enjoyed outside in the vicinity of the Chapel.

Chapel Hours:
During the academic year: 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Summer hours: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Holidays and Breaks: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed Christmas Day
Closed to the public for weddings, funerals, and other special events.
Check the schedule before planning your trip by calling (919) 684-2572.

Chapel Information Line:  (919) 681-1704  


Duke Homestead and Tobacco Museum
2828 Duke Homestead Road, Durham, NC 27705
(919) 477-5498 
From the website: "See the early home, factories, and farm where Washington Duke first grew and processed tobacco. Duke's sons later founded The American Tobacco Company, the largest tobacco company in the world. The tour includes Duke's restored home, an early factory, a curing barn, and a packhouse. The Tobacco Museum exhibits trace the history of tobacco from Native American times to the present."  Hours:  Tuesday - Saturday 10 am-4 pm. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

2005 Special Events at Duke Homestead and Tobacco Museum (All events are free.)
Jan.1-Dec. 31 "The Spitting Image: A History of Spittoons and Cuspidors." This exhibit, the first in the nation devoted solely to spittoons and cuspidors, features more than 50 different artifacts. These range from a spittoon shaped like a turtle that opens when its head is pressed, to a brass cuspidor used in the old N.C. Senate chamber until 1961.

March 14 Regional History Bowl. Middle school classes from thegreater Triangle area compete in tournament on North Carolina history. Winners advance to state championships in Raleigh in May. Open to the public, fun and educational for all ages. Cosponsor: Bennett Place. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

June 4 Herb and Garden Festival. Historical outdoor herb festival with traditional herbal-use displays, herb and craft vendors, and refreshments. Craft demonstrations and pottery, baskets, and herbs for sale. Historic games for children, afternoon musical performances for all. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

September 10 Tobacco Harvest Festival and Mock Auction. Costumed interpreters demonstrate traditional tobacco harvesting, stringing, and curing. Hear the sounds of the only tobacco auction left in Durham. Enjoy historic games, music, and refreshments. 10 am-4 pm.

October 22 An Evening at the Homestead. Duke's Junior Interpreters present music, wagon rides, fall foods, and 19th-century children's literature! Bring a picnic for dinner. 2-6 p.m.

December 2 Christmas by Candlelight. Celebrate an 1870 Christmas and an evening tour of the homestead. Period decorations, caroling, hot apple cider, and other goodies. Entertainment in visitor center. 7-9 p.m.


Horace Williams House, Chapel Hill, NC
Preservation Society of Chapel Hill, 610 E. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, NC  27514.
(919) 942-7818.
Historic Chapel Hill house features changing art exhibits and hosts chamber music concerts.  The Horace Williams House hosts numerous events throughout the year (including an annual Easter Egg Hunt and Fourth of July celebration and ice cream social).  Click here for the events calendar. Free. 

From Sunday, April 24 - Sunday, Mary 22:  The Horace Williams House will be open for an art show featuring watercolors by Luna Lee Ray, collages by Lisa Morton, and baskets by Peg Rees.  


House in the Horseshoe, Sanford, NC (further afield)
324 Alston House Rd., Sanford, NC 27330, (910) 947-2051.
Hours: October 1, 2004 - April 1, 2005
Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  Closed Sunday and Monday.

Historical plantation (ca. 1770) was owned by Philip Alston, whose band of Whigs was attacked in 1781 by Tories. Subsequently, four-term governor Benjamin Williams lived in the house, which now contains colonial and Revolutionary War-era antiques.  The house is now open to the public and the grounds are the site of revolutionary war re-enactments.

Special annual events
end of April
Spring Militia Muster. Encampment of Revolutionary War soldiers and camp followers. Small arms and artillery demonstrations, craft demonstrations.   
early August
Annual Battle Reenactment. Reenactment of the skirmish at the house in 1781 between Loyalist and Rebel militias. Encampment of soldiers and families, artillery and small arms demonstrations, craft demonstrations.
early-mid December Christmas Open House. Kick off the season at a special open house featuring costumed tours, refreshments, and militia demonstrations.
mid-December through around December 23rd: Special Christmas Tours. Programs show how Christmas celebrations have changed in North Carolina over the centuries.


North Carolina State Capitol  (further afield in Raleigh)
1 East Edenton St., Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 733-4994
Tours of the Senate and House of Represenatives chambers; 14 monuments on Union Square.  Hours: Mon- Fri 8 am - 5 pm; Sat 10 am - 4 pm; Sun. 1 pm - 4 pm.

Patterson's Mill Country Store
5109 Farrington Rd., Chapel Hill, NC  27514.  (Between Hwy. 54 and Old Chapel Hill Road)
(919) 493-8149.
Beautiful old country store serving the community in the same spirit as the original  Patterson & Company Store of the 1870's.  Patterson's Mill is a haven for those seeking a moment from an earlier age!  (You may feel as though you just walked into the General Store from Little House on the Prairie days!)  Contains some of the finest collections of mercantile American in the country, including a nationally recognized pharmaceutical collection and tobacco memorabilia collection.  The rambling store building houses a furnished early twentieth century doctor's office, early artifacts from the Patterson's Mill community, and aisle after aisle of memorabilia, much of which has remained in the same farming and merchant family since R.S. Leigh opened the store on his plantation over 100 years ago.  Admission is free.  Permanent collections are not for sale, but a large selection of local and regional crafts, books, and many antiques and collectibles are offered for sale.  (Patterson's Mill also hosts a wonderful Christmas Tree and Greenery sale during the holidays.)  HOURS:  [Check the Patterson's Mill Facebook page for any changes in days/hours.] Tues.-Sat. 10-5:30pm, Sun. 2-5:30pm, closed Mondays. 

North Carolina Historical Books selection
Patterson's Mill Country Store has a great selection of used books about North Carolina local history like these books about Durham, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Wake Forest, NC lighthouses, Eastern and Western NC, etc. also available new at Amazon if you want to learn more about the history with great vintage photos of your own local North Carolina community.

Sanford, NC (further afield)
South of Pittsboro on 15-501, has a walking tour of its historic district.


Snow Camp (further afield)
Founded by Quakers in 1749, Snow Camp is the site each summer of the Historical Drama Society's performance portraying the Quakers' struggles in the Revolutionary War and their efforts to transport fugitive slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad.


St. Mary's School (further afield in Raleigh)
900 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC
(919) 424-4000.
Dates to 1842 and is the home of a chapel designed by Richard Upjohn.


^ Back to Top


Ice Cream Shops and Parlors

Ben & Jerry's
National chain serves everyone's old favorites in primo location right on West Franklin St. Kids will enjoy the brightly painted interior (not to mention the dazzling selection of ice cream).  Open daily, 12 pm - 11 pm.

W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 27516.  (919) 967-9068.


Cold Stone Creamery
Several locations in the Triangle area offer yummy made-to-order ice cream with mix-ins (mixed in front of you on an ice-cold slab of marble) and huge waffle cones.  There are so many flavors and specialty cones (for example, the strawberry shortcake cone, apple pie cone, "Black Forest Dream," and "Mud Pie Mojo" cones) that you may have a hard time deciding!  Cold Stone Creamery also offers beautiful ready-made ice cream cakes, and kids' theme cakes (such as Winnie-the-Pooh, Harry Potter, and Nemo).  A fun family outing right on E. Franklin St. (as well as other area locations listed below).

131 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 27514.  (919) 933-2323.

Also additional NC Triangle area locations

Francesca's Dessert Cafe
Elegant ice cream parlor offers gelato and sorbets along with coffee, tea, cakes and other desserts.

706B 9th St, Durham, NC 27705
(919) 286-4177

La Vita Dolce Espresso & Gelato Cafe
Wonderful gelato, Italian Sodas, coffee and espresso and baked goods.  We were transported back to Italy as we tried some of the many delicious home-made gelato flavors!  The decor and ambiance are soothing, and the large shop-front windows offer a nice view of the Southern Village green.

610 Market Street, Southern Village Marketplace .
(919) 968-1635


Lickity Split Ice Cream
Hand-dipped ice-cream and hot dogs makes for happy kids!

503 Meadowmont Village Cir, Chapel Hill. (919) 929-8402.


Maple View Farm & Dairy
Voted Best Ice Cream
(Chapel Hill News Rose Award in multiple years).  Also named one of the Top 12 Ice Cream Parlors Nationwide (!!! Nationwide !!!) in Saveur Magazine (June/July 2005 issue).  Maple View Farm is a family dairy farm located just northwest of Chapel Hill, and its ice cream shop/Country Store is a destination outing for everyone!  Enjoy delicious freshly made ice cream while lounging on rocking chairs on the shop's front porch, which looks out over a vista of rolling countryside and the Maple View Farm.  Check their website for a calendar of Maple View weekly specials and events.  During the holidays try the yummy egg nog, and the pumpkin ice cream!  The Country Store also sells milk, cream, and other fresh dairy products year round.  Maple View dairy products do not contain hormones.  (You can also purchase their milk products at Harris Teeter, Whole Foods and Weaver Street Market.)

Hours (Check website for updated hours.)
Sunday ? Thursday: 12 pm ? 9:30pm
Friday & Saturday: 12 pm ? 10pm
* Hours subject to change; also longer evening hours in the summer.

**All Mapleview products are hormone-free and antibiotic-free.** (from the website 2012)

Maple View Store: 6900 Rocky Ridge Rd, Hillsborough, NC 27278

Maple View Main Farm (across the street from the store):
3109 Dairyland Road, Hillsborough, NC 27278. 
(919) 960-5535.

Note:  *Despite the mailing address, the original store is not in the town of Hillsborough proper.  From Chapel Hill, take Airport Road to Homestead Road, turn west on Homestead Road and go straight for approximately 10 miles (Homestead Road becomes Dairyland Road) to intersection with Rocky Ridge Road.  Ice Cream Store will be on your right at corner intersection of Dairyland and Rocky Ridge.  Maple View Farm map and directions.


S&T's Soda Shoppe (further afield, in Pittsboro)
Beautifully restored old-fashioned ice cream parlor located in the heart of Pittsboro.  Menu includes lots of great lunch and dinner selections for grown-ups and kids.  A destination in itself; but you may also wish to visit some of the many Pittsboro area attractions, such as the Carnivore Preservation Trust.  Business Hours (as of May 2009):  Open Tues. through Sat. 11am - 7:30pm  (Closed Sundays and Mondays.)

85 Hillsboro St., Pittsboro, NC.
(919) 545-0007


National frozen yogurt chain offers cones, specialty drinks, cakes and other treats.  There are tables inside and outside seating as well.

Eastgate Shopping Center, 1800 E Franklin St #22, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.
(919) 967-0629.

^ Back to Top


Kids' Recreation & Sports
Please click link above for the CHillKids guide to Kids' Recreation & Sports, or click individual links below.

^ Back to Top


Children's Museums, Science Museums, Museums and Art Galleries

Click here for our listing of local Chapel Hill - Durham - Raleigh, NC Children's Museums, Science Museums, Art Museums, Transportation Museums, and more!

^ Back to Top


Library Events (Chapel Hill NC )
The Chapel Hill Public Library offers lots of Story Time programs for young children (Baby Time, Time for Toddlers, Story Time, and Pajama Story Time), as well as Teen Events and Summer Book Clubs, and Special Programs including magic shows, crafts, and family movie matinees.
Click here to see the current Chapel Hill Library's Calendar of Library Events.
See also the ChillKids Festivals & Events page for additional music listings.
Carrboro Century Center  100 N. Greensboro St. (at Weaver and Greensboro Streets)
(919) 918-7385


The Arts Center (Downtown Carrboro)
Wonderful ambiance and great music and theater for a parents' night out!  This year's Second Annual American Roots Series performers include Ray Lamontagne on January 21, (According to Rolling Stones Magazine, "His sandpaper croon sounds like church, Van Morrison and dusty porches"), Grammy-nominee acoustic guitarist Alex de Grassi on February 18, and four-time Grammy award-winner Dr. John on February 10, Lucy Kaplansky on February 19, Pura Fe on February 25, Hal Ketchum on March 4., Stillhouse Bottom Band on March 12, Rodney Crowell on March 25, Corey Harris on March 26, and The Avett Brothers on April 1, among many others!  Visit The ArtsCenter website for more information and to see the schedule for other great performances throughout the year.  Note:  The Arts Center offers children's theater, great art, music and other classes for kids and adults.

300-G East Main St., Carrboro, NC  27510.
(919) 929-2787.


The Carolina Theatre
Great venue for theatre and music.  Past featured musicians include, for example, Buddy Guy, the Jonny Lang Acoustic Band and many many more over the years. See the Carolina Theatre website for more information.
309 West Morgan St., Downtown Durham.
(919) 560-3030.


Duke Performances
Click here for a schedule of performances at Duke University, including musical, theatrical and dance performances.


North Carolina Symphony, Meymandi Concert Hall, BTI Center, Raleigh, NC.
"Just 4 Kids" Young People's series includes many different fun shows and events for children and families throughout the year.  Click on this link for more information.
(919) 733-2750.


Pittsboro General Store Cafe - (Great food and previously known for live Irish Music first Saturday of each month; ownership has changed over the years but great food and live music are mainstays.)
39 West Street, Pittsboro (Located next to the downtown traffic circle, just across from the Pittsboro courthouse.)
(919) 542-2432.


Weaver Street Market, Downtown Carrboro (also Southern Village location, and in Hillsborough on Churton Street). Live open air music in Carrboro on Sundays.  Choose from the Market's many buffet selections and have brunch outside at the picnic tables or on a blanket while you enjoy the music, impromptu dancing and hula-hooping.  Stop by the Market for some wonderful organic groceries and fresh produce while you are there!

^ Back to Top


Nature Attractions and Gardens
Cane Creek Reservoir  (OWASA)
Located off Highway 54
(919) 942-5790
Cane Creek offers picnic areas, boat rentals, and fishing and is open for recreation from March through mid-November, Thursdays through Saturdays, 6:30 am - 6 pm; Sundays 1 pm - 6 pm.


Coker Arboretum
UNC-Chapel Hill campus (East Cameron Ave at Raleigh St.,Chapel Hill.)
(919) 962-0522
Hours: Open daily, dawn to dusk.  This beautiful five-acre garden (part of the North Carolina Botanical Garden) contains more than 500 species of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. Enjoy a stroll through the walkway sheltered by a native-vine arbor and the adjacent stone gathering circle.


Duke Gardens (Sarah P. Duke Gardens) at Duke University
426 Anderson St., Duke University, Durham, NC 27708.
(919) 684-3698.

A wonderful outing for adults and children -- bring a picnic and wear your walking shoes!  Described as the "Crown Jewel of Duke University," the Sarah P. Duke Gardens encompass 55 acres in the heart of the University's West Campus, next to Duke University Medical Center.  According to the garden's website, the garden is "recognized as one of the premier public gardens in the United States, renowned both for landscape design and the quality of horticulture."  The garden also has a Terrace Shop and Terrace Cafe (only open during the warm seasons).

Throughout the year, Duke Gardens offers events and performances for families with children, including Arts in the Garden, Nature Adventures Camp, Nature for Sprouts (nature workshops for pre-school 3, 4, and 5 year old children), and storytime in the Children's Classroom, Doris Duke Center.  (Children must be accompanied by adults; $Fee.  No registration required for storytime, unless bringing a large group. Call 919-668-1708).  Check the website for more details about current programs.

Directions.  (Take 15-501 east from Chapel Hill, and get off at the NC 751 exit. Follow signs to the gardens.  You might also want to visit the Duke University Chapel and the Duke campus (and its gothic-style chapel) while you are there.)

Eno River State Park
6101 Cole Mill Road, Durham, NC 27705-9275
(919) 383-1686.
Enjoy beautiful views of the Eno River while hiking, picknicking, canoeing, fishing, camping; education and events also offered.  Annual Eno River Festival is held here in July.

Winter Hikes at Eno River State Park - Sundays at 2 pm through February 27.  Free. Call (919) 644-1806.


Jordan Lake State Recreation Area
280 State Park Road, Apex, NC 27523
14,000-acre lake with motorboat access, beaches for lake swimming, hiking, picnicing, boating, camping, bald-eagle watching and more.  $5 fee per car, $3 for senior citizens ages 62 and older, and $10 per bus. Separate fees are charged for picnic shelter reservations and campsites.  Offers a C.A.S.T. learn to fish program (Catch a Sure Thing) for ages 6-12; pre-registration required.  Saturdays, 9:30am-11:30am.
(919) 362-0586.


JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University (further afield in Raleigh)
4415 Beryl Rd., Raleigh
(919) 515-3132
Arboretum is the home of beautiful rose gardens showcasing the Finley Rose, Japanese gardens, and the Klein-Pringle White garden.


Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gardens (further afield in Raleigh)
Martin Luther King Blvd. and Rock Quarry Rd., Raleigh
(919) 834-6264.
Gardens feature a life-size statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as monuments to other civil-rights pioneers.  

Montrose Gardens
320 Saint Mary's Rd; Hillsborough.
(919) 732-7787.
Open by appointment only; call for hours. Nationally acclaimed gardens were begun in the 19th century by Gov. and Mrs. William Alexander Graham.  The gardens include specimen trees, rock garden, woods, and perennial borders.  Old 19th century buildings remain. Guided tours. Fee $10 per person.  By appointment only (phone (919) 732-7787 for tour appointment).


NC Botanical Gardens
Totten Center,
U.S. 15-501/NC Hwy 54 Bypass at Old Mason Farm Rd., Chapel Hill, 27514.
(919) 962-0522.

Beautiful conservation garden where native trees, plants, and wildflowers abound in lush setting.  Great fun for kids!  Fairy workshop in the herb garden offers art activities (and loaner fairy wings to wear in the garden).  Look for the fairies hidden in the herb garden and leave mail for fairy friends in the fairies' mailbox.  Kids will enjoy playing with wonderful natural wooden miniature tree house/fairy house hidden under the arbor in the herb garden.  There is also an area for digging in the dirt with shovels and giant wooden tic-tac-toe blocks.  The herb garden also is the home of a recreated Indian abode structure.  Children will also enjoy discovering the Paul Green log cabin.  The Botanical Gardens hosts sculpture and art exhibits and offers courses and plants for sale.
The Garden's horticulture and natural history reference library are open to the public.
Visit the website for hours.

Each year (usually late September through mid-December) visit the Annual Sculpture in the Garden exhibition at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. The annual invitational show features outdoor sculptures by North Carolina  artists.


Poet's Walk at Ayr Mount
376 St. Mary's Rd; Hillsborough.
(919) 732-6886.

Open daily (year-round), 9am-5pm (till 6pm, Mar.-Apr. & Sep.-Oct.; till 7pm, May-Aug.). Lovely one-mile walking trail traverses woodlands and pastures along the banks of the Eno River, with views of the Kirkland family cemetery, the Indian trading path, and a pond that is home to a chorus of frogs.  (Dogs allowed, but must be on leash.)  The historic home is open to visitors (for a fee) during regular visiting hours.


Raven Rock State Park (further afield)
3009 Raven Rock Road, Lillington, NC 27546.
(Located an hour's drive from Research Triangle and 45 minutes from Fayetteville.  Directions.)
(910) 893-4888.
Take a picnic or go camping; hike down the trail to the Cape Fear River.  From the website: "Should the humdrum of the work week leave you with the urge to travel and explore, head to Raven Rock State Park. . . . The first feeling you are likely to experience at Raven Rock is one of renewal. Here, the forest reigns as each year the timeless cycle of growth further heals age-old wounds inflicted by man. Nature triumphs as plants compete in the stages of forest succession and the woodlands are restored. High above the Cape Fear River stands Raven Rock, its austere beauty a testament to the forces that have shaped the land. As the river below rushes to join the sea, nature's elements continue to shape the surface of this natural monument.  Spend some time at Raven Rock State Park and let nature refresh your spirit."

Umstead State Park
8801 Glenwood Ave. and Highway 70, Raleigh, NC 27612; Harrison Ave., Cary, NC
(919) 571-4170.

Nearly 5,400 acres of park land offers bridle, hiking, and biking trails, rowboat and canoe rentals, and camping facilities.  Call for information and/or reservations.  All programs are free.  Canoeing on Big Lake - Join a ranger at the Boathouse for a paddle around Big Lake; equipment provided; reservations required.  Check website for dates.


University Lake (OWASA)
Located two miles west of Chapel Hill next to Jones Ferry Road in Carrboro.
(919) 942-8007

University Lake ( operated by the Orange Water & Sewer Authority) is normally be open for recreation from March through mid-November, Friday through Monday, 6:30am - 6pm.
Recreation at the lake includes canoe rentals, boat and electric motor rentals and fishing, plus a free picnic/sunbathing area. The lake is open between late March and early November. Lake tours available by calling (919) 968-4421, ext. 267.
Wafting the Eno
5101 N. Roxboro Rd., Durham
(919) 471-3802.

Two-hour natural history float trips on the Eno River, led by naturalist, "River Dave" Owen.  River Dave has been guiding tours of the Eno River for fifteen years!  All ages; call for reservations.  Trips from April through September.  $Fee..  Tours depart from West Point on the Eno City Park, Monday?Saturday, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Owen also offers evening wafting around the time of each full moon.


West Point on the Eno Park (a little further afield, in Durham)

5101 N. Roxboro Rd. (US Hwy 501 North), Durham.  (919) 471-1623

This beautiful park is a great setting for a picnic along the river, and is the home of the wonderful Annual Eno River Festival in early July.  The park includes three historic buildings. Be sure to visit the West Point Mill (which you can view in operation, powered by the river, turning wheat into flour, and corn into cornmeal..  You can purchase the flour, cornmeal and grits produced at the Mill!)  Also see the McCown-Mangum House at West Point, and the Packhouse & Hugh Mangum Museum of Photography.  Open daily, year-round, from 8 a.m. - sundown.

From the website:  "This 388-acre park is located along a two-mile stretch of the scenic Eno River, six miles north of downtown Durham. You can enjoy a leisurely picnic and stroll around the grounds, or take a hike through the woods on one of the park trails. Feel free to bring your canoe or kayak and experience the beauty of the Eno River."


^ Back to Top


Parks and Playgrounds
Indoor Play
From September through Spring, Toddler Play Indoor Playtime is available at the following locations/times in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.  (A great idea especially when the weather is cold or rainy)

Chapel Hill Community Center Parent-Tot Morning Extravaganza (in the Community Center gymnasium) Located at 120 South Estes Drive, (across from the Main Post Office and University Mall; 1 1/2 miles NE of downtown Chapel Hill ).
Call Chapel Hill Parks (tel. below) for more info (dates/times); Free.
Toys are available for toddlers to play with, and you can also bring your own toys that won't scratch the floor.
(919) 968-2716

Carrboro Century Center Toddler Preschool Playtime (for children 5 years old and younger) in the Century Hall.
Contact Carrboro Parks for more info (dates/times).
Tumbling mat, toys, and music provided; also some directed activities.

Click here for the CHillKids Parks and Playgrounds Guide.

^ Back to Top


Morehead Planetarium at UNC
250 E. Franklin St., Downtown Chapel Hill.
Info hotline: (919) 549-6863
Main office and reservations: (919) 962-1236

The Morehead Planetarium in downtown Chapel Hill offers numerous planetarium shows and exhibits for children and adults.  The Planetarium's "Magic Tree House? Space Mission" show is great for kids 5-12 and their families; the Sol & Company show is recommended for younger children up to age 7; the Carolina Skies and Cielo Carolina (Spanish language version of Carolina Skies) shows are recommended for adults and children 8 and up (not recommended for younger children); the Sky Safari show is recommended for ages 10 and up; the Extinction! show (narrated by Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actor William Shatner), is recommended for kids 12 and up, the Star of Bethlehem (annual seasonal show through January 2nd) is suited for adults and students in grades 5-8.  The Planetarium also has a great gift shop offering distinctive educational gifts, space and science books and other unique merchandise.  (For more gift shop info call 843-7997).

^ Back to Top


Spectator Sports

Please click link for the CHillKids Local Sports Events page.


^ Back to Top


The Burning Coal Theatre Company
Check here for scheduled performances. 
512 St. Mary's Street, Raleigh, NC  27603
(919) 834-4001.


The Carolina Theatre
Great venue for theatre (including children's theatre) and music.


The Arts Center (Downtown Carrboro, 300-G East Main Street)
Wonderful ambiance and great music and theater!  Enjoy the coffee shop and art exhibits in the spacious yet cozy lobby.  (See listing in Music section for more information about featured musicians).

Visit The ArtsCenter website for information and to see the schedule of performances.

300-G East Main St., Carrboro, NC  27510.
(919) 929-2787.


Deep Dish Theater
Located in University Mall (across from Waldenbooks), 201 S. Estes Dr., Chapel Hill, NC 27514.
Check for new and changing performances throughout the year.
(919) 968-1515.


Kazoom Children's Theatre
Kazoom Children's Theatre is a participatory theatre where children get to be the stars or puppeteers.  Each show features a fairy tale or holiday story with lots of music with movement and interaction.  For ages 2 - 7.  Visit website for dates/hours and admission.  Birthday packages available.
431 Peace St. (at the corner of Peace St. and West St.), Raleigh, NC.
(919) 365-0555

North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theatre - NRACT
Located in Greystone Shopping Center, 7713-51 Leadmine Rd. Raleigh, 27615  (919) 866-0228
Offers classes in drama, musical theatre and improve for kids and adults; community productions; birthday parties; auditions for junior productions.
Orange County Public Library
300 West Tryon St., Hillsborough  (919) 245-2525
Call or check website for children's shows.


Carrboro Branch Library
(McDougle Middle School, 900 Old Fayetteville Road, Chapel Hill)
Offers a show for children on the 3rd Sunday of each month.
  Hours:  Mon., Wed.  3:30-9 pm; Tues., Thurs. 3:30-6 pm; Sun. 1-5 pm.


UNC Playmakers Repertory Company
Paul Green Theatre, Center for Dramatic Arts, Country Club Road, UNC-Chapel Hill.
(919) 962-PLAY (7529)
Performs contemporary plays and hosts national guest artists.


Duke Performances
Click here for a schedule of performances at Duke University, including musical, theatrical and dance performances.


Raleigh Little Theater
301 Pogue Street, Raleigh, NC 27607.  Business Office: (919) 821-4579
Box Office: (919) 821-3111.
The Raleigh Little Theatre states musicals, comedies and dramas with local performers and guest directors; also offers acting classes. Check here for the current productions/season schedule.  Scheduled 2005 productions include Sleeping Beauty, Blue, Divas!, The Emperor's New Clothes, Catfish Moon, As You Like It, and Carousel.  In December, don't miss the Raleigh Little Theater's production of Cinderella, a Raleigh Holiday tradition for 22 years!  James and the Giant Peach is coming in March 2006. 


Theatre in the Park
107 Pullen Rd., Raleigh, NC
(919) 831-6058
From the website:  "Theatre In The Park is located in the northern end of Raleigh's scenic Pullen Park and is internationally acclaimed for its outstanding theatrical achievements.  With more than 40,000 people attending our programming last year alone, Theatre In The Park is the largest community theatre in North Carolina, as well known as one of the state's most exciting and innovative theatre arts centers, earning it the prestigious Medal of Arts award from the Raleigh Arts Commission for ?extraordinary achievement.? 


Walltown Children's Theatre
(919) 286-4545
Summer camp sessions from June - July; 9am-3pm.  Award-winning camps; profiled on CNN News and Public Television; featured at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts & the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Directed by Joseph and Cynthia Henderson.

^ Back to Top


Water Fun - Lakes and Pools 
Chapel Hill Tennis Club Summer Camps - Tennis & Swimming!
403 Westbrook Dr., Carrboro, NC 27510
Chapel Hill Tennis Club (CHTC) is one of the major tennis, swim, fitness and recreational facilities in North Carolina operating as a non-profit, member-owned organization. CHTC consists of a beautiful Clubhouse and expansive grounds, 29 Tennis Courts, 4 Indoor Tennis Courts, 2 Platform Tennis Courts, a Fitness Center, Fitness Programming, an Olympic Pool, Aquatics Programming, a Super-Loop Waterslide, Pool, Clubhouse Slice Bar Cafem a full service Pro Shop and an awesome Calendar of Events / Programming. Chapel Hill Tennis Club has an exceptional and experienced staff of experts relentlessly dedicated to your family's year-round fun.
Summer and Year-Round Memberships Available.

(919) 929-5248
Jordan Lake State Recreation Area
280 State Park Road, Apex, NC 27523
Lake swimming, hiking, picnicing, boating, camping, bald-eagle watching and more.  $5 fee per car, $3 for senior citizens ages 62 and older, and $10 per bus. Separate fees are charged for picnic shelter reservations and campsites.  Offers a C.A.S.T. learn to fish program (Catch a Sure Thing) for ages 6-12; pre-registration required.  Saturdays, 9:30am-11:30am.
(919) 362-0586.


Meadowmont Swiming Pool - YMCA
301 Old Barn Lane, Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Annual and seasonal memberships available through the Chapel Hill / Carrboro YMCA; or swim for the day. (Admission fee.) The Meadowmont swimming facilities offer activities for the whole family and include a regulation size lap pool; fun pool with a 98-foot water slide, raindrop and shoreline entry; band shell within the pool deck for entertaining; children's playground; park gazebo; sand volleyball court; basketball goal; a clubhouse with snack bar and kitchen for catered events, and more.  Year-round activities for various ages, including themed summer-camp programs.  Summer camps, birthday party options also available.  Open Summers and also weekends in September.

(919) 945-0640.


Silver Lake Waterpark - [2012 note: Is this business still open? Call first to check.]
5300 Tryon Road, Raleigh, NC 27606 
Shallow kiddie area; "The Beast" waterslide; bumper boats; shipwreck walk; sea monster;  test your skills on the water log; pedal boats; volleyball; shaded picnic areas; children's playground;  regulation horseshoes.  Silver Lake Waterpark is located off exit 295 (Gorman Street) from Highway I-40 in Raleigh.  Summer season: Open Daily 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM; Off-Season: Open Weekends (Weather Permitting). Call for updated hours/times.
(919) 851-1683.


Stoneridge/Sedgefield Swim and Racquet Club
Swim team, swim lessons, diving boards, summer camp, tennis, croquet, snack bar, clubhouse, basketball.  (Paid membership required).
6901 Turkey Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC.
(919) 967-0915.


Further afield:
Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe  (further afield in Greensboro, NC)
Large water park offers lots of water recreation, including the Thunder Bay Wave Pool, Dare Devil Drop, Runaway Raft Ride, Inner Tubes on the Lazee River, Sunken ship and plank walk at Shipwreck Cove, Raging Rapids, Pirate's Plunge, a Skycoaster, and Splash Island for kids under 54" tall (with a kiddie-sized wave pool, a volcano with two slides, double tube slides and interactive water play elements).  2005 season open through August 28th; closed August 29, 20 and 31; open September 3, 4, and 5.  Season/Hours.
3910 South Holden Road, Greensboro, NC 27406 
336) 852-9721 or (800) 555-5900

^ Back to Top


Zoos and Animal Sanctuaries

North Carolina Zoo
(further afield in Asheboro, NC)
4403 Zoo Parkway, Asheboro, NC  27205.  (Approx. 1 1/2 hour drive from Chapel Hill area.)

The North Carolina Zoo has so much to offer and is worth the drive!  Plan lots of time to visit, as the Zoo is quite large and has a North America & Australia section, and a separate Africa section, each of which could be a separate day trip.  The exhibits are large, so dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes.  Bring sunscreen and binoculars, and of course, don't forget your camera!  The animals are more active in cool temperatures, so it is a good idea to arrive near 9am if possible.  If you wish to visit a specific animal or exhibit, call ahead to make sure the animal is out or the exhibit is open.  (In some seasons/weather, some animals may be kept off exhibit, and exhibits may be closed temporarily for maintenance.)

In the North America section of the zoo, don't miss the neat-o Garden Friends Playground which is home to giant welded praying mantis and other giant welded insect creatures, leaves, and gourds for climbing over, under and through!  Soft rubber underfoot and lots of climbing, tunnels, and places to explore make this a really fun (and memorable )playground for kids.  Great photo ops!

The North Carolina Zoo is open every day of the year, except on Christmas Day. (Visit the NC Zoo website for the most up-do-date hours/days of operation). Winter hours begin October 1 and extend from 9am - 4pm.  Summer hours begin on April 1 and extend from 9am-5pm in the North America section of the Zoo, and from 9:30-4:30pm in the Africa section of the Zoo.  Admission fee (or free with Zoo Society membership).  Note:  Members of the NC Zoo get free admission at the NC aquariums (see listing below), and vice versa, so bring your membership card with you when you visit the member facilities for free admission.


Carnivore Preservation Trust (Pittsboro, NC)
1940 Hanks Chapel Road, Pittsboro.
(919) 542-4684.
Nonprofit animal sanctuary offers guided tours by reservation only on Saturdays and Sundays at 10 am and 1 pm.  $ Admission Fee, free ages 3 and under.  The tours are guided by a trained docent and include tigers, leopards, jaguars, ocelots, and other exotic carnivore species. These educational tours allow you to view the animals up close (as close as five feet), and last approximately an hour and a half to two hours.  Meet the Tiger cubs, Kaela and Raja whom the Trust rescued in May 2005!  (The cubs were 9 months old in May, 2005).
In the Summer of 2009, the Carnivore Preservation Trust found and has cared for an abandoned Serval cat (dubbed "Elvis") found on their doorstep. Read more about Carnivore Preservation Trust.


Duke Lemur Center (Home of the "real" Zoboomafoo)
3705 Erwin Rd., Durham, NC
(919) 489-3364
The Duke Lemur Center fka Duke Primate Ceneter is the home of more than 300 prosimians; visits by appointment only.  The Primate Center has a gift shop called Lemur Landing.  From the website:  The Duke University Primate Center houses the world's largest collection of endangered primates. The center specializes in "prosimians" -- lemurs and related species that evolved from the primate family tree long before monkeys and apes. Through conservation, education and research, the center is helping us to better understand and protect these remarkable animals."

Of interest to Zoboomafoo fans:  The Duke Primate Center also was the home of "Zoboomafoo," the adorable lemur in the Kratt Brother's televised PBS show.  The real "Zoboomafoo" was named "Jovian," a young male Coquerel's Sifaka who was born at the Duke Primate Center.  (Jovian's mother was born in Madagascar.)  The Zoboomafoo production crew came to the Primate Center in September, 1997 and filmed there for a little over 2 months. Part of the set for the Zoboomafoo show's "Animal Junction" was built inside Jovian's cage, and that is where they filmed the parts of the show where Chris and Martin are interacting with Zoboomafoo (Jovian).  (Martin Kratt received a BS in Zoology from Duke University.) 2016 update: Sadly Jovian passed away a few years ago, but he was the proud father of numerous little lemurs who still live at the Duke Lemur Center.


North Carolina Aquariums (further afield at the North Carolina beaches in Roanoke Island (near Manteo at the Outer Banks), Pine Knoll Shores (near Atlantic Beach on the Crystal Coast), and Fort Fisher (near Wilmington and Kure Beach).  See listings below for addresses and telephone information.  The North Carolina Aquariums are three state-supported public education facilities (operated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources) located along the North Carolina coast.  The aquariums feature lots of fun activities for kids and adults, including animal feeding time, meet live animals (pet a salamander, touch a living conch, pet a starfish; dialog with a diver (ask a diver about life under the sea as the diver swims around with the sharks and fish in the aquarium; explore the salt marsh, breakfast with the animals, coastal crafts, birthday parties, and even sleep with the fishes (groups can experience the Aquariums at night when they schedule a sleepover!)  The sea horse tank is one of our favorites, and the jelly fish are fascinating to watch, not to mention the resident octopus at the Fort Fisher Aquarium, and lots more!  The N.C. Aquariums also provide a unique backdrop for parties and special events.

- N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher (Amazing see life right before your eyes!  Watch the sea horses and pet the starfish.  Interact with scuba divers who answer questions from the audience while swimming around with sharks, fish, skates, and other sea life!)  Located on US 421 @ 15 miles south of Wilmington, just beyond Kure Beach.  From Southport take the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry.  900 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach, NC  28449.  (866) 301-3476.

- The N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores (Closed for renovation & expansion! Look for reopening in mid-2006, including wonderful features like a sunken pirate's ship with sea life swimming all around it and much more.)  (Located five miles west of Atlantic Beach off Highway 58 in the Theodore Roosevelt Natural Area.)  P.O. Box 580, 1 Roosevelt Drive, Atlantic Beach, NC  28512-0580.  
(866) 294-3477.

- The N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island (Located at 374 Airport Road, off Highway 64 BUsiness on the north end of Roanoke Island near Manteo.)  P.O. Box 967, 374 Airport Road, Manteo, NC  27954-0967.  (866)332-3475.

For all three of the NC Aquarium facilities, the daily hours year-round are 9am to 5pm; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. [Check for UPDATED hours/days of operation.]

Admission:  Adults, $7, Seniors & Activie Military, $6, Children ages 6-17, $5.  Note:  Members of the NC Zoo get free admission at the NC aquariums, and vice versa, (with some restrictions - check their website for more info) so bring your membership card with you when you visit the member facilities for free admission.


Western North Carolina Nature Center (Asheville, NC) (much further afield)
75 Gashes Creek Rd., Asheville, NC  28805.  (Buncombe County).
(828) 298-5600
See rare and endangered animals in many different settings at the WNC Nature Center.  The educational farm is a home to rare and endangered farm livestock, children can pet lambs and Angora goats in the petting area and watch the goats and cows being milked.  Predator habitat includes bobcats, mountain lions, red wolves and gray wolves.  Nocturnal hall features wildlife displays with owls, bats and flying squirrels.  The WNC Nature Center also has an otter habitat and the main exhibit building houses box turtles, timber rattlesnakes among many other reptiles and amphibians.  

28th Annual Fall Family Festival featuring games, contests, music, crafters, food and other festivities will be held at the WNC Nature Center in October, 2005.

Open year round (except major holidays), 7 days a week, 10am - 5pm.  (Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, Martin Luther King day).  Admission:  adults, $5, seniors (65 and over) $4, youth (3-14), $3.  Ages 2 and under, free.

^ Back to Top


Sponsor Messages:

Carolina Renaissance Festival 2021
Saturdays & Sundays
Oct. 2 - Nov. 21, 2021


Morehead Planetarium
Morehead Planetarium
Afterschool, Birthday Parties,
Summer Science Camps,
Planetarium Shows and Events

The Animal Hospital
112 W Main St, Carrboro

1870 Farm
1870 Farm Chapel Hill logo
* Summer Camps
* Farm Preschool & Kindergarten
* Birthday Parties * Gemstone Mining
* Meet the Farm Animals
1870 Farm

Spence's Farm
Spence's Farm
After School, Summer Camps,
Birthday Parties, lots more!

Immersion Island Summer Camp
Foreign Language Resources
and Summer Camps
Immersion Island

Chill Kids Family Magazine
ChillKids Monthly Print Magazine

LOST Chapel Hill Dog BUTTONS Bernese Mountain Dog

Lost in Chapel Hill;
sighted numerous times
in Durham; Near Hwy 70
Please Call or Text Owner
If you see her please try to snap a photo!
BUTTONS Lost Dog - Please Look Out for Her & Call!
LOST DOG: Buttons of Chapel Hill
* 70 lb Bernese Mountain Dog "Buttons"
Black with white & brown markings
* Wearing Pink/Black collar with tags
*Friendly but nervous - please don't chase
*Info available on
*Seen in Chapel Hill AND Durham


DoorDash Chapel Hill Durham Restaurant Delivery
Chapel Hill / Durham / NC Triangle
Restaurants DELIVERY to Your Door
(No Delivery Fee on First Order)


Privacy Policy

Disclaimer:  We hope that you will find the information gathered in this website helpful as a starting point in your own research to determine whether any business or organization listed is appropriate and safe for your family.  Although we make every effort to gather accurate information, we do not accept responsibility in any way for the accuracy of, or consequences from use of the information, or for the businesses or organizations listed herein.  Users of this website should confirm any information provided in this website, and address any pertinent inquiries to the businesses or organizations of interest, and/or consult with your doctor or other professional as necessary.

The views expressed by the writers and advertisers listed in this website do not necessarily represent those of CHillKids, its officers, staff or contributors.

This website is partially supported by third party sponsors/affiliates. Please note that any product or service listed on this site is not specifically endorsed, recommended, validated or otherwise supported by ChillKids.

No portion of this publication may be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written consent of the publisher.

Copyright 2005-2018 CHillKids, Chapel Hill Kids and Carolina Kids.  All rights reserved.