Those of us who live in the Raleigh area know there’s lots of great stuff to do with kids. The secret’s getting out and more families vacation here every year. Whether you live here or are visiting for the first time, here’s our list of the 10 best family fun Raleigh activities!
1. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
The museum, the largest science museum in the southeast offers dinosaurs, whale skeletons, live animals, walk-through dioramas and a dedicated space for curious preschoolers. What many don’t know is that the museum is also a research facility with large viewing areas that allow museum guests the chance to watch scientific research as it happens. (Psst…. It’s also the most visited attraction in NC!) Admission is free (special exhibitions extra).
2. State Capitol Building
They say history is better taught by visiting than by reading. The North Carolina State Capitol Building, with plaques, preserved rooms and a number of statues gives families just that chance. Docents on site share stories of the past to make it even more enjoyable. Be sure to see the statues on the grounds as well. Admission is free.
3. North Carolina Museum of History
The highlight of this museum is the Story of North Carolina exhibition with artifacts and interactive multimedia displays. Other exhibits focus on the state’s extensive military history and the arts. A particular favorite is the sports heroes exhibition, highlighting the achievements of North Carolina athletes. Admission is free (special exhibitions extra).
4. North Carolina Museum of Art
The NCMA‘s permanent collection spans more than 5,000 years of art from around the world, making it one of the largest in the south. We love it because it has the nation’s largest museum park—164 acres of trails and parkland with larger-than-life sculpture. Bring a picnic and enjoy an afternoon at the park! Admission is free (special exhibitions extra).
5. Marbles Kids’ Museum
Marbles is a hands-on, interactive discovery center that inspires children, birth to age 12, to be creative and active. With five galleries and two outdoor areas, there’s plenty for kids and families to explore. The museum is also home to the only 3D capable IMAX theatre in North Carolina. Admission is $5 (IMAX extra).
6. Pullen Park
Pullen Park was donated to the city of Raleigh in the late 1800s. It has seen many changes through the years, including a massive renovation in 2011. With playgrounds, walking trails, tennis courts, an aquatic center, train and boat rides for kids, pedal boats and a historic carousel, it’s easy to see why this park is one of the top 100 parks in the nation. Admission is free (rides additional).
7. Frankie’s Fun Park
With Go-Karts, miniature golf, laser tag, batting cages and a gigantic indoor climbing area (and a whole lot more), Frankie’s Fun Park is a great place to spend a day. There’s even an onsite restaurant with sporting events playing live all day long. Attractions are pay-as-you-play and prices vary.
8. Kings Bowl North Hills
This entertainment complex (it’s more than bowling, y’all) has bowling, ping pong, pool, shuffleboard, foosball and air hockey. The restaurant offers food made onsite, not the typical bowling alley food. Activities are pay-as-you-play and prices vary. Check their website and online coupon savings sites for package discounts!
The DefyGravity trampoline sports park combines entertainment and exercise for a fun experience for the whole family. Special features include angled wall trampolines, the foam pit, and trampoline dodgeball. There’s even a “ninja course.” Ticket prices begin at $10/ages 7+ and $8/6 and under. TIP: Right now, Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to close, enjoy half-price 1-hour sessions.
Raleigh is a leader in creativity and innovation, and Artspace is a great place to see some of the best. Step into the studio and watch artists create their works (painting, sculpture, glasswork, jewelry and more). Attend a special event to enrich your experience. Admission is free.
Whatever your interest — art, history, science, sports — these family fun Raleigh activities will lead to great memories!