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North Carolina Ski Resorts

Editors' note: Within just a few hours' drive, the North Carolina Triangle offers both beaches and fun in the mountains including skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing, as well as zip lines. Just another reason why North Carolina is a great place to live! We have highlighted below the North Carolina Ski Resorts, all of which offer family-friendly activities; ski and snowboarding lessons also are available.  (In addition to the NC snow ski resorts, Snowshoe in West Virginia and Wintergreen in Virginia are located within a 4-5 hours drive from the North Carolina Triangle.)


Appalachian Ski Mountain, NC
(Blowing Rock, North Carolina)


Located in Northwestern North Carolina (in Blowing Rock, NC, also near Boone, NC) Appalachian Ski Mountain, NC offers skiing fun for the whole family.  Appalachian features North Carolina's Only Official Burton Learn To Ride Center (offering snowboarding lessons by Burton and the French Swiss Ski College.)  Check out the interesting History of Appalachian Ski Mountain here.  Appalachian Ski Mountain offers children's programs for learning to ski as well as snowboarding programs for kids: learn more about Children's Ski and Snowboarding Programs.  Check out the Appalachian Ski Mountain's "First-Timer's Guide" for the scoop on skiing and mountain activities at Applachian Ski Mountain.  Appalachian Ski Mountain is located at 940 Ski Mountain Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605, tel. 828-295-7828 or 800-322-2373.

Beech Mountain, NC

With an elevation of 5, 506 feet, Beech Mountain in Avery County, North Carolina is "Eastern America's highest town," With its new snowboarding terrain park, tubing run and high-speed quad lift Beech Mountain offers lots of winter snow fun! For more info visit  The Beech Mountain Resort is located at 1007 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, NC 28604, tel. 1-800-438-2093 or 1-828-387-2011.  For lodging visit (Top of the Beech Inn); for more lodging options visit

Cataloochee Ski Area,  NC
(Great Smoky Mountains, Haywood County, North Carolina)

"For almost 50 years, skiers and riders have enjoyed not only 16 exciting slopes and trails but a friendly and helpful atmosphere that makes the Cataloochee experience truly unique. This combination of exciting and challenging terrain, breathtaking vistas and soaring freedom are rarely found on the East Coast. . . . Located mile high in the mountains of Western North Carolina, [Cataloochee] is the home of ?Great Skiing in the Great Smokies!?  1080 Ski Lodge Road, Maggie Valley, North Carolina 28751. Tel. 828-926-0285; toll free: 800-768-0285.  In January 2011, check out the "Kids Ski Free, Kids Stay Free" promotion at

Sapphire Valley, NC

Sapphire Valley offers "Affordable Skiing and Snowboarding for the Entire Family" at its 5,700 acre four-season resort nestled in a pristine mountain valley high in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains (average elevation of 3,400 feet). Sapphire Valley skiing consists of two downhill runs, one featuring a run 1600 feet in length and a vertical drop of 200 feet, and a good sized bunny hill. New in 2010-2011 is the Sapphire Valley "Frozen Falls Tube Park", a two-lane tube park featuring 500 feet of frozen slops and a 60-foot vertical drop.)  Sapphire Valley Ski Area 67 Cherokee Trail, Sapphire, NC 28774 tel. 828-743-7663.

Sugar Mountain, NC
(minutes from Blowing Rock, Boone and Banner Elk, North Carolina)

North Carolina's largest ski and snow boarding resort boasting a 5,300 foot elevation, Sugar Mountain offers lots of winter fun on 115 acres of ski and snowboard terrain, with a 1,200 foot drop  as well as guided snowshoe tours, tubing, and ice skating.  For lodging options visit  Located at 1009 Sugar Mountain Drive within the Village of Sugar Mountain in. Avery County, North Carolina.  The Village of Sugar Mountain is only minutes from Blowing Rock, Boone and Banner Elk, NC.

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, NC
(Western North Carolina, 30 minutes from Asheville, NC)

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort features skiing, snow boarding, and tube runs (and offers ski and snow boarding lessons). For lodging visit Scenic Wolf Resort at  Wolf Ridge Ski Resort is located at 578 Valley View Circle, Mars Hill, NC 28754, tel. 828-689-4111 or 800-817-4111



MORE BLUEBERRY & BLACKBERRY PICKING Farms in the North Carolina Triangle
As always for berry picking, CALL FIRST to check on berry availability and conditions.  Some self-pick farms establish specific days and hours; others offer hours by appointment only.

Ayrshire Farm (contact: Bill Dow)
Pittsboro, NC
Pick your own Blueberries
Hours: By appointment only
No pesticides used

Busy Bee Farm (contact: John Strickland)
1092 Dewitt Smith Rd., Pittsboro, NC
Pick your own blackberries and blueberries
Hours: Closed Wednesday and Thursday but open every other day at 8:00 am. Please call for picking conditions prior to coming.

Powell Farm (contact: Rori Powell)
175 Bonsal Crossing, New Hill, NC 27562
Hours: Monday-Saturday
anytime (call first for availability)
*Summer 2009 Season update: Powell Farm blueberry harvest ended July 20, 2009


Seasonal Strawberry Picking
Strawberry picking is fun for children and the whole family!
Usually in Season in the Chapel Hill area around late April through May.


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

Lee Farms (contact: Jimmy Lee)
1878 NC Hwy 42, Moncure, NC 27559
919) 776-2500

Logan Farms (contact: Bill and Daniel Logan)
110 Logan Farm Lane, Sanford, NC 27330
(919) 776-1898
2009 Hours: Monday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m. til 7:00 p.m. (call first)

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

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.
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).

Chapel Hill Area Blueberry Picking
Delicious Blueberries - late Summer


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.

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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.


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

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Gemstone Panning
The Rocks Gemstone Mining
1-800-910-6112 - 919-542-6112
535-A Old Sanford Road, located off US 15-501
2 Miles South of Pittsboro, North Carolina

Reservations not re
quired during regular hours, except for groups of 10 or more.  Click here for pricing information.  Hours:  Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm.
Closed on Sunday.   The Rocks Gemstone Mining also offers school, function, birthday party, and other events at your premises.  Water is not necessary, so they can set up quickly and easily anywhere.  Kids can experience the thrill of finding their own gemstones, learn how to identify gemstones, and where they are found within the State.

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Health Clubs

Capital Fitness Spa Health Club
Village Plaza Shopping Center, 253 S. Elliott Rd.
(919) 942-1182.


Functional Fitness
Eastowne Park at 15-501 and I-40.  (605 Eastowne Drive).  
(919) 419-0171.




Studio Citrus
930 Airport Rd., Suite 300, Chapel Hill.
Fully equipped pilates studio offering private and small-group instruction.
(919) 933-8599.

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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 events for 2005
April 30
Spring Militia Muster. Encampment of Revolutionary War soldiers and camp followers. Small arms and artillery demonstrations, craft demonstrations.   
August 6-7
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.
December 10 Christmas Open House. Kick off the season at a special open house featuring costumed tours, refreshments, and militia demonstrations.
December 10-23 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 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:  Tues.-Sat. 10-5:30pm, Sun. 2-5:30pm, closed Mondays. 


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.


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Ice Cream Shops and Parlors

Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors Ice Cream

3799 Guess Rd., Durham, NC, 27705.  (919) 477-8558.

3177 Shannon Rd., Durham, NC 27707.  (919) 493-6713.


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.

Additional area locations:
Ben & Jerry's Durham
609 Broad Street, Durham, NC 27705. (919) 416-6128.

Ben & Jerry's Royal Bakery
3801 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27607.  (919) 807-0707


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.

Additional area locations:
6917 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 103, Durham, NC 27713.
(919) 484-0893.

7840 Alexander Promenade Place Suite 140, Raleigh, NC 27617.
(919) 957-2653.

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


Inside Scoop -- Closed its doors in September 2004 but will be remembered fondly!


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.


Kilwin's Chocolates and Ice Cream
National franchise sweet shop offers such ice cream, chocolate, fudge, dipped fruit (orange, pineapple and mango slices), caramel apples and more, including chocolate-covered Twinkies! Open Sun.-Wed., 10am-10pm; Thu.-Sat., 10am-11pm.

133 West Franklin St (University Square), Chapel Hill. (919) 942-7533.


Maple View Farm & Dairy
Voted Best Ice Cream
(Chapel Hill News Rose Award 2004 and 2005).  Also named one of the Top 12 Ice Cream Parlors 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.)  Currently open 12-8pm Sunday - Saturday.  (Longer evening hours in the summer).  (See listings below for the newer Hillsborough location and the new Carrboro location (scheduled to open in April, 2005.)

3109 Dairy Land 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.


Maple View Farm Carrboro Ice Cream Store:
The same great Maple View ice cream and beef products, convenient location in downtown Carrboro on Weaver Street, across the road from Weaver Street Market.  (Located in the former Tarheel TV shop).
Grand opening in April, 2005! 

100 East Weaver Street Carrboro, NC 27510.
(919) 967-6842.


Maple View Two (Hillsborough):
Same great ice cream, dairy products, beef and honey; convenient location in Hillsborough.
Open Mon.-Sat., 11am-10pm; Sun., noon-10pm.

Located across from the Super Walmart (Hampton Pointe Shopping Center) Hillsborough.
(919) 644-2222.


Snowflake Ice Cream Parlor (further afield in Chatham County)
Old-fashioned Hand-dipped ice cream and ice cream cakes.

Chatham Crossing, 11312 US Hwy 15-501 N. Suite. 103, Chapel Hill, NC  27517.
(919) 968-8853
  Telephone disconnected as of May 2009 -- no longer in business?


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.

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

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Museums and Art Galleries
North Carolina Children's Science & Discovery Museums

Click here to see a list of Family/Child-Oriented North Carolina Science-Technology Discovery Centers

(Monthly) 2nd Friday Art Walk in Chapel Hill and Carrboro
Every second Friday from 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm visit Chapel Hill and Carrboro art galleries and art display locations.  Enjoy live music and other art-related entertainment as you view a large variety of artwork; admission is free.
See for more details.


Ackland Art Museum
South Columbia and Fra
nklin Streets, UNC-Chapel Hill Campus.
(919) 966-5737
The Ackland Art Museum's permanent collection of over 15,000 objects includes the art of Asia, Africa, Europe and America, with works ranging from ancient times to the 21st century, including the works by masters such as Degas, Rubens and Pissaro.  In addition to its permanent collection and featured exhibitions, the Ackland Art Museum offers specialized programs for school-aged children grades K-12.  Hours: Wed. - Sat. 10 am - 5 pm, Sun. 1-5 pm.

Special Exhibit at the Ackland Art Museum through July 18:  "Converse: Big Words Mysterious Characters."


Carrboro ArtsCenter Gallery
300-G East Main St., Carrboro.
(919) 929-2787.
Located in the center of the ArtsCenter building, the Gallery features the work of local and regional artists.  Monthly exhibits; free admission; purchase prices may be obtained by inquiring at the box office.


Chapel Hill Museum
523 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
(919) 967-1400.
Features interactive and educational exhibits focusing on Chapel Hill's history.
Wed-Sat. 10 am - 4 pm.  Sun. 1-4 pm. 


Chatham County Courthouse (ca. 1881 ) and Historical Museum
12 E St., Pittsboro, NC 27312.
(919) 542-3240.  Hours:  Wednesdays, 12-3pm, closed holidays.  A 1907 monument to the Confederate soldier stands guard outside the courthouse; the museum is located inside the courthouse.  Current exhibit includes artifacts from the now-closed Pittsboro silk mill, including a sample book of labels from famous manufacturers that were made at Chatham Mills.  Permanent collection includes handmade bricks from the former store and post office at St. Lawrence, an iron mortar and pestle used by Dr. Hanner, a letter written by Governor Charles Manly, a set of letters written by members of the Hadley family during the Civil War and another set sent from Indiana in the 1840s, a bowler hat owned by Judge Walter Siler, tapes from concerts given for the Pittsboro Arts Council, bound volumes of several early years of the Chatham Record, and an original copy of the Ramsey 1870 map of Chatham County.  Also housed in the museum are books from the John London collection and photographs used in The Architectural Heritage of Chatham County, North Carolina.  26-volume set of State and Colonial Records is also available for researc; the index volumes are in the Pittsboro Memorial Library, two blocks away, where most of the research tools for genealogical investigation are kept. Cemetery and gravesite data are available on the museum computer, and correspondence related to Chatham families can be accessed through a cross-indexed file of inquiries. All publications of the Chatham County Historical Association are available for sale.


Marbles Museum (fka Exploris), 201 E. Hargett St., Raleigh, NC.
(919) 834-4040.

Features hands-on exhibits, global-themed activities and events, and an IMAX theater.  IMAX big screen movies (some examples of past offerings are "The Polar Express," "Space Station 3D," "Amazing Caves," and "Lewis and Clark"), exhibits, activities, summer camps and more.  As described on its website, "Marbles Kids Museum is a hands-on, interactive museum that inspires children to be creative thinkers, active learners and confident individuals in today's world."  See the Exploris calendar of events for information about upcoming events.


Greensboro Children's Museum (further afield)
220 North Church St., Greensboro,
NC 27401
(336) 574-2898.
Open Mondays for Members Only from 9:00 AM - Noon; Tues ? Sat 9am - 5pm; Family Friday Nights 5:00 PM ? 8:00 PM; Sun 1pm ? 5pm.  Before you go, check out the website for parent/teacher guides outlining learning activities for pre-kindergarten through fourth graders and which are designed to be coupled with a visit to the Greensboro Children's Museum.  Admission charged.


Museum of Life and Science
433 Murray Avenue, Durham, North Carolina 27704. 
(919) 220-5429.
Map and directions.

New!  Don't miss the cool soundSpace exhibit!  Experience an interactive music installation where movement is transformed into sound.  Also:  Coming in Summer 2009, the much-anticipated, long-awaited Dinosaur Trail!

The Museum of Life and Science in Durham is a wonderful place for children and families.  The Museum features both outdoor and indoor fun, including a large playground area (Loblolly Park), train ride (Elerby Creek Railway), farmyard animals, Carolina wildlife nature park, aerospace, geology, discovery rooms, small science, and the Magic Wings Butterfly House, a glass-enclosed tropical garden with butterflies from Asia, Africa, and Central and South America.

The Museum also features special exhibits throughout the year. 

Admission charge; free for ages under 3.  Train rides are an additional fee per person.


North Carolina Railroad Museum & New Hope Valley Railway
Old U.S. 1, Bonsal, N.C.
(919) 362-5416
50-minute train ride through Chatham and Wake counties.  Train Ride Days are the first Sunday of each month from May through November. In December, the Railway offers Christmas Train Weekends.  2005 Schedule:  May 1, June 5, July 4, August 7, September 4, October 2, November 6.  Departures at 11am, 12:15pm, 1:30pm, 2:45pm, and 4pm.  Children ages 1-12, $6; others, $8.

Directions: Take US 15-501 South, turn left onto Mt. Carmel Church Road, travel south to Wilsonville, cross US 64 and continue south on Beaver Creek Road. Bonsal is 23 miles from Chapel Hill. Beaver Creek Road leads right to the museum. Park in the Bonsal road lot across old US 1 on train ride days.


North Carolina Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh
(919) 839-6262
The permanent collection includes numerous diverse art collections spanning spans more than 5,000 years, from ancient Egypt to the present (open Wednesday-Sunday, free admissions); also check out the fun kids' learning center area.  Through July 8 is "Temples and Tombs" (tickets required).  In the summer the Museum Park offers great outdoor entertainment, including the ?Movies on the Lawn? series.  The Museum also hosts weekly summer camps for kids ages 6-10 years.  One Saturday a month, fall through spring, the Museum's Children's Performance Series offers puppetry, music, storytelling, dance or drama, and short films, including some based on award-winning children's literature.  For more info call (919) 839-6262.


North Carolina Museum of History
5 East Edenton St., Raleigh, NC.  
(919) 807-7900
Tues. - Sat. 9 am to 5 pm; Sun. Noon to 5 pm.  Exhibits focus on state history including NC Folk Life, Pioneers of Aviation, North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, Tar Heel Junior Historian Association exhibit (award-winning history projects by North Carolina students) among many others.


North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
11 W. Jones St., (at the corner of Jones and Salisbury Streets), Raleigh, NC  27601-1029.
(919) 733-7450 or toll-free (877) 4NATSCI
Museum Hours:  Mon. - Sat. 9am - 5pm; Sun. - noon - 5pm.  First Friday of each month: 9am - 9pm.

Exhibits include dinosaur fossils, whale skeletons, and re-creations of North Carolina habitats.  Highlights include Willo, "the world's only dinosaur with a fossilized heart"; the "Terror of the South,"the only Acrocanthosaurus skeleton displayed anywhere in the world; "Mountains to the Sea," an exhibit re-creating five North Carolina habitats, complete with live animals and a 20-foot high waterfall; great whale skeletons; and numerous special exhibits throughout the year.

Visit for more details about the following fun events throughout the year.  September: Bugfest; October: Chemistry Day, Natural History Halloween; November: Archaeology Days; December: Governor's Tree Lighting, First Night; January: Astronomy Days; February: Groundhog Day; March: Reptile and Amphibian Day; April: Earth Day; May: Meet the Animals Week.

On exhibit October 2007:  Dinosarus:  Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries.

First Fridays after 5pm.  On the first Friday of each month the Museum hosts a "First Friday" event, including a free "Natural Horror Picture Show," along with exhibits, shopping, and food from 5 - 9 pm.  (Movie starts at 7 pm).  Visit the Museum's calendar of special events for children for more family fun.


N.C Collection Gallery 
(University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Wilson Library, 2nd Floor)
(919) 962-1172.

Mon-Fri. 9 am-5 pm, Sat. 9am-1 pm, Sun 1-5 pm.  Tours, Wednesdays at 2 pm.  Features state and university history displayed through books, maps, photographs, furniture, prints, and more.  On display June 22-Sept. 30: Sour Stomachs and Galloping Headaches:  Treating the Sick in North Carolina, 1600s-1900s.  Through mid-June "Coming Home:  Thomas Wolfe Collection at UNC"  includes maps, rare books and permanent exhibits including Elizabethan and early American furniture, original Audobon bird prints, and UNC history.


Orange County Historical Museum
201 N. Churton St., Hillsborough.
(919) 732-2201
Tues.-Sat. 11 am-4 pm and Sun. 1-4 pm.  The Museum collections span the pre-Colonial, Revolutionary War, and Civil War through the early 1900s.  Exhibits include "A Time of Hard Living:  The Rip Van Winkle Period 1790-1850" and "The Road to Orange," covering the period from 1740-1760.
  The museum also is the home of a second-floor gallery featuring different artists' work every month.


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 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:  Tues.-Sat. 10-5:00pm, Sun. 2-5:00pm, closed Mondays.


Playspace Children's Museum
410 Glenwood Ave., Suite 150, (behind the Creamery), Raleigh, NC 27603
(919) 832-1212
Fun and educational museum for children ages 6 months-7 years.  Interactive, hands-on exhibits include a play bank, pretend cafe, pretend grocery store, art room, castle, computer lab, fire truck and car, pretend hospital, pretend train depot, stage and dress-up play (with a close-circuit camera and TV), waterfront for water play and splashing, an infant area for babies to crawl and play, and much more.  Adults must accompany children.  The Museum also offers Movement classes, Tumbling classes, Ballet and Jazz classes.  Call for details.  
Make-n-Take crafts daily, 2 pm.
Hours: Tues.-Sat. 9 am - 5 pm; Sun, 1-5 pm.


Sanford Railroad House Museum (further 1/2 hour from Pittsboro)
Located approximately 30 minutes from Pittsboro, south on 15-501.
(919) 776-7479
Museum includes displays and artifacts and pictures detailing life in the area from the 1874 to the present. Visitors can see the Old Steam Locomotive #12 located behind the building.  Hours: various hours Monday through Friday.  Call (919) 776-7479 for more information.

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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.  Appearing in March 2005:  Buddy Guy on Thursday, March 8 at 7:30pm and Jonny Lang Acoustic Band on Thursday March 31 at 8pm. 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 "celebrating the American Spirit" on Sat. Jan. 15, 2005 at 11 am, and "Kids, Cameras & Classics" on Sat., April 2, 2005 at 11 am.  Click on this link for more information.
(919) 733-2750.


Pittsboro General Store Cafe - Live Irish Music first Saturday of each month.
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 - Live open air music 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!

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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).

Arts in the Garden: Family Fare program offers performances for families with children.  Click here for the schedule.  The Garden offers a Nature Adventures Camp, Nature for Sprouts (nature workshops for pre-school 3, 4, and 5 year old children), and storytime every second Saturday April-November, 10-11 am in the Children's Classroom, Doris Duke Center.  (Children must be accompanied by adults; $2 per child.  No registration required for storytime, unless bringing a large group. Call 668-1708).

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.


Holly Hill Daylily Festival & Lily Sale -- Open for 8 Weekends Only (in June and July, 2009)
Located in Moncure, NC 27559.  Directions from Chapel Hill:  15-501 thru Pittsboro, left on Moncure-Pittsboro Rd (Jordan Lake sign) to Old US1 (dead end), left on Old US1 and take first right after the firehouse (Haywood Road) and follow the daylily signs.  More directions.

Daylilies, artwork and sculptures in the lily gardens set the scene for a fun outing at the Holly Hill Daylily and Crinum Farm.  Find Snow White and the 7 Dwarves hidden among the lilies.  Choose from among many different types of beautiful daylilies and bring some home with you!  More than three acres of daylilies and display gardens.

Day Lily Festival and Sale Dates for 2009
Saturday and Sunday, June 6 & 7 (Early Blooomers)
Saturday and Sunday, June 13 & 14
Saturday and Sunday, June 20 & 21 (Midseason)
Saturday and Sunday, June 27 & 28
Saturday and Sunday, July 4 & 5
Saturday and Sunday, July 11 & 12
Saturday and Sunday, July 18 & 19
Saturday and Sunday, July 25 & 26 (later bloomers)

Open 7:30-5:30 Rain or Shine on the above days only!  (No Dogs Allowed)  

Cash or checks only (they do not accept debit or credit cards.)

(919) 542-4919.


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 Tue. & Thu., 10am; Sat., 10am or 2pm. 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.
Gardening Hot Line:  Curators at the N.C. Botanical Gardens are available to answer gardening questions from noon - 1 pm Monday-Friday.  The Garden's horticulture and natural history reference library are open to the public.
Regular Garden visiting hours: Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 6 pm through October 30.  Beginning October 31, weekend hours end at 5 pm.

The 2009 Annual ?Sculpture in the Garden? exhibition runs from September 21 - December 31, 2009 at the North Carolina Botanical Garden . The invitational show will feature outdoor sculptures by at least 20 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."


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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 ).
Monday - Friday, 10am - Noon through April 21; 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.
Tuesdays, 10am - 11:30am through May 16 (no playtime on March 7); $2 per child
Tumbling mat, toys, and music provided; also some directed activities.

Click here for the CHillKids Parks and Playgrounds Guide.

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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).

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Spectator Sports

Please click link for the CHillKids Local Sports Events page.


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The Burning Coal Theatre Company
Check here for scheduled performances.  Adult performances scheduled for 2005 include Lipstick Traces and Accidental Death of an Anarchist.
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.  Shows on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10am and 11am.  Admission $3 for everyone over 12 months old.  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.

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Water Fun - Lakes and Pools 
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 Swim Club
301 Old Barn Lane, Chapel Hill, NC 27517
Annual and seasonal memberships available; or swim for the day.  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.  Check the website for pool hours; still open weekends in September.

(919) 945-0640.


Silver Lake Waterpark
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). 
(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

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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.  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:  $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $6 for children.  Zoo Society members are admitted free.  Note:  As of August 2005, 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)
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 5 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).


Duke Primate Center (Home of the "real" Zoboomafoo)
3705 Erwin Rd., Durham, NC
(919) 489-3364
The Duke Primate Center 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 is the home of "Zoboomafoo," the adorable lemur in the Kratt Brother's televised PBS show.  The real "Zoboomafoo" is 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 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.)  


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.

Admission:  Adults, $7, Seniors & Activie Military, $6, Children ages 6-17, $5.  Note:  As of August 2005, members of the NC Zoo get free admission at the NC aquariums, and vice versa, 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.

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