I know how hard it is to get young kids out of the house to go somewhere - even quick outings require you to pack enough snacks, diapers, and toys to make you think you’ll be gone for a week. And who wants to wrestle kids in and out of carseats just to find out that your destination isn’t kid-friendly? That’s why I’ve decided to visit Triangle area sites to see if they’re worth your trip. I won’t use a rating system but I’ll try to describe what you’ll see well enough for you to decide if your kids would find it interesting. I’ll also give you the heads up on bathrooms, stroller accessibility and any other SNAFUs I encounter.


Greystone Recreation Center - Raleigh

An indoor recreation center off Lead Mine Road that is run by the City of Raleigh Parks. It's in a shopping center.

As you can see from the above photo, there is no sign above the door but it's on the right side of the strip mall as you face it from Lead Mine Rd.

If you've seen the website then you've seen the only playground equipment inside - there is not a lot, but it is free. There are a couple of classrooms that are used for scheduled yoga and Zumba classes.

The equipment seemed better suited for older kids, my four year-old had a hard time climbing up on some of it and wasn't able to use the climbing wall at all. (Yes, Captain Dad is graduating. I only have one left at home now and he will be starting Pre-K next week.)

The bathrooms are clean and they provide a stool to help little ones reach the sink.



"STARRING NORTH CAROLINA" exhibit NC Museum of History - Raleigh

Ever seen a real Emmy?


I was worried this was going to be a small, 'one and done' type of exhibit with a handful of props on a table and list of movies filmed in NC (especially since the exhibit requires paid admission). But I was pleasantly surprised - there's a significant number of artifacts and my kids had a good time.

I had all three kids this day because of a teacher workday.

The exhibit starts at the dawn of film production with the loose connections between NC and the silent era. Kids can crank their own Zoetrope here to see the basic principle behind moving pictures.

A small mini-movie theater with seats continuously plays clips from NC grown movies.

Please sir can I have some more?
Katniss goes looking for bread
Moving on, visitors get to see props from well-known movies. Small red signs warn parents that some approaching props (mostly from crime or horror movies) are grotesque.

A small deviating path of the exhibit focuses on how we've come to watch movies over the years with a focus on drive-ins, local theaters, and the ugly past of theater segregation.

The latter part of the exhibit's material is simply movie posters but it's surprising how many movies - even ones you never would have guessed - were shot in NC. And chances for kids to interact are mostly of the 'lift-the-flap and find the answer variety,' which doesn't do much for the pre-reading crowd.
Nobody puts Baby in the corner:
sweater of the anti-Swayze

The best feature for the kids comes at the end when your kids are able to be real foley artists - creating sound effects for a fake cop-action or horror film.

And if you're like me and you came mostly to see Iron Man 3 props then you should know that they save the best for last!

Admission: $10 for adults, $6 for kids 7 and up
Dates: runs through Sept. 7 2015

"And thank you for my smoking hot wife:"
Ricky Bobby's race car graces the Museum's lobby

Lying among the wreckage of Stark manor:
these foam pieces are strikingly metallic


Duke Baseball at Jack Coombs Field - Durham

Duke athletics website  (Use the directions on the website to get there, it can be tricky to find.)

Yes Triangle, there is another baseball team in Durham….one you can even see for free.

               Concessions are provided by a trailer parked by the entrance.

              Bathrooms are located on the rear wall of the stadium. You'll find a door on your left just before you encounter the dumpster. Once inside you'll find a small hall with bathrooms. They're pretty clean especially for a ballpark.

             Free parking is across the driveway from the stadium but it's a small lot. More parking exists by the sports medicine building on the other side of the current construction project.

            There's a grassy hill above one of the dugouts for sitting on or letting the kids play. My kids played out there with some other young spectators. At one point I was worried my very loud son was distracting the batter.

            The net behind home plate protects the stands from foul balls, but off to the sides and the hill is open territory so kids playing on the hill need to keep an eye to the sky for fouls.

            This was a great family outing for an early summer evening - low stress and homey. An intimate sports experience.