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.


White Deer Park - Garner

     White Deer Park is one of our go-to places when we're in the Garner area. There are two playgrounds, a huge slide, clean and accessible restrooms, and a nature trail. 

    The playground pictured at left is our favorite because, instead of metal or plastic, it's constructed of rough timber to blend in with the natural surroundings. The wood is all sanded smooth so your kids won't get a splinter, but the playground has a nice log cabin in the Adirondacks feel.

    Along with swings, seesaws, and bridges the 'au naturel' playground also has a very large slide that travels down an embankment. The slide is probably over 20 ft. long and looks like a water-slide without the water. 

    All of the park buildings have accompanying metal cisterns to hold collected rainwater. The picnic shelter near the playground has a hand pump that enables visitors to pump water out of the cistern and into a small, man-made creek bed.

      There is not much to see at the Nature Center besides a taxidermy albino deer - the Park was named for a white deer that was sighted in the area. The Nature Center also houses a large classroom space for park programs. If you need to use the restrooms while playing at the Natural Playground, the closest ones are at the Nature Center.


    The nature trail is paved and is dedicated to the memory of those who died in the nearby ConAgra Plant explosion in 2009. 

   The trail takes you through the woods to the other, more traditional playground, constructed of plastic and metal. This playground is geared towards school-age children and has a lot of new equipment for spinning, hanging and climbing. There are bathrooms located near this playground as well.

   If you're in the Garner area, or just want to see a unique playground, you should check out White Deer. We've been several times and my kids haven't gotten tired of the place. It's also nice because White Deer's natural surroundings allow you to imagine yourself in the woods relaxing while watching your kids play.

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