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.
Sarah P. Duke Gardens - Durham
Duke gardens has been raved about in Carolina Parent magazine so I've been waiting for a really nice day to see what all the hype is about. I was pretty sure that my toddler would be really bored with this attraction. It turns out he really enjoyed himself. There were ducks to see and plenty of fountains, or as he calls them, waterfalls. And thanks to our mild winter, even a few daffodils were in bloom.
I wasn't the only one who brought my kids to the Gardens either, I saw many moms pushing young children in strollers down the gravel pathways. Not all of the pathways are stroller-friendly - parts of the path we used through the Asian Garden forced me to carry the stroller.
There is no admission fee to visit the Gardens but you will have to pay for parking. There is an automated kiosk in the parking lot where you can pay for your spot. The ATM - like machine allows you to pay with debit or credit cards.
My toddler really enjoyed standing on this bridge and saying "river, river!" Apparently that's the new word he's learned to describe a body of water.
Tucked into a secret corner of the Asian Garden is this small tea house used for tea ceremonies. If it's open you can go inside, as long as you remove your shoes. On the day we were there, the door to the house was open but a sign was posted saying it was closed, but we did get to peer inside.
Our visit to the Gardens was cut short on account of rain. You'd think after my last experience crouching under a slide during a sudden rainstorm, that I would think to bring an umbrella. But alas, Captain Dad is not that well-prepared.