Posted in: Living Posted on: Feb 24th, 2015

Kid-Friendly Fun Near Cary, NC

Photo Credit: by Umair Mohsin | CC-BY-2.0

Whether you’re unfamiliar with the area or you just want to try something new, it’s always a good idea to know your surroundings when it comes to entertaining kids. The following list highlights some kid-friendly things to do in Cary, North Carolina.

Parks and Outdoor Fun

Visitors of Lake Johnson Park can enjoy hiking and biking on its nearly 5.5 miles of trails or enjoy aquatic fun on Lake Johnson. The park operates a rental system where visitors can rent pedal boats, canoes, kayaks or Sunfish sailboats. Fishing is permitted, but only in designated areas within the park, and you must have a fishing license.

Described as “a place to escape the pressures of everyday life,” William B. Umstead State Park sits on more than 5,000 acres and offers more than twenty miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails. The state park is also home to three man-made lakes where visitors can enjoy fishing and boating. There is a campground and picnicking facilities available to visitors. Rangers regularly hold educational programs at the park that are a perfect way for elementary-aged children to learn more about the environment, land use and preservation.

At one point in time more than 70 water mills existed in the area, but now the Yates Mill is Wake County’s last remaining water-powered gristmill. The 18th century mill is fully restored and operable. Now, the Historic Yates Mill County Park is a 174-acre wildlife preserve and environmental research center complete with hiking trails and a pond for fishing. The park is also home to the A.E. Finley Center for Education and Research, which runs educational exhibits and programs for kids and grown ups alike.

Indoor Entertainment

There’s plenty of fun to be had indoors. Artopia offers camps, after school programs and open art studio sessions that are suitable for kids and teens. They provide comprehensive instruction and technique building by highly-trained instructors in their world-class studio facility. Artopia expands the scope of youth arts education by incorporating the humanities, music, dance, and more to create a more engaging and enriching artistic experience that educates the whole person.

Classy Kids Cook is a children’s culinary school and etiquette training center in Cary, NC. Their cooking classes range from afternoon sessions where students can learn the fundamentals of cooking, the art of cake decorating or baking techniques, as well as special parent and child cooking classes that are appropriate for children ages three and up. Classy Kids Cook also runs a summer camp to keep kids busy while school is out.

Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, NC, believes play is the foundation for academic success, and their dozens of hands-on, interactive exhibits are perfect for children ages ten and under. Exhibits range from the Art Loft, which encourages visitors to explore various types of artwork, to Splash, which gives a peek at the underwater world and the science of water. They run daily programs, special events and summer camps, and there’s an IMAX theater that shows educational films.

Kids can get bored easily, so it’s good to have options when it comes to keeping them entertained. Know your surroundings and don’t be afraid to try something new.