Greater Raleigh Drop-in Rainy Day To Do List

With all the recent rainy and snowy weather in Raleigh I wanted to create a list of drop-in activities that I could refer to whenever I’m grasping looking for something to do with little ones in tow.  Here’s a starter list of indoor activities outside the house that are guaranteed to educate and entertain the sweet babes:

  • rainy day playgroundFit4Mom/Stroller Strides of Midtown Raleigh – grab your Bob Stroller (or any stroller, really) and join other mommas for a great workout with your babes; first class is free; check out the Facebook group which is free to join and full of fun playdates
  • Tot Time with City of Raleigh Parks & Rec – free, indoor playtime (ages 5 and under) at various community centers around the city of Raleigh; each center has different toys (i.e., basketball hoops, tunnels, push cars, slides, etc) available for play; my favorite Tot Time is at Laurel Hills Community Center; consult the most recent Leisure Ledger for dates/times at each center
  • Great Harvest Bread Co in North Raleigh – has small play area with toys for kids while you enjoy delicious coffee and breads!
  • City of Raleigh’s Greystone Recreation Center – indoor playground in North Raleigh with rock climbing wall and various rope climbing structures; designed for kids ages 5-12, but I’ve found Ashley began enjoying this park at age 2 1/2; playground times vary, so be sure to check their schedule or sometimes I’ve found it’s easiest to call for their hours: 919-996-4848
  • Storytime at the library – libraries throughout Wake County have several storytimes grouped by ages: baby, toddler, preschool and family; storytime at Cameron Village featuring Mr. Erik is the most interactive library activity we’ve been to; check the list of kids’ events for dates, times and locations
  • Bounce Houses – refer to the list of bounce houses compiled by WRAL’s Go Ask Mom
  • Marbles Kids Museum – hands-on kids museum in downtown Raleigh that offers two floors of interactive, creative play for children; $5 per person over age one; one of the only indoor places in Raleigh open on Sunday mornings
  • Storytime at NC Museum of Natural Sciences – free, downtown museum with an amazing variety of exhibits, events, and hands-on displays for kids of all ages, but the daily storytime and “Meet the Animals” activities are our favorite activities
    • storytime and “Meet the Animals” schedule
    • complete list of events
  • NC Museum of History – free, downtown museum that has fewer hands-on exhibits for toddlers, but still boasts a large permanent collection on the history of NC along with several very interesting rotating exhibits (be sure to check out Watergate); weekly storytime on Thursdays; check full schedule of eventsrainy day playground
  • Rainbow Play on Glenwood Ave – large indoor party room with swing sets mostly designed for kids older than 2, but they do have a small area for early walkers and crawlers; open play time is Mon-Fri from 10am-2pm but call during other times to see if room is available for play; $5/child for ages 2 and up
  • Tumble Gym of Raleigh – open gym time with trampoline, balance beam, bars, and more; $10/hr per child; call for dates/times: 919-977-0357
  • See an IMAX movie at Marbles – other than the latest Hollywood movies, this theater shows several educational documentaries that are appropriate for toddlers
  • Paint your own pottery – paint ceramic pieces (plates, mugs, household items, etc) in a pottery studio; prices usually include all painting supplies, glazing and firing; pieces are available to pick up about a week later; makes for great gifts; our favorite is Klaystation off Durant Rd
  • Kids’ Workshops at Lowe’s and Home Depot – free hands-on workshops to teach kids about tool safety and do-it-yourself projects; Home Depot runs workshops on the first Saturday of each month – check local store for times; Lowe’s runs clinics on select Saturdays – consult schedule
  • The Farmers’ Corner at Historic Oak View County Park – this is a fantastic park that is so much fun for kids and adults, but the Farmers’ Corner in the Farm History Center is where kids can plant and harvest crainy day poolrops while reading books and playing dress-up; main building is open 8:30am-5pm on Mon-Sat and 1-5pm on Sundays but the Farmers’ Corner is sometimes not available due to scheduled programs, so call ahead 919-250-1013; see previous posts on this park
  • City of Raleigh indoor swimming pools – with so many options for year-round swimming in Raleigh, visit one of the indoor pools: Pullen, Millbrook, Optimist, Buffaloe Rd Aquatic Center; be sure to check the hours of operation before heading out
  • Bass Pro Shops in Cary and local pet stores – endless rows of interesting animals and fish to see
  • Train tables at Barnes & Nobles (Triangle Town Center) and Logan Trading Company in Seaboard Station offer great fun for little ones
  • DefyGravity trampoline Park in Raleigh features great fun for all ages, including a special jump session from 9-10am for kids under 7 where they play fun princess/toddler music

Where else in the Triangle do you explore on rainy or snowy days?  Let me know what I’ve missed so I can include your ideas.

My Raleigh Bucket List

Most of us have a bucket list of some type.  Whether it’s a list we’ve written down or something we recall from memory, it’s something personal to everyone.  Since moving to Raleigh nine years ago, my bucket list has always been a random list of things I remember only when I’m passing by a certain place.  At that time I’ll think, “Oh, that’s on my list of places to try” or “What did I want to try the other day”? So many times I’m reminded of these places or ideas, but I’ve never actually written them down until now.  Walking around downtown Raleigh the other weekend with the family and going to Side Street Restaurant last weekend reminded me that I should write down my list, refer to it, and start checking items off.  So, here’s my little Raleigh Bucket List (that will grow and shrink over time, I’m sure):

  1. Eat at Side Street Restaurant (completed, April 14, 2012)
  2. Eat at Second Empire
  3. Visit Jordan Lake Park (completed Father’s Day, 2012)
  4. Run the Krispy Kreme Challenge (run completed, 2010)
  5. Take a day trip to Charlotte via train
  6. Find the perfect turkey burger
  7. Visit Falls Lake
  8. Visit the biker bar on US-64 (completed pregnant, circa Feb 2011)
  9. Go to the Goat (completed, circa summer 2010)
  10. Go to the Raleigh Drive-In (completed, circa spring 2011)
  11. Eat at The Rockford (completed, circa 2009)
  12. Eat at Clyde’s
  13. Eat at Mecca
  14. Visit Father & Son consignment
  15. Visit the Eclectic Furniture Garden (completed, May 2013)
  16. Eat breakfast at Finch’s aka “The Feed Lot” by friend, Steve (completed, circa 2007)
  17. Mother’s Day brunch at Rose Garden
  18. Visit Historic Oakwood Cemetary
  19. Take the Historic Oakwood Christmas Candlelight Tour
  20. Take the Governor’s mansion tour
  21. Ride down Fayetteville St in a rickshaw (yes, Bill, I’m that simple) (completed July 6, 2012)
  22. See a race at Wake County Speedway (completed, circa 2008)
  23. Eat at Crowley’s (completed, February 2012)
  24. Eat at Glenwood Grill (completed, June 2013)
  25. Sell a house, btw cute cape cod for sale! (completed Sept 2012)
  26. Dinner at Angus barn (completed several times over the years)
  27. See an IMAX movie at Marbles
  28. See “A Christimas Carol” at Theater in the Park
  29. See a concert at Lincoln Theater
  30. Watch the Canes play (completed several times over the years)
  31. See a country concert at Alltel Pavilion (completed several times over the years)
  32. See a ballet at Memorial Auditorium (completed, circa 2009)
  33. Attend First Friday in downtown Raleigh (completed several times over the years)
  34. Watch the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra
  35. Eat at Berkeley Cafe
  36. Visit all the Raleigh parks
  37. See a concert at the downtown Raleigh Amphitheater
  38. Take a ride on the Pullen Park carousel (completed, Nov 2011)
  39. Take a day trip to New Bern, NC
  40. Visit the Smithfield outlets
  41. Eat at Hayes Barton Cafe (completed, June 2013)
  42. Have drinks on Raleigh Times Bar rooftop
  43. Visit all Raleigh breweries (Big Boss, Gizmo, Crank Arm, Boylan Bridge, Trophy, Lonerider, Raleigh Brewing Company, Natty Greene’s, Nickelpoint Brewing, Sub Noir Brewing)

Are there items not on my Raleigh Bucket List that I should add?