Top 5 Raleigh Parks for Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing

Months ago we planned one last Winnie mountain trip before the end of summer. We purposefully planned it to coincide with the solar eclipse so we could get close to being in the path of totality (words I never thought I’d hear myself saying). Not knowing the solar eclipse would become so popular we’re glad we booked our campsite so far in advance!

We’re heading to the small town of Whittier, NC for camping, hiking and playing. On Monday we plan to drive an hour south to Andrews, NC for their big eclipse festival. If we stayed in Raleigh, we’d plan a picnic get-together with friends at a local park. Triangle residents can expect to see a partial solar eclipse beginning around 1:16pm, peaking at 2:44pm and ending at 4:06pm. 

Here are my suggestions for the Top 5 Raleigh Parks for viewing the solar eclipse:

  1. North Wake District Landfill Park
  2. Dorothea Dix Park’s Big Field – GPS coordinates for accessing big field: 35.766883, -78.663255
  3. Spring Forest Road Park
  4. Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve Park
  5. Annie Wilkerson Nature Preserve Park 

Be sure to bring your eclipse-approved safety glasses or go old school and make your own pinhole camera from supplies you have at home. Happy Viewing!

Mother’s Day 2016

Image-1Celebrate the Mom in your life with an adventure!  Here’s a list of upcoming organized events in the local parks and my personal mix of outdoor outings combined with food and beer (give Mom what she really wants)!  Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there and cheers to making fun memories.

 

Organized Programs

  • Mother’s Day Tea Party at Greystone Recreation Center (Tuesday, May 3 from 10-11am) – Enjoy time with your mom/caregiver at our Mother’s Day Tea Party where children will create a special gift for their mother and enjoy juice and cookies; ages 18-months to 4 years; $7; adult participation required for ages under 4; program barcode #189063
  • Tour Dorothea Dix Park (Wednesday, May 4 at 11:30am) – Enjoy a 1.5 hour walking tour covering the history of the land and the legacy of Dorothea Dix, the current use of the area as the headquarters of the Department of Health and Human Services and the steps the City will take in planning a future park; FREE; pre-registration is required
  • Strawberry Picking with Fit4Mom Midtown Raleigh Stroller Strides (Thursday, May 5 at 3:30pm) – Join a great group of moms and kiddos for strawberry picking, homemade ice cream and more at Porter Farms & Nursery in Willow Springs; sign-up via Meetup
  • Mother’s Day Surprise program at Optimist Park (Friday, May 6 at 12:30pm or Saturday, May 7 at 12:30pm): creative arts-and-craft project or edible creation; ages 3-5; $7; program barcode #188078 or #188079pre-registration is required
  • Birding with Vernon at Lake Crabtree County Park (Saturday, May 7 from 8:30-10am) – Discover different types of birds and their habitats during an easy walk with bird enthusiast, Vernon; meeting at Waterwise Gardens; Free, no preregistration required
  • Family Friendly Tour: Animal Farm at NC Art Museum (Saturday, May 7 at 10:30am or Sunday, May 8 at 10:30am) – take a guided tour looking for farm animals in the galleries; ages 5-11 with adult companion; FREE; plan ahead and bring a picnic lunch or stay for lunch at Iris
  • Mill Heritage and Local History Tour at Historic Yates Mill County Park (Sunday, May 8 from 2-3pm) – Watch a brief slideshow, then explore the inner workings of the mill itself and witness the power of water as it turns the milling machinery; $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Children ages 6 & younger are free; preregistration is encouraged
  • May Flower Folly at Historic Yates Mill County Park (Sunday, May 8 from 3:30-4:30pm) – Celebrate Mother’s Day in nature with a hike around Yates Mill Pond while searching for wildflowers, listening to a few flowery poems, learning about locally flowering plants and hear the latest buzz on local pollinators; for all ages; FREE; online registration
mother's day
My mom and I, summer 1981

Get Out & Explore with Mom

Mother’s Day 2015 Ral-ideas

momginkrisbeach
My sister, Ginni, my mom and I (summer 1983, Atlantic Beach, NC)

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and it’s the perfect time to show your mom, wife, or other special maternal lady in your life how much you care about and appreciate her!  While it’ll be a bitter sweet conglomerate of emotions for me this year, I’m glad to be carrying on my 10-year tradition of heading to Nags Head with friends to drink run my way through the Yuengling Nags Head Woods 5k race.  Even though my mom can’t be at this year’s race with us, I’ll have fond memories of races past to reflect on with dear old friends.

But, if you’re around in Raleigh this weekend and are looking for a special way to celebrate the mom in your life, look no further than this list of unique organized events and park/picnic/restaurant/brewery ideas.

  • Readings & Drinks for Girl’s Night Out (Thursday, May 7th or Friday, May 8th): give mom the night off to hear local bloggers/authors in the Listen to Your Mother (LTYM) show at Kenan Hall at William Peace University followed by drinks in the nearby Seaboard Station; I’ve attended the LTYM shows the past two years and have left full of emotion
  • Mother’s Day Craft & Playtime with Stroller Strides at North Hills (Friday, May 8, 10-11am): Join Fit4Mom’s Stroller Strides group after class today for open play in the play area, a Mother’s Day craft, a game of Cow Toss, sample some Chick-N-Minis and MEET THE COW!
  • Mother’s Day Surprise program at Optimist Park (Friday, May 8 at 12:30pm): creative arts-and-craft project or edible creation; ages 3-5; $7; program barcode #171955at the time of this blog post publication only 1 spot remained
  • Mother’s Day Family Class & Muffins with Mom at Pullen Park (Saturday, May 9 at 9:30am): Join the Fit4Mom Stroller Strides exercise class at 9:30am and a “Muffins with Mom” snack and playtime after class starting at 10:30am! Meet us for class and our Muffins with Mom time in the grassy area near the stage, behind the Pullen Cafe.  The flat rate of $15/mom/class allows you to bring your family members to workout with you too (bring Dad along)!
  • Decorate a Cookie for Mom at Whole Foods on Wade Ave (Saturday, May 9, 9-10am): stop by the cafe between 9-10am to create a cookie for Mom
  • Family Fun Saturday at NC Museum of Art (Saturday, May 9 at 10am): take a guided tour in the Museum Park followed by a sketch of your explorations; families with children ages 5-11; $3 members/$5 non-members; plan ahead and bring a picnic lunch or stay for lunch at Iris
  • Springtime Safari at Lake Crabtree Park (Sunday, May 10 at 1pm): trek around the park and discover flowers, insects, birds and more and then create a bouquet of flowers to give to Mom or someone special; $3 person/$5 family; plan ahead and bring a picnic lunch

Get out and try something fun:

Additional Resources

Take a Child Outside Week: Sept 24 – 30, 2014

IMG_2215
Brookhaven Nature Park hike, Fall 2012

With the fall weather on our heels, it couldn’t be a better time to participate in Take a Child Outside Week (TACO), held September 24-30, 2014. Take a Child Outside Week is an national initiative through the NC Museum of Natural Sciences with partner organizations throughout the country.  The program emphasizes outdoor nature activities with children to increase their awareness and appreciation of the environment.  Here are several outdoor activities at local parks to highlight this program:

Umstead Park – various organized events that week including: Animals of Umstead, Hug-a-Tree, Learn to Fish, Millin’ Around, American Beech Hike; for more info search their September calendar

JC Raulston Arboretum – various organized events that week including: Leaf Rubbings, Garden Bingo, Plant Sale, Cloud Watching, Garden Storytime; for more info visit their September calendar 

img_5473
Prairie Ridge Ecostation Nature Play Space

NC Museum of Natural Sciences – a few events that week including Nature Stories and a family-friendly event on Sat, Sept 27 at Prairie Ridge Ecostation; for more info visit the Prairie Ridge Ecostation TACO Events Page

Historic Yates Mill County Park – enjoy several events including Paddle the Pond, Apple Orchards, Mill Tours, Fishing Footprint, and an organized Nature Hike; for more info visit the Yates Mill Events

Blue Jay County Park – free events this week including Hopper Herding and Nature Stories; pre-registration is required; for more info visit the Blue Jay County Park Events

Bill hiking with Jerry at Harris Lake, circa 2008
Pre-kiddo pic of Bill hiking with Jerry at Harris Lake, circa 2008

Lake Crabtree County Park – free scavenger hunt event on Mon, Sept 29 at 6pm; pre-registration is required; for more info visit the Lake Crabtree County Park Events

Harris Lake County Park – various events including Park After Dark and a Drop-in Nature Exploration; for more info visit the Harris Lake County Park Events

American Tobacco Trail – attend the Biking with Bats 3-mile bike ride on Sun, Sept 28 from 6-8pm; for more info visit the ATT Events

 

Durant Nature Park

  • Durant Family Campout (COR Reclink barcode #161109) – Fri, Sept 26 at 6pm; ages 6+; a lakeside campsite will be your home for the night; have an overnight experience including dinner, a night hike, s’mores, a light breakfast and fishing; Adults $15, Youth $10; for more info check the Reclink description or visit the Nature Programs page
  • Wee Walkers (COR Reclink barcode #161125) – Thu, Sept 25 from 10-11am; easy paced hike around the park; free; pre-registration is required; for more info check the Reclink description or visit the Nature Programs page

If you can’t make it to any of these organized events, check out TACO’s list of suggested activities and head to the nearest park or greenway and just explore!

By the way, what TACO activities in the Greater Raleigh area am I missing?  Please let me know in the comments section below.

9/15/2014 Update: Since this post was originally posted, the City of Raleigh has compiled a list of TACO week events happening at various parks around the county.

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.

Raleigh Snow Day 2014

20140130-073545.jpgWhile this isn’t a typical park-related post, I wanted to make a note of the fun snow memories and photos from the big Raleigh Snowpocalypse of 2014!  Yesterday will go down as one of the best.days.ever!  We got about 3 inches of snow in Raleigh and spent the day making amazing family memories in our ‘hood.  Bill worked from home so he was also able to enjoy in the snow festivities.  And, thanks to my mom Ashley was outfitted with snow pants and the best sledding saucer!

Yesterday was all about being a kid and I constantly found myself recounting fun childhood snowy day memories, especially all the exciting sledding we did on Beech Dr in Lake Arrowhead.  I look forward to so many more snowy day memories even though yesterday was pretty jam packed with sledding in the neighborhood, drinking hot cocoa, eating grilled cheese sandwiches, watching a movie, taking amazing naps, making snow ice cream (see recipe) and making snow angels and snowmen. My favorite moment had to be when Ashley came inside after a long round 2 of sledding and snowman building with Bill and recounted her adventure to Claire, who was grinning ear to ear in her high chair. I love those girls!

So, here are some photos from our snow day:

Durham & Raleigh 24 Hours of Kid-less Freedom

img_3298

About 6 weeks before Claire was born, we had the ultimate luxury of dropping Ashley off with good friends for a day and overnight visit!  Ashley is about the same age and besties with their little girl so we knew she’d have lots of fun (she’s still talking about seeing Elmo on stage)!

Not having a toddler overnight made our minds crazy with ideas…Projects around the house? Nah, need to chill out! Beach trip?  Nah, I may never come back. Vegas? Nah, too crazy!  So, in the end we decided to enjoy what we have here and stay in the area.  Then came the outpouring of ideas on our shared Google doc.  You mean to tell me we could fill our day with 24 hours of uninterrupted together time that didn’t involve having to go home in the middle of the day for naptime or needing to be home by 7:30pm and then under house arrest until 8am the next morning?  Get out!

img_3319After lots of options we decided to spend our morning in Durham and our afternoon/evening in Raleigh exploring places and doing things we had never done before.  After dropping Ash off with friends we headed out to the Sarah Duke gardens because Bill had never been before.  We walked through the Asian gardens and then made our way around to the new (to me) rose garden.  The morning was beautiful and within 45 minutes we were done…no one had asked for a snack or to be held or to be put down or for a toy, etc, etc, etc.  To kill some more time at the gardens we decided to stray from our original plans and try the ultra nerdy pastime of geocaching.  Bill scouted the Geocaching website and found several in the immediate area of the gardens. Geocaching is like being on a treasure hunt except you use GPS coordinates and helpful online hints to locate the “treasure” that you don’t actually get to keep.  Growing up, my aunt and Mimi frequently sent us on treasure hunts around their houses, so it brought back some fun memories for me.  Being geocaching virgins we decided on one with an easy skill level that had been previously discovered the day before.  After spending way toooo much time looking for this geocache we finally found it hidden under a rock on the northern side of the gardens.  It was a small plastic container with little trinkets (stamps, toys, journal).  We signed our names and dated the log and made mental notes to try this again with Ashley.

img_3336After the gardens, we headed to Bull City Burger and Brewery in Durham.  For Raleigh folks, think Chuck’s except with a larger menu and hand crafted beers.  We both didn’t think the burgers held up to the Chuck’s standards, but agreed the food was still delish, the beers were refreshing (I just had some sips), company was excellent and the patio out back was super relaxing.  Pickle chips and fries are must-have complements to their gut-busting burgers!

After our mega lunch we headed home for some quiet time at our neighborhood pool…in the pool chairs beside the big pool.  We didn’t even glance over at the baby pool to see if our sucker friends were there with their kids.  We just sat and it was marvelous!

Post-pool we went to Glenwood Grill for dinner.  The food was delicious but based on recommendations we thought the restaurant’s atmosphere would been more upscale.  Some patrons were dressed up, but for the most part it was a random collection of people in jeans and flip flops or jumpsuits (not kidding) and then families with toddlers.  We had their pork belly appetizer and scallops and fish dinners, which was all delish!

img_3731After Glenwood Grill we headed south about a mile to Hayes Barton Cafe for dessert.  Bill had a piece of dark chocolate cake and I had the lemon blueberry cake.  These pieces of cake were about $9 each and very dense, but so amazing!  We took to-go boxes home and slowly devoured them for days.

At this point it was about 7:30pm and we couldn’t possibly call it a night.  With amazing weather, we decided this night needed a finale of something outdoors.  After some extensive googling we decided on an outdoor movie at the NC Museum of Art.  After a quick outfit change at home, we grabbed our lawn chairs and blankets and arrived just in time to see “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”  The movie is a must-see with a great cast of British actors (think Downton Abbey explores India). It was a jam-packed night for outdoor movie watching so we ended up sitting on the hill just past the entrance and couldn’t have gotten a better view.

The entire day and night were absolutely wonderful and a great time for reflection on our marriage and growing family.  We felt more united than ever and were so happy to see Ashley the next morning and so anxious to meet little soon-to-be Claire.

Thumbs up: Sarah Duke gardens, Bull City Burgers & Brewery, Hayes Barton Cafe, Glenwood Grill, NC Museum of Art’s outdoor movies

Thumbs down: Almost not being allowed to bring my own non-factory sealed water into the NCMA

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?

Rose Garden

For my first Mother’s Day we spent the weekend in Nags Head with great friends and the pups for our traditional Yuengling 5K race. When we got home on Sunday we walked down to the Rose Garden, which is just two blocks from our house. We were too late for their annual Mother’s Day brunch celebration (mimosas and yummy food) so we just walked around and enjoyed the fantastic sights, smells, and company.  The Rose Garden can also be rented for weddings and other events (hint: no money needed on decorations).



Wandering through the rows and rows of roses


Lovely shades of peach, hot pink, and light pink roses



The rose garden is located in the circular, below-street level area at 301 Pogue St.  Parking is limited to around the circle and the nearby neighborhood streets.  There are a few different entrances with stairs or you can walk down the paved entrance way near the theater. The grass height in the gardens is kept pretty low so you can easily push a stroller.

There are over 50 varieties of roses to touch (no snipping) and smell. One end of the garden has a beautiful pergola covered in white roses and the water feature and the other end has a gazebo with other varieties of shade-loving plants. There are benches and picnic tables covered with large shade trees for great picnic spots.

The pergola at one end covered with white roses
The other end of the garden
Some of the shade-loving hostas

You can’t visit the Rose Garden without scoping out the latest plays at Raleigh Little Theater, which is adjacent to the garden. RLT is a community theater that produces 11 shows each season. I’ve been to a few shows and know folks who work on the production so be sure to check them out!

Thumbs up: picnic spots, shade, sights/smells, photo ops, gardens, theater

Thumbs down: parking (at times)

Hello World

So, what do you do when you have a new baby, are no longer working, and have lots of free time? #1 Get out of the house (baby cries are less ear-deafening with trees, cars, and people to absorb them) and #2 find free things to do. Since I’ve got baby Ashley with me we needed to find some appropriate mommy/daughter things to do (unfortunately free beer/wine tastings were out…so sorry Wine Merchant and Lonerider).

Growing up my mom spent a lot of time taking me and my brother and sister to the local county parks and pools in Stafford, VA so I thought it was only natural to introduce baby Ashley to the various parks throughout Raleigh.  Unfortunately the county and city websites in Raleigh lack a lot of details on each park and there’s not an easy way to search for what you’re looking for in a park.  So, we’ve decided to venture out to all the parks, playgrounds, trails, and pools in Raleigh and report back with photos, details, and our general feedback on each one.

My husband, Bill, and I have been to several of the Raleigh parks in the past but we were more interested in the bike trails and tennis courts.  With baby around now, I’m looking for even sidewalks, shade, and long trails.  Even though baby Ashley is years away from personally enjoying my crazy get-out-and-explore mentality I’m sure she’ll enjoy looking at the pictures and stories of our adventures when she’s old enough. Who knows…maybe she’ll take her daughter on similar adventures one day 🙂  So, here we are at one of our first adventures at Lassiter Mill Park:

Sitting at Lassiter Mill Park
One of our first adventures to Lassiter Mill Park