Planning the Summer in North Carolina

Planning the Summer in North CarolinaAs Mommy the Activities Director for the summer with my mission to combat summer boredom for my 7 year old daughter and include my 2 (almost 3) year old son, I put together a list of general resources available in most areas over at IGotMomPower.com.  However, as I am living in Greensboro, NC most of what I have found is obviously specific to my area.  Here is a list of links that I have found or have been sent to me by my mommy friends.

Festivals and Special Events – There are all kinds of summer festivals and special events planned, but not all of them have a dedicated sight to a single event, much to my personal disappointment.

  • Greensboro Summer Solstice:  This is happening Sunday, June 19 and has me particularly excited to attend.  The event is free, though there will be a Bazzar with various vendors selling everything from wings to food.
  • North Carolina Association of Festivals and Events:  This is just a consolidated list of festivals and events for members of the association, but does not necessarily offer more than the most basic information such as location, date and price.
  • Greensboro Parks & Recreation:  Here again is a list of events with basic information for Greensboro, NC events.

Summer Kids’ Movies – These are the links to the dollar ($1.) movie listings for the summer.  As both of these are chains you may be able to find a participating theater near you.

Zoos and Aquariums – Pricing varies, and memberships are available, which cuts costs significantly for those who visit frequently.

  • North Carolina Aquariums:  There are 4 locations along the NC coast, with 2 near the border of Virginia and 1 near South Carolina.  I pack a picnic lunch and make plans to also hang out on a nearby beach to get the most out of a day trip.
  • North Carolina Zoo:  As a veteran member of this zoo I can tell you the best way to tackle a trip with small children is to choose either the North America or the Africa entrance, take the tram to Junction Plaza (the center of the park) and walk back towards the entrance you came in at.  The reason for this is that Junction Plaza is the highest point in the zoo, making your trek from it all downhill.
  • Lazy 5 Ranch:  They do not accept credit or debit cards.  After doing the math for my family of four the best deal is to buy individual tickets and one bucket of feed to be rationed, unless you can get together a group of 15 or more people for a group rate for the wagon ride.
  • Carolina Raptor Center:  Great place to learn about various birds.  Some programs and behind the scenes tours cost extra.
  • Carolina Tiger Rescue:  All tours are by reservation only, and can only be scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays.  The pricing is on the high side compared to the other places I have listed, and requires the signing of Visitor Release forms as well as Minor Child Release forms.  This is the kind of trip that may not be ideal for very young children, but could be interesting for older kids.

Museums in Greensboro

  • Greensboro Children’s Museum:  This is a wonderful hands-on play place for kids.  One of my favorite exhibits is the Tot Spot as it is designed for toddlers and has a gate to keep them corralled and separate from the big kids running around, making this one of the few places I can take both my 2 year old and 7 year old that makes them both happy.  They offer Friday night specials as well as memberships.
  • Natural Science Center of Greensboro:  In addition to the museum aspect of the Natural Science Center there is also a fair sized, diverse zoo.  Plus the OmniSphere Theater offers dynamic, educational shows, though these shows do cost extra.  A family membership is the absolute best value.

These links only begin to touch on all that I’m sure is available in North Carolina.  Please share any events or family friendly places to visit that you’d like to recommend with links.

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2 Responses to Planning the Summer in North Carolina

  1. Melinda June 13, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    This is one of my very favorite places to go! You can go hiking, swimming, or just digging in the dirt to find Fairy Stones. The kids LOVE it! http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/fai.shtml

  2. Lake Norman Monster June 13, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    Take your kids on a special sightseeing tour of Lake Norman and have fun looking for “Normie” the Lake Norman Monster! http://www.CruiseLakeNorman.com

    Call 704-905-1495 and reserve your tickets

    Beginning summer of 2011, you can take your kids on a special Lake Norman Sightseeing Cruise and look for “Normie” the Lake Norman Monster!

    The cruise will not only showcase sighting “hot spots” for your chance to see Normie, but also teach your children about conservation and the lake area environment. We plan to have special programs and guests for each cruise.

    For our complete schedule, please visit http://www.CruiseLakeNorman.com

    For tickets, please call Championship Yacht Charters at
    704-905-1495 and ask for the “Normie Sightseeing Cruise!”

    Ticket Prices:
    Children (10 and under): $6.00 each
    Adults (accompanying a child): $10.00 each
    Please call 704-905-1495 and reserve your tickets prior to the cruise date!

    During the cruise, children will be treated to cookies & milk (soft drinks available for an additional charge), told a story, and taught about conservation, preservation and the Lake Norman ecosystem.

    Be sure to bring your camera in case you see Normie!

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