We've all been there: it's raining, it's freezing, or it's insanely hot and your kids are taking nosedives off the couch. Luckily, Durham has some fantastic places to go when you can't go outside. Whether it's serious energy burn or arts and crafts creativity you're looking for, this city has you covered.
Owned and operated by a local husband-and-wife team, Bull City Craft offers a range of programs and activities for children. During Drop-In Craft time, your child can choose from a large menu of projects including picture frames, jewelry, and birdhouses; all materials are supplied and clean-up is handled by staff. Children ages 1-5 can enjoy Preschool Playcraft, a drop-in open crafting time with paint, playdough, and other activities for $6 for the first child and $5 for each additional child.
Insider Tip: Bull City Craft hosts Mommy & Me art classes and they can accommodate group play dates with advanced notice.
Don't forget about Durham's public indoor pools during the cooler weather months. Both the Edison Johnson Aquatic Center and the Campus Hills pools offer daily recreational swim periods for $3 or $4 per person, depending on age (children three years and under are free). Parks and Recreation also runs a large number of classes and activities geared to infants through teenagers. To see details and listings, pick up a copy of the Play More magazine at your nearest recreation center or access a PDF version online here.
Insider Tip: If your child is five or under, check out "Total Tot Time," an open-gym social opportunity for parents and children held at several Parks and Recreation locations.
You can easily fill an entire morning or afternoon at the museum without ever going outside. Preschoolers will be mesmerized by weather exhibits, such as a swirling tornado, and can get their wiggles out in the Soundspace, where motion is turned into sound. Older children will love hands-on opportunities such as flying paper airplanes in the Launch Lab, designing quilt patterns, and creating their own origami.
Insider Tip: The museum leads special hands-on science experiments Tuesday through Sunday in The Lab on the second floor. Check out www.lifeandscience.org for more the daily experiment schedule.
Your children will be enchanted by this one-of-a-kind, music-based playspace. Younger kids will love playing on interactive structures, such as a giant guitar with an attached slide. Older kids can live out their pop/rock star dreams in sound-proofed karaoke and mixing booths. While your children jump in the inflatable Double Drum Bounce House, you'll be happy to know that Notasium's local owners have ensured that every play structure is an authentic representation of an instrument. Musical education, energy burn, and the freedom to make lots of noise: what more could you ask for?
Insider Tip: Notasium also offers a wide range of music lessons and group programs. If your child is taking a music lesson, siblings can play in the playspace for a reduced fee of $5 each.
Do you have a budding artist, engineer, or architect? If so, head to this creative reuse arts center, which collects materials from over 250 local industries to be used for crafting. Children of all ages are welcome in the Make N Take Room ($5 per participant for 1.5 hours), where they can make anything using a variety of materials and take their project home with them. Teenagers can also use the Exchange's Design Center, where trained staff offers instruction on more technical equipment, including sewing machines and hot t-shirt presses.
Insider Tip: The Scrap Exchange also hosts birthday parties for children 3 years and older at your home or at the Scrap Exchange. Packages include 12 participants with themes like Castles & Crowns, Under the Sea, Crazy Critters, and others.
These indoor trampoline parks are great places for kids (and adults) to run wild when you can't get outside. Sky Zone and Defy Gravity both have a large jumping area divided into zones: a wall-to-wall main trampoline area, a dodgeball area, and a huge foam pit. Sky Zone also has a basketball area where you can jump and dunk, and Defy Gravity boasts a "Ninja Course" with rope swings and other obstacles.
Insider Tip: For those with young children, Defy Gravity restricts Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-10 a.m., to children six and under. Sky Zone offers "Toddler Time," for children five and under, on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-10 a.m.
Since 1972, Wheels has catered to the whole family with eight main attractions, including a roller skating rink, go karts, a play gym, batting cages, and miniature golf. The park operates on a pay-per-attraction policy, so you can do as much or as little as you'd like. Wheels also has two snack bars and a full menu grill.
Insider Tip: Go on the weekdays if you want to avoid crowds and large groups!
A 13,000 square-foot facility with wall-to-wall, steel-frame trampolines including angled wall trampolines, an Olympic Foam Pit and one of the largest trampoline dodgeball cages in the country.
Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR) provides opportunities for the Durham community to "Play More". DPR strives to help citizens discover, explore, and enjoy life through creative and challenging …
Gateway Park is the first thing visitors will see when they head out of the museum's main building to go to the museum's other popular exhibits - the Butterfly House, Dinosaur Trail, train rides, …
Notasium is an interactive, music-based play space and school designed to awaken the musician in any child at any age. The space provides ample room for lessons, classes, and birthday parties, …
Sky Zone is the world’s first indoor trampoline park. It provides one of the greatest workouts ever combined with awesome, healthy fun. Experience WOW – the weightlessness of bouncing, flipping …
Promotes creativity, environmental awareness, and community through re-use. Materials available as well as gallery showcasing creative re-use in art. Craft classes offered throughout the year.