Don’t Miss Out on These 8 Exciting Family-Friendly Activities in Raleigh

  • This post is written in partnership with Visit North Carolina

Nestled in the heart of North Carolina, Raleigh is a vibrant city that offers an abundance of family-friendly activities. From interactive museums and serene parks to thrilling adventures and delicious treats, Raleigh caters to all ages, making it the perfect destination for a family getaway.

If you’re looking for exciting ways to entertain your kids while visiting Raleigh, look no further. I’ve compiled a list of 9 Fun family-friendly things to do in Raleigh with your kids.

8 Things to do in raleigh with Kids

1. Pullen Park, NC

Positioned in the heart of Raleigh, Pullen Park is a must-visit destination for families.

We truly had the best time there. As I’ve mentioned in our previous post, we are a neurodiverse family and we seek out sensory-friendly activities whenever we travel. We don’t love crowds and steer clear of super loud venues. Pullen Park managed to meet all of our sensory-friendly requirements.

As the first public park in North Carolina, Pullen Park offers a wide range of activities for kids of all ages.

Here are some of the activities we enjoyed while visiting Pullen Park:

  1. Carousel Ride: One of the main highlights of Pullen Park is the enchanting carousel, which has been delighting children and adults alike since 1911. With its intricately carved animals and lively organ music, a ride on the carousel is a nostalgic experience that brings smiles to everyone’s faces.
  2. Miniature Train Ride: All aboard the miniature train! Kids and adults alike can hop on this whimsical train for a leisurely ride around the park, passing by picturesque ponds, lush greenery, and charming bridges. It’s a perfect way to take in the beauty of Pullen Park’s natural surroundings.
  3. Playgrounds: Pullen Park boasts not one, but several playgrounds that cater to different age groups. Little ones can have a blast on age-appropriate swings, slides, and climbing structures while older kids can challenge themselves on more adventurous play equipment.
  4. Pedal Boating: The serene lake at Pullen Park beckons visitors to enjoy a relaxing pedal boat ride. Families can rent pedal boats and explore the tranquil waters, surrounded by ducks and geese, creating a serene and idyllic setting. This was by far the highlight of our visit. The pedal boats can seat up to 4 people, with two pedalers in the front. If you haven’t worked out in a while, I’d advise you to skip it because it is work. Between us, I couldn’t really keep up and let my husband, Andre, do most of the pedaling on my behalf.

2. Marbles Kids Museum

Nestled in the heart of Raleigh, Marbles Kids Museum stands as a shining beacon of imagination and exploration for young minds. This vibrant and interactive museum is a must-visit destination for families looking to spark their children’s curiosity and creativity.

A Wonderland of Hands-On Exhibits:

As you step foot into Marbles Kids Museum, you’re immediately greeted by a world of wonder and excitement. The museum’s design and layout are thoughtfully crafted to engage children of all ages in meaningful play and learning experiences. Each exhibit is carefully curated to stimulate various aspects of a child’s development, including cognitive, social, emotional, and physical growth.

The museum’s hands-on exhibits span a diverse range of themes, catering to various interests and passions. From exploring the world of science to embracing their inner artist, children can immerse themselves in different realms of knowledge and creativity. Interactive displays, intriguing puzzles, and sensory activities captivate young visitors and keep them engaged throughout their journey of discovery.

The Power of Play-Based Learning:

Play-based learning at Marbles Kids Museum encourages children to ask questions, experiment, and problem-solve, all while having fun. Whether it’s building structures with colorful blocks, investigating the wonders of water, or role-playing in imaginative settings, children are encouraged to use their creativity and critical thinking skills to make sense of the world around them.

A Safe and Inclusive Space:

Marbles Kids Museum prides itself on being a safe, inclusive, and welcoming space for all families. The exhibits and programs are designed to be accessible to children with diverse abilities, ensuring that everyone can participate and enjoy the experience. The museum’s staff is trained to accommodate the needs of visitors with disabilities and to provide a supportive environment for all families.

Additionally, Marbles Kids Museum celebrates the richness of diversity and aims to create an atmosphere where all children and their families feel accepted and represented. Through various exhibits and cultural programs, the museum promotes an understanding and appreciation of different cultures, fostering a sense of global awareness in young minds.

Exciting Educational Programs:

In addition to its captivating exhibits, Marbles Kids Museum offers a wide array of educational programs that cater to different age groups and interests. These programs include workshops, classes, and special events that provide enriching experiences for children and their families.

The museum collaborates with local educators and experts to develop programs that align with school curricula and enhance classroom learning. Teachers often bring their students to the museum on field trips, where children can reinforce their lessons through hands-on exploration.

Marbles Kids Museum also hosts special events throughout the year, such as science festivals, art showcases, and cultural celebrations. These events bring the community together, allowing families to bond and create cherished memories while engaging in fun and educational activities.

3. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh is a captivating destination for nature enthusiasts and science lovers alike. As the largest natural history museum in the southeastern United States, it boasts an impressive collection of exhibits and interactive displays that educate and entertain visitors of all ages.

With a focus on the diverse ecosystems of North Carolina and beyond, the museum takes visitors on a journey through time, exploring the wonders of the natural world. From life-sized dinosaur replicas and fossil displays to immersive exhibits on wildlife and habitats, the museum offers a comprehensive understanding of the planet’s rich biodiversity.

One of the museum’s highlights is the Nature Research Center, which showcases cutting-edge research and scientific discoveries. Visitors can engage with scientists, observe ongoing research, and participate in hands-on experiments, fostering a deeper appreciation for the scientific process.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences also offers a range of educational programs and events, including guided tours, workshops, and STEM-focused activities. These initiatives aim to inspire curiosity and instill a love for science in young minds, making it an ideal destination for school groups and families seeking a fun and educational outing.

With its commitment to conservation and environmental awareness, the museum emphasizes the importance of protecting and preserving our natural heritage. Interactive exhibits on climate change and environmental challenges encourage visitors to reflect on their role in safeguarding the planet for future generations.

Whether you’re fascinated by prehistoric creatures, intrigued by the wonders of the animal kingdom, or eager to explore the frontiers of scientific research, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences promises an enriching and unforgettable experience for all who visit.

4. Adventure Landing

If your family is in the mood for some outdoor fun, Adventure Landing is the place to be

Adventure Landing in Raleigh, North Carolina, is a sprawling entertainment complex that offers a wide range of activities to suit every taste and age group. As soon as you step into this vibrant destination, you’re greeted by an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation.

Adventure seekers and thrill enthusiasts will find plenty to satisfy their craving for adrenaline with the park’s exhilarating go-kart tracks. Race against family and friends as you zip around the winding curves, experiencing the thrill of speed and competition.

things for kids to do in raleigh nc

For those looking to test their putting skills, Adventure Landing boasts not one, but three 18-hole mini-golf courses. Each course features imaginative themes and challenging obstacles, making the experience enjoyable for both children and adults. Embark on a playful journey through a pirate’s cove, a jungle safari, or a mystical land, adding an extra layer of excitement to your mini-golf adventure.

Laser tag enthusiasts will be thrilled by the state-of-the-art indoor laser tag arena. Strategize with your team, don your laser tag vest, and navigate through the black-lit maze as you attempt to outwit and outshoot your opponents. It’s an exhilarating game of skill and strategy that guarantees laughter and fun for everyone involved.

Adventure Landing also boasts an extensive arcade, filled with a diverse selection of video games, redemption games, and classic arcade favorites. Earn tickets from your game successes and exchange them for fantastic prizes, adding an extra layer of competitiveness and rewards to your gaming experience.

Beyond the action-packed attractions, Adventure Landing offers a variety of family-friendly amenities. The park features a snack bar where you can refuel with tasty treats and refreshing beverages. Picnic areas are also available, providing the perfect spot for a family lunch or snack break amidst the excitement.

Throughout the year, Adventure Landing hosts special events and promotions, making it a dynamic destination and definitely one of the things to do in Raleigh with kids. Whether it’s themed nights, holiday celebrations, or discounted packages, the park always has something special in store for its guests.

Adventure Landing is a place where families and friends can come together to create unforgettable memories. With its diverse array of attractions and the promise of non-stop fun, it’s no surprise that Adventure Landing is a favorite destination for locals and tourists seeking a day of thrilling entertainment in Raleigh, North Carolina.

5. Frankie’s Fun Park

Frankie’s Fun Park in Raleigh is a top-notch destination for families looking for exciting things to do in Raleigh with kids. This expansive amusement park offers a plethora of attractions that cater to all age groups, ensuring a day filled with laughter and fun for everyone.

For little adventurers, Frankie’s Fun Park features a variety of Kiddie Rides that offer a gentle yet thrilling experience. From mini roller coasters to spinning tea cups, these rides are perfect for young children to enjoy age-appropriate amusement.

For the older kids and adults, the go-kart tracks are a major draw. Race against friends and family in high-speed go-karts, experiencing the excitement of friendly competition and zooming around challenging tracks.

little boy having fun in raleigh adventure park

Frankie’s Fun Park also boasts two creatively designed and challenging miniature golf courses, where families can enjoy friendly rivalry as they putt through imaginative obstacles and lush landscapes.

The park’s state-of-the-art laser tag arena is perfect for teaming up with friends and engaging in adrenaline-pumping laser battles, showcasing teamwork and strategy skills.

And let’s not forget about the arcade, where kids can immerse themselves in a world of gaming fun. With a vast array of video games, classic arcade favorites, and redemption games, there’s something for every gaming enthusiast to enjoy.

When hunger strikes, the food court offers a range of delicious dining options, from savory bites to sweet treats, ensuring there’s something to satisfy everyone’s cravings

6. Triangle Rock Club

Triangle Rock Club in Raleigh is a thrilling destination that offers a unique and exciting experience for families looking for adventurous things to do in Raleigh with kids. As one of the premier indoor climbing gyms in the area, Triangle Rock Club provides a safe and exhilarating environment for children of all ages to explore the world of rock climbing.

Catering to climbers of every skill level, from beginners to seasoned climbers, Triangle Rock Club offers a variety of climbing walls and routes that are specifically designed to challenge and engage young climbers. Kids can embark on a vertical adventure, testing their strength, agility, and problem-solving skills as they scale the walls under the guidance of experienced instructors.

Safety is a top priority at Triangle Rock Club, and the facility is equipped with state-of-the-art safety systems to ensure a secure climbing experience for all. Kids are provided with proper safety equipment and receive thorough instruction before they start climbing.

kids fun park things to do in raleigh with kids rock climbing

In addition to its climbing walls, Triangle Rock Club offers a range of programs and classes for kids, including youth climbing teams and climbing camps during school breaks. These programs not only foster a love for climbing but also promote teamwork, self-confidence, and a sense of accomplishment.

The gym’s welcoming and supportive atmosphere creates a sense of community among climbers, making it a great place for kids to make new friends who share their passion for climbing.

Triangle Rock Club also hosts birthday parties, providing a unique and memorable way for kids to celebrate their special day with their friends. The climbing party packages include climbing instruction, equipment rental, and a dedicated party space for celebration.

With its emphasis on fun, fitness, and adventure, Triangle Rock Club offers an exciting and engaging activity that allows kids to challenge themselves and build physical and mental strength. It’s an excellent option for families seeking an active and thrilling experience in Raleigh that will leave lasting memories for kids and parents alike.

7. Neuse River Trail

The Neuse River Trail is a fantastic outdoor attraction that offers a wide range of fun activities for families looking for things to do in Raleigh with kids. This scenic trail stretches along the tranquil Neuse River, providing a picturesque setting for various outdoor adventures.

Biking is a popular activity on the Neuse River Trail, and families can bring their bicycles or rent them from nearby bike rental shops. The well-maintained trail offers a smooth and easy ride, making it suitable for riders of all skill levels, including young kids. Biking along the river allows families to soak in the natural beauty, spot wildlife, and enjoy the fresh air.

For families who prefer walking or jogging, the Neuse River Trail provides a peaceful and safe environment for a leisurely stroll or a brisk run. The trail’s flat and paved surface ensures a comfortable and enjoyable walking experience, making it accessible for kids and adults alike.

hiking neuse river trail raleigh north carolina with kids 1

Families can also pack a picnic and find a spot along the trail to enjoy a delicious outdoor meal together. The scenic views and the sound of the flowing river create a serene backdrop for a relaxing family picnic.

The Neuse River Trail is also an excellent spot for birdwatching, as it is home to a variety of bird species. Kids can bring their binoculars and have fun spotting different birds while learning about their habitats and behaviors.

Another exciting activity on the Neuse River Trail is fishing. The river is stocked with a variety of fish, providing an excellent opportunity for kids to try their hand at fishing. It’s a great way to introduce children to the joys of fishing and the importance of conservation.

Throughout the trail, families will find strategically placed benches and rest areas, allowing everyone to take a break and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. There are also water fountains and restrooms along the trail for added convenience.

With its scenic beauty and diverse recreational opportunities, the Neuse River Trail offers a delightful outdoor experience for families in Raleigh. It’s a wonderful way for kids and parents to connect with nature, stay active, and create cherished memories together. Whether you’re biking, walking, picnicking, birdwatching, or fishing, the Neuse River Trail promises a day filled with family fun and outdoor adventure.

The North Carolina Museum of Transportation also hosts special events and activities throughout the year, including train rides with holiday themes, like the popular “Polar Express” during the winter season. These events add an extra layer of excitement and joy to the museum experience, creating cherished memories for kids and their families.

For aspiring engineers and train enthusiasts, the museum offers educational programs and workshops that delve into the science and mechanics of transportation. Kids can learn about the inner workings of engines, discover the history of rail travel, and gain a deeper appreciation for the role of transportation in shaping our society.

Additionally, the museum’s outdoor grounds provide ample space for families to have a picnic, allowing for a relaxing and enjoyable break during the visit. With picnic areas and beautiful scenery, it’s a perfect spot for a family lunch surrounded by historic locomotives and vehicles.

Visiting the North Carolina Museum of Transportation is a wonderful way for kids to explore the world of transportation, learn about history, and engage in interactive experiences that make learning fun. It’s an opportunity for families to connect, share new discoveries, and create lasting memories together, making it a must-visit destination for families seeking enriching and enjoyable activities in Raleigh.

8. Lake Johnson Park

Visiting Lake Johnson Park in Raleigh promises a day of fun and outdoor adventures for families looking for exciting things to do in Raleigh with kids. This picturesque park offers a wide array of activities that cater to various interests and age groups.

Families can begin their adventure by exploring the scenic hiking trails that meander around the lake. The trails offer a chance to immerse in nature, spot wildlife, and enjoy the serene beauty of the surrounding woodlands. Kids will love the sense of exploration as they walk along the winding paths.

For families who enjoy being on the water, Lake Johnson offers opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boating. Renting a boat allows families to glide across the calm waters of the lake, creating wonderful memories and enjoying the great outdoors.

Fishing enthusiasts will also find delight in Lake Johnson’s fishing piers and abundant fishing opportunities. Kids can try their hand at fishing and experience the thrill of catching their first fish in a safe and family-friendly environment.

Fun Things to Do in Raleigh 1

The park features multiple playgrounds equipped with slides, swings, and climbing structures. These play areas offer kids a chance to burn off some energy and make new friends while parents relax and enjoy the beautiful views of the lake.

Lake Johnson Park is also an excellent spot for a family picnic. The park provides picnic shelters and tables, making it easy to enjoy a delicious outdoor meal amidst the natural beauty of the lake and its surroundings.

Families can cap off their day with a leisurely stroll around the lake, enjoying the scenic views and tranquility of the water. It’s a perfect way to wind down and savor the moments spent together.

With its range of recreational activities and family-friendly amenities, Lake Johnson Park is a fantastic destination for families seeking fun things to do in Raleigh with kids. Whether it’s hiking, boating, fishing, playing at the playgrounds, or simply enjoying a relaxing day outdoors, Lake Johnson Park offers an unforgettable experience for families to bond, explore, and create cherished memories together.

Visit Raleigh!

With its wide range of family-friendly activities, Raleigh, North Carolina, is a fantastic destination for a fun-filled vacation with your kids. From interactive museums to outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So pack your bags, plan your itinerary, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Raleigh.

The neurodivergent Family’s Guide to Travel
The Neurodivergent Familys Guide to Travel 700 × 150 px 1

This article is apart of travel series I recently launched, highlighting sensory-friendly destinations. Check out Here to read about our recent trip to Manchester, Vermont.

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    1. you’re so welcome! Thanks for stopping by

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