101 Family Day Trips and Day Trips Around the Research Triangle Area | What’s happening in the Research Triangle

101 Family Day Trips and Day Trips Around the Research Triangle Area


**Follow each link to get details about your visit directly from your destination, since some places operate seasonally or by reservation, as well as to check each venue's COVID requirements (masks, limits, social distancing).

Free activities and splurges that are worth it. The coolest stuff for a staycation in town and road trips for less than a tank of gas from Raleigh. Kids Out And About has tons of ideas for family travel, with places to explore, learn, and have fun!

KidsOutAndAbout is America's online guide to everything for kids, teens, and families! If you don't already receive our free weekly e-newsletter, sign up today to make sure you're in the know about free stuff, festivals, classes, camps, vacation ideas, and all the best events near you!

Take A Deep Breath In the Garden

Lavender Oaks Farm
Sarah Duke Gardens
WRAL Azalea Garden
Raleigh Rose Garden
North Carolina Botanical Garden
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
Cape Fear Botanical Garden


Get Wild on a Hike

  Duke Forest
Eno River State Park
Lake Brandt
Morgan Creek Trail
Salem Lake Trail
Mountains-to-Sea Trail


Time Travel Today

  Bennett Place State Historic Site
Duke Homestead State Historic Site
Stagville State Historic Site
North Carolina Museum of History
High Point Museum
Alamance Battleground
Battleship North Carolina
Fort Fisher


Make Life a Beach

Jordan Lake State Recreation Area
Falls Lake State Recreation Area
Wrightsville Beach
Kitty Hawk Beach
Carolina Beach State Park


Splash into Some Water Fun

  Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe
White Lake Water Park
Lions Water Adventure
Great Wolf Lodge Concord


Spend the Day at a Museum

  Kidzu Children's Museum
Marbles Kids Museum
North Carolina Aviation Museum & Hall of Fame
Imagination Station Science & History Museum
Museum of Life and Science
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
North Carolina Museum of Art
City of Raleigh Museum


Explore These Cities

Rocky Mount


All Aboard Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (and Boats!)

  New Hope Valley Railway
Airborne & Special Operations Museum
North Carolina Transportation Museum
North Carolina Maritime Museums Beaufort
Wright Brothers National Memorial


Grow Some Fun at the Farm

Waller Family Farm
Page Farms
Naylor Family Farm & Giant Corn Maze
Hill Ridge Farms
Granville Haunt Farm


Play Ball!

  Fayetteville Woodpeckers
Greensboro Swarm
Burlington Sock Puppets
Carolina Hurricanes
North Carolina Courage


Treat Yo' Self

Fresh Local Ice Cream
The Parlour
Pelican's SnoBalls
Groovy Duck Bakery


Connect with Nature

Sarah P. Duke Gardens
JC Raulston Arboretum
  North Carolina Botanical Garden
Cape Fear Botanical Garden
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden


Amuse Yourself at These Amusement Parks

  Frankie's Fun Park
  Pullen Park
Adventure Landing


Talk to the Animals

  Dead Broke Horse Farm
North Carolina Zoo
Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge
Carolina Tiger Rescue
Sylvan Heights Bird Park
Duke Lemur Center
Aloha Safari Zoo


Explore the Globe Close to Home

Bimbe Cultural Arts Festival


Let's Go Chasing Waterfalls

  Historic Yates Mill County Park
William B. Umstead State Park
Stone Mountain Falls
Hanging Rock State Park


Get Active Indoors

  Galaxy Fun Park
DefyGravity Raleigh
Buffalo Road Aquatic Center
Sky Zone - Durham
United Skates of America Raleigh
Bumper Jumpers
Triangle Rock Club


Challenge Yourself

  Go Ape Zipline
Xtreme Park Adventures
Carolina Ziplines Canopy Tours
Cape Fear River Adventures


Shop Your Heart Out

The Raleigh Market
Crowemag Toys
The Teach Me Store
Nick's Trains
The Enchanted Fairy
Quail Ridge Books




Limiting our list to 101 ideas meant some great destinations may have been left off the list - if there is something you’d like to see added, share it with us on Facebook!

Most of these destinations are within an hour from downtown Raleigh. For those that are a bit farther away:

             = Less than 1 hour away

          = 1 to 2 hours away

       = 2 to 3 hours away

   = Just over 3 hours away