By Rachel Hoeing

Triad moms, we’ve got amazing ideas in store for you and your toddler or preschooler to enjoy the best summer yet! Use our list to visit a venue in your own city, or venture to other parts of the Triad for a day trip! In addition, check out our Family Bucket List here for ideas, as well as our Day Trip directory here. Enjoy!

 

1. Go on a Train Ride

From mini-trains, to the real deal, check out these options! Most of the parks listed below have smaller choo-choo trains that go around the park and only cost a few dollars. Other options are to explore and ride on real trains!

Amtrak – stations nearby in High Point, Greensboro, Salisbury, and Burlington
Burlington City Park
Dan Nicholas Park
Hanes Mall – mini train goes around the upper level by the glass elevator
High Point City Lake Park
NC Transportation Museum
Pullen Park
Tweetsie Railroad
Village Park

 

2. See the Animals

North Carolina has a great mix of zoos where you can view the animals from afar, as well as unique habitats where you can get up close and personal with animals. Click each venue to visit the website and plan your trip!

Aloha Safari Zoo
All-a-Flutter Butterfly Farm
Buffalo Creek Farm and Creamery
Carolina Raptor Center
Conservators Center
Dan Nicholas Park
Duke Lemur Center
Greensboro Science Center
Hill Ridge Farms
Homeland Creamery
Kaleideum North
Lazy 5 Ranch
North Carolina Zoo
Piedmont Environmental Center
Reptile Museum
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium
Tiger World
Western NC Nature Center
Zootastic Park

 

3. Explore Children’s Museums

We have so many fun museums close by that are specifically geared toward our youngest learners!

Children’s Museum of Alamance County
Discovery Place Kids
Fascinate You
Greensboro Children’s Museum
Hands On
Kaleideum Downtown
Kaleideum North
KidSenses Children’s Interactive Museum
Marbles Kids Museum
NC Transportation Museum

 

4. Scream for Ice Cream

I think this is more of a treat for moms than kids sometimes! In addition to the well-known chains, here are a few of my favorite spots to get a milkshake, fro-yo, or ice cream!

Andy’s Frozen Custard
Burger Warfare
Cin Cin Burger Bar
Dairi-O
Dewey’s Bakery
Di’lishi Frozen Yogurt Bar
Doss’s Hotdogs & Ice Cream
Feeney’s Frozen Yogurt Bar
Freddy’s Frozen Custard
Hwy 55
Ice Scraperz
Kilwin’s
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt
Ozzie’s Ice Cream Shop
Small Batch (formerly Burger Batch)
Smitty’s Homemade Ice Cream
Sweet Frog
Whit’s Frozen Custard
Yum Yum Better Ice Cream
Zack’s Frozen Treats

 

5. Enjoy Storytimes

All of our local Barnes & Noble stores have amazing story times and family events each month. We include these on our TMoM events calendar, and you can also see the events for each specific store on their website here. We also love storytime at Wonderland Bookshop and Bookmarks.

At our local libraries, most branches have storytimes throughout the summer. You will find some of these library activities on our TMoM events calendar. You can also visit each county’s website below to see a full calendar of events for the branch that is closest to you.

Alamance County
Davidson County
Davie County
Forsyth County
Greensboro/Guilford
Northwestern (Stokes, Alleghany, Surry and Yadkin)
Randolph County

 

6. Play in the Water

Splash pads and Spraygrounds are must-dos this summer, and the great news is that many are free! See our list here!

In addition, check out our local pools to consider a day pass or membership. See our directory here.

And if you really want to “go big” with the water theme, plan a trip to the beach by using our Beach Directory here. We have options all down the east coast with a variety of ideas for you and your family.

 

7. Indoor Jumping

Check each location to find times specific to little ones if you want to avoid larger kids jumping at the same time.

Air Fun Trampoline Park
Bouncin’ Around
Bumper Jumpers
Get Air
Jump-N-Fun
Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park
Sky Zone
Surge Trampoline Park
Ten Little Monkeys

 

7. Stroll through Farmer’s Markets

Explore local Farmer’s Markets with your kids. It’s a great way to introduce your child to some heart-healthy foods while also supporting local farmers. Let your child pick out new foods to try and also have discussions of where they come from! Many local markets have special days during their seasons to celebrate certain foods or goods. Many will also surprise guests with live music! Click here for our directory of local farmer’s markets and find one near year for a fun morning out.

Don’t forget about all the opportunities for u-pick berries this season, too. Strawberry farms are operational right now (click HERE to view our list), and we will publish an updated list of local blueberry farms in July.

 

8. Go Bowling

You may think your little one is too small to bowl, but now that bowling alleys have lighter bowling balls and alley bumpers, it can be a lot of fun! Most bowling alleys also have ramps that young children and those with special needs can use to help guide the ball down the alley. Many also have arcade games to enjoy while you are there as well!

AMF Bowling Lanes
Buffaloe Lanes
Country Club Lanes West
Countryside Lanes
Creekside Lanes
High Point Bowling Center
Northside Lanes
Round 1 Bowling & Amusement
Spare Time Enterainment
Triad Lanes Greensboro

 

9. Explore a New Park/Playground

Do you know we have over 60 local parks listed on our directory? We include descriptions, photos, info on walking trails, etc. You will never run out of new places to explore! Enjoy a day on the playground, or take a stroll on the walking trails. Pack a picnic lunch and find a shady spot under the trees. Some parks even have rides and water activities. You can view our list here to find many parks to explore!

 

10. Relax at Home

OK, so I know “relax” and “toddler” are two words that rarely go together, but sometimes it’s nice to just stay inside in the cool air-condition and come up with new things to do indoors. Here are some of our favorite ways to keep little ones entertained at home:

Build a fort with sheets
Play board games like CandyLand, Zingo, and Chutes & Ladders
Bake together
Create with Play-dough, clay, Silly Putty or Flubber
Have a dance party
Let your kids play dress-up using your clothes
Make some crafts

Don’t forget that there are many summer camps and Vacation Bible School opportunities for young children as well. See our camp directory HERE and our VBS directory HERE.

 

Other blogs and directories you may use this summer!

Summer 2019 Family Bucket List
Things to Do With Your Preschooler this Summer
Day Trip Ideas
99 Ways to Reply to I’m Bored
Event Calendar

Looking for more lists like this one? Check out our Directory Page here. Also subscribe to our free weekly newsletters here.