By Allison Carter

I have two boys. My boys are all boy – they are rough and tumble, love to be outside, and love to be dirty. When we have a weekend looming with not much on the calendar, my husband and I like to get out and do something outside. I’ve professed my love of hiking many times before. But when many of you wonderful, involved readers sent me the information to Three Bears Acres (thank you!) I knew we had to try it out.

Three Bears Acres is not close to us, so this was a special activity and outing for me and my boys that we allowed to take all day. This is in North Raleigh – Creedmoor to be precise. But I am very glad we went. The day started chilly yet we didn’t even notice with all the fun to be had.

Three Bears Acres reminds me of one of the fall places we love so much (like Vollmer) only open year round! Here is the list of activities we tried at Three Bears Acres:

~ slingshot throws
~ hay maze
~ climbing in a big pile of hay
~ air pillow jumping
~ rolling in big tubes
~ outdoor painting
~ playgrounds (which were huge and geared towards older kids), swinging, sliding
~ paddleboating

But the real winner was our outdoor sledding time – no snow required! Confused as to what this looks like? Thanks to theMom in Chapel Hill YouTube channel you can now see it for yourself (and yeah, we’re in hats – we’re sledding!).

We also packed a picnic and ate outside at one of the numerous picnic tables, overlooking the water. It was really nice! (Note that as of the date of this publication there are very limited drinks available for sale at Three Bears Acres although plans to build a snack cafe are in the works. So plan to bring your own goods in.)

We were here for 2 1/2 hours and here is what we did not do:
~ mud pie kitchen
~ archery
~ water wall
~ play in the large boat
~ sandbox
~ teepees
~ s’mores over by the bonfire (which they have during the colder months on Saturday and Sunday afternoons)

There is also a seasonal garden on the premises of Three Bears Acres for kids to explore and enjoy; however, when we were there all of the sweet potatoes had been harvested and the ground was being prepared for corn.

We really did have a blast here despite the chilly air when we first arrived and the wet, muddy ground. The staff was all friendly and helpful (one of the staff members even went and found The Bug’s shoe that had fallen off….somewhere…). There are so many activities and so much space that it would take a lot for this place to feel crowded and I can’t imagine a child being bored here.

Our only complaint was the price. Admission in to Three Bears Acres is not cheap. Adults are $10 each and children over 2 are $18 each. A little family can add up fast. I would say that if you are going to make a full day of it, plan to stay for a long time, realize it is a special family adventure, and take your lunch and snacks it is worth the one-time special trip.

Some little tips, though, if you want to save – after 2 pm (they close at 5 pm) admission goes down to $7 for adults and $13 for kids, and right now Thursdays are Toddler Thursday where admission for kids ages 2 -5 is $10 and adults are free (from 10 am to 5 pm). Also, if you know you are going to be going often there are annual passes available that might end up being value for your family.

There are bathrooms on site that were surprisingly nice, with a nice changing table in there. You can easily push a jogging stroller around the grounds, provided the ground isn’t too wet. This would be great to do with a group, though, given the wide open spaces and amount of activities.

See more pictures here at our Flickr account.

Three Bears Acres
711 Beaver Dam Road
Creedmoor NC 27522

This post originally ran on Allison’s other blog, Mom in Chapel Hill