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Most Popular Family Activities in Raleigh, NC

Raleigh, NC Family Activities

Raleigh, North Carolina is a great weekend getaway for families or a whole vacation would be filled with all there is to do for both children and adults.

Families will love Raleigh, North Carolina. There is so much to do in the capital city of North Carolina. From art museums to the theatre to attractions geared just to kids, everyone will find something they like in Raleigh. Raleigh is part of a region called Research Triangle which combines Raleigh with Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

There is a strong educational presence in this beautiful city, which is often called the City of Oaks, due to the wonderful large trees all through the city. Raleigh originated in 1770 and is always growing and expanding. The area would make a wonderful weekend getaway for families. There is much to do for all ages. Here are three of the most popular attractions for families.

North Carolina Museum of Art

This exquisite collection houses the finest group of Old Master Paintings in the Southeast. Another popular collection for families is the Egyptian Artifacts. The Museum also offers educational programs, performances, and films. There are a great gift shop and a café. There is also a Museum park trail to run off some family steam. Concerts are often offered on the lawn.

Admission to the permanent collection is always free for everyone. There are some fees for special programs and exhibits. The Museum is closed on Mondays. Operation hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. On Fridays, the hours are from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm. Saturday and Sunday hours are from 10:00 until 5:00 pm. They are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day each year.

North Carolina Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Road; Raleigh, North Carolina
919-839-6262; 919-715-5923

Marbles Kids Museum

Marbles Kids Museum is a must-see for families touring Raleigh. This interactive museum is simply about the world. It features hands-on exhibits and programs for all ages focusing on global trade, telecommunications, changing cultures, and the global environment. Marbles also house an IMAX Theatre. It features the largest flat screen in North Carolina, projecting images ten times the size of traditional movie images. There is a wall of a million marbles that surround the museum that lights up at night.

NC Marbles Kids Museum

This museum was formerly known as Exploris. In 2007, it merged with Playspace which was an interactive museum. Marbles Museum is closed on Mondays. The hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. On Sundays, the hours are from 12 noon until 5:00 pm. Tickets are $5.00 for all ages. You can expect to add anywhere from $5.00 to $10.00 per ticket for IMAX packages. All children must be attended by an adult 18 years or older. There is one aspect of Marbles that parents will love. Any adult coming into the building without children is required to leave a photo ID with staff, which is a great safety measure that gives families a level of comfort.

Marbles Kids Museum
201 East Hargett Street
Raleigh, North Carolina 27601

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

This is one of the largest museums of natural history in the Southeast. There are four floors of exhibits, live animals, and a wonderful museum store that the kids will love. Kids will also love eating at the Arco Café. Some highlights include the world’s only Acrocanthosaurus dinosaur, and Willo, the first dinosaur discovered with a fossilized heart. Be sure to pick up some “Terror of the South” dinosaur gear in the museum shop. There is also a two-story waterfall. Also, check out the Living Conservatory that is buzzing with hummingbirds and butterflies. There are hands-on programs daily.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is open every single day, except major holidays. The hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. On Sundays, the museum is open from 12:00 noon until 5:00 pm. On the first Friday of each month, there are extended hours until 9:00 pm. General Admission is always free for everyone, but donations will be happily accepted. There are some cover charges for special exhibits and programs. Anyone under sixteen years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
11 West Jones Street; Raleigh, North Carolina 27601
919-733-7450; 877-462-8724

There are many other activities in Raleigh, including historic trolley tours, restaurants, and a wide range of entertainment venues. For more information, contact the Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.


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