For a family that appreciates both urban and natural outdoor adventures, the possibilities in Durham are endless.

Indoor, outdoor, and by the season. We’ve got you covered.

Whether it’s your kiddos or you’re hosting visitors, these activities are sure to be crowd pleasers, for both them and you. Here are 30 of our favorite family-friendly activities in Durham!

Kid friendly things to do in Durham nc museum of life and science
Museum of Life and Science


1. Ride the train at the Museum of Life and Science

The Museum of Life and Science is a great interactive science park on 84 acres. It includes a two-story science center, a large butterfly conservatory, and 60 species of live animals in its outdoor exhibits. Pro Tip: Wear some walking shoes if you are going to see any of the larger outdoor animal or nature exhibits! Also be sure to purchase tickets at the front if you would like to ride the train.

2. Make some furry friends at the Duke Lemur Center

3. Spend the day at the Eno River State Park

A 4,200-acre North Carolina state park, it’s only 10 miles from downtown Durham but it’s one of the best places in Durham to get away from it all. The hiking trails are well-marked and there are some very nice hikes from flat trails as well as hilly areas. Take the kiddos canoeing, fishing, hiking, and even camp overnight!

kid friendly things to do in durham nc American Tobacco Campus
American Tobacco Campus

4. Play a game of giant chess and lounge in the hammocks at American Tobacco Campus

5. Explore West Point on the Eno together

6. Go for a family bike ride on the American Tobacco Trail

Sarah p duke gardens kid friendly things to do in durham nc
Sarah P. Duke Gardens

7. Feed the ducks at Sarah P. Duke Gardens

Named one of the top 10 public gardens in the U.S. by TripAdvisor, Sarah P. Duke Gardens is open everyday of the year and is free to all!

Be sure to check out free concerts in the spring and summer. Adult and youth programs like nature storytime and urban farm tours are also available for free.

8. Test your skills at the Discovery High Ropes Course

9. Pick out some veggies at the Durham Farmer’s Market then let the kiddos climb Mount Merrill in Durham Central Park

10. Play at one of Durham’s 65+ parks, a  favorites are Forest Hills Park, Trinity Park, and Cornwallis Road Park

kid friendly things to do in durham nc
Pine Cone Ice Cream at Brightleaf Square

11. Stroll through Brightleaf Square and grab some ice cream at Pine Cone (Use Shop Durham card for 10% off each visit)

12. Climb the blocks in front of the Durham Arts Council


kid friendly things to do in durham nc

13. Ride the carousel at Northgate Mall

14. Let them play at the kid’s area at Southpoint Mall (Geared towards younger kids)

15. Flip into a foam pit at Defy Gravity

16. Play together at Notasium (Music-based indoor play area)


17. Visit the Duke Basketball Hall of Fame

Check out decades of Duke University’s athletic achievements showcased with visual and audio exhibits, theatre and trophies of national championships at the Duke Basketball Hall of Fame.

18. Make-n-Take something together at Scrap Exchange

The Scrap Exchange is a true treasure. They have a retail store, classes, an art gallery. Drop in and check out the Make n Take Room, make anything you want using the materials in the space, and take it home!

19. Rollerskate at Wheels Fun Park

20. Pick out some books at the Durham County Library

21. Paint a picture at Bull City Craft (Use Shop Durham card for 10% off retail purchases and Paint-it-yourself projects)

22. Catch a play or movie at Carolina Theatre (Check out the Arts Discovery Series)

By the Season


23. Pick out pumpkins at Ganyard Hill Farm

24. Grapes at Herndon Hills Farm (August til October)


duke chapel kid friendly things to do in durham nc
Duke Chapel

25. Celebrate Christmas by Candlelight at Duke Homestead

26. Children’s choirs performances at Duke Chapel (If they can sit still!)


kid friendly things to do in durham nc waller family farm
Waller Family Farm

27. Pick strawberries at Waller Family Farm

Waller Family Farm is a real working strawberry, vegetable and beef cattle farm, located in Durham County.

We love coming here to pick our own strawberries. Picking starts around the last week of April, through May and into June. They provide cardboard flats to pick in, or you can bring your own containers.

Check their site often for dates, times and availability of berries during the strawberry season.


28. Put on your baseball gloves and cheer on the Durham Bulls

29. Cool off at one of Durham’s 5 spraygrounds

30. Pick your own blueberries at Herndon Hills Farm

You May Also Be Interested In:

Where to Watch Free Movies in Durham This Summer

Kids Play Free at Splashpads & Outdoor Pools in Durham

Got more kid-friendly things to do that we should know about? Send us a message!

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