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!
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!
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
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
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
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)
25. Celebrate Christmas by Candlelight at Duke Homestead
26. Children’s choirs performances at Duke Chapel (If they can sit still!)
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:
Got more kid-friendly things to do that we should know about? Send us a message!
Presented by Shop Durham
The Best Way to Keep Durham Local. Use your card to get discounts and freebies at 150 spots around town. ShopDurhamNC.com