The weather is getting FABULOUS here in Raleigh, so Little Dude and I will be out and about at one of the local parks today.
I plan on taking him to Pullen Park, right next to the NCSU campus. The park is great; there is a train, bumper boats, paddle boats (though he's still to little for them), slides, swings, and off to the side an entire baby/toddler area that is shaded and full of swings and climbing toys. There are also multiple fields and picnic tables which make lunch play dates super fun!
There is also the Aquatic Center, which is an indoor, heated building full of pools! On a nice day like today, where it is a bit nippy but not cold, a swim in the heated pool could be quite fun! They also have changing areas, and the girls room has a few hair dryers too! The cost is $2.50 if you live in Raleigh, $5 if you do not and for Babies it is free, though I think Little Dude might be over the cut off age for free, but at any case, I think he will still end up only being a $1 or so.
The park also has a community center that hosts different activities from dancing lessons to self defense! The "Theater in the Park" is located off the Hillsborough Street side of the park, and the plays there are fantastic. My favorite is still the performance of "A Christmas Carol" staring Ira David Wood. He was so great as Scrooge and all the supporting cast was just marvelous. For older children or as a low budget date night activity, seeing a play in the "Theater in the Park" is a great idea.
Eating at the park is easy, as there are plenty of tables and space to have a picnic, or you can walk over to Hillsborough Street and dine at one of the many wonderful mom and pop restaurants there. My favorite to take Little Dude is "Two Guys" pizza and pasta. They have high chairs and all the food is home made from scratch-it is like a cross of southern cooking grandma meets fat Italian chef. Think Paula Dean meets Mario Batali.
If any of you partake in Pullen Park, I hope you enjoy it! No matter where you live in the Triangle area, it is a fun trip well worth the drive.