Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Looking for winter break ideas? Here's your guide!

Posted December 18, 2012

Three Bears Acres is an outdoor, recreational farm for children of all ages.

Most of us will be busy with Christmas activities and celebrations early next week but, as lots of parents know, the excitement will die down right around Dec. 27 and the kids will start getting a little restless.

Plenty of kids will be at camp, day care, with grandma or at the sitters for break. But if you have kids at home over the next couple of weeks and, perhaps, some out-of-town guests, I thought I'd offer a little guide for those days when you just want to get out of the house.

Here's what's happening:

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences' special exhibit Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit continues at the downtown Raleigh museum. This exhibit features more than 200 artifacts recovered from the wreck site. I'd recommend this exhibit for grade schoolers and up. Read my earlier post for details and click here for information about online resource guides. Tickets are between $9 and $14. And if you haven't seen the museum's new Nature Research Center, now is the time. It's is a wonderful addition to the museum. While my three-year-old enjoys looking, my seven-year-old really enjoys delving into it all.

Marbles Kids Museum's IMAX theater is showing "The Gruffalo's Child," a 30-minute flick based on the children's book of the same name. Tickets are $5 for the 30-minute animated movie. Marbles in downtown Raleigh also will have some special Arctic Antics activities, along with screenings of its "To the Arctic 3D," from Dec. 21 to Jan. 1.

The N.C. Museum of Art's Still-Life Masterpieces: A Visual Feast offers a look at more than 70 works of art from the past 400 years. The exhibit is great for grade schoolers and up (and out-of-town guests interested in art). Read my earlier post for details. Tickets are $3.75 to $10 right now. The museum also has free 30-minute weekend family tours at 10:30 a.m., Saturdays and Sundays. Designed for kids ages 5 to 10 and their adults.

The N.C. Museum of History has a fun exhibit on the history of "Gone With the Wind," along with looks at North Carolina and the Civil War and North Carolina's governors.

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill is showing its new movie "The Longest Night: A Winter's Tale." The movie was made in collaboration with Paperhand Puppet Intervention, known for its massive puppets found at local performances and festivals. Another show on its schedule: "Magic Tree House Space Mission," great for preschoolers and up, especially fans of the Magic Tree House book series.

The Museum of Life and Science is offering free admission for kids on some days in December and January. Read my earlier post for details. The museum's newer offerings include its seasonal Wonderland Express model train exhibit and alpacas in its upgraded farmyard.

And adults pay child's admission with donation of non-perishable food at the N.C. Zoo in Asheboro, about 90 minutes from the Triangle.

Another ongoing deal: Kidzu Children's Museum, for kids 8 and under, is free every Sunday. The museum is in Chapel Hill.

Three Bears Acres in northern Wake County offers all kinds of outdoor play, including a 300-foot slide, tree house and lots of space for the kids to run off all of their energy. Read my review for more information.

The rides at Pullen Park in Raleigh are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily, except for Dec. 24, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. The grounds and playground is open from dawn to dusk.

And the Raleigh Winterfest ice rink is open daily downtown for ice skating, including Christmas Day.

Of course, it's likely we'll have at least a few days of decent weather. Check our database of park and playground reviews and looks at other Triangle family destinations for more ideas.

Check back on Thursday for holiday hours at many of these venues. You'll find it all in my Weekend Plans post.

Happy break!

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  • mistervegas Dec 20, 2012

    Forget about the museums - boring! IMAX, Pullen Park and ice rink are ok.