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Indoor, outdoor adventure found south of the Triangle

Families looking for adventure can find it for free at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville and Raven Rock State Park near Lillington.

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Families looking for adventure – inside and out – can find it south of the Triangle at two free attractions.

At the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, the personal stories and the history of the Army's elite paratroopers and Special Operations are on display.

“There's a lot of things to look at. The kids won't even realize they're learning,” Paul Gallow, executive director of the museum, said.

Valarie Martinez said she likes to bring her children for the price – and the experience.

“It's something you can do for free and the kids love it,” she said. “They like seeing the airplanes and the soldiers in uniform.”

For $5, you can add some action to the tour. A five-minute ride on the museum’s live-action simulator is as you can come to Special Operations without enlisting.

After the museum, head to Raven Rock State Park near Lillington.

The park has 10 hiking trails, nine of them rated "easy." It’s a good fit for families with small children.

Raven Rock is one of the smaller, less-visited parks in the state system. It is known as a good place for birding.

There is plenty of natural beauty to see as well. One trail dead-ends at the Cape Fear River. Along another, you’ll find the sheer face of Raven Rock reaching toward the sky.

Darlene Williams described the park as "majestic, beautiful, marvelous, exciting, adventurous."

“Just pack up some sandwiches from the house and bottle up some water. That's about all it cost,” Williams suggested.

Admission to Raven Rock is free. The only cost is the gas to get there.

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