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Sloane Heffernan's five 'must-do's' before summer ends

This summer, we tried not to pack too many extra activities into our summer schedule. Here is a list of our top five summer favorites.

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Sloane Heffernan
, WRAL contributor
RALEIGH, N.C. — Summertime is a magical time, and Mother Nature seems to be a good magician because the season is disappearing before our eyes. I wish I could bottle up this time with my kids. We get a break from the pressures of school, sports, homework, after-school activities, jobs etc… Relaxing mornings and late nights are such a treat!

This summer, we tried not to pack too many extra activities into our summer schedule. Here is a list of our TOP 5 summer favorites:


There’s nothing better than a summer night at the ball-field, and Durham does it right! The Bulls offer the traditional hot dogs and peanuts, but they kick it up a notch with craft beers, a playground for the kids, a taco bar with tasty margaritas and even an app that allows you to have your refreshments delivered right to your seats! The action never stops at the DBAP. There are fun activities in between innings, and if you time it right, the Bulls feature spectacular post-game fireworks at select Saturday home games! Even if you are not a big baseball fan, the entire family will love a BULLS game!


Golfing is fun, but golfing under the lights at night is even better. Knight’s Play Golf Center is a three-par golf course in Apex. It’s considered a “practice facility” because there are no long holes, which makes it ideal for a beginner or a family. According to the golf center website, Knight's Play has been recognized by the Golf Range Association of America as one of the “top 100 practice facilities in the country.” The course is fully paved for carts, but short enough for a very enjoyable walk.


You might think that a day-trip to the North Carolina shore is more trouble than it’s worth, but trust me, once you get there - you will thank me! This was one of our favorite summer activities when the kids were young. We would leave the house by 8 a.m.m and have our toes in the sand at Wrightsville Beach by 10:30 a.m. Parking is a breeze, if you arrive early in the morning. We would park near a public beach house so we could use the bathrooms and shower before heading home. We would play all day and then leave around 4 p.m., grabbing fast-food for the ride home. The kids would be in bed by 8 p.m. and dream of the memories they made on the North Carolina shore!


What’s not to love about an outdoor movie under the stars! The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh hosts outdoor films all summer long. They feature Oscar-nominated films in the Museum Park. No outside food or beverage is allowed, but you can pre-order picnics or grab something at the concession stand featuring soft drinks, beer, wine and of course, popcorn! Many movies sell out, so buy your tickets in advance.


Public pools are not what they used to be when I was a kid! The local pools in the Triangle are more like waterparks! The town of Wake Forest made a splash with the opening of the Holding Park Aquatic Center. The pool features two-waterslides, a designated kiddie play area and a great diving board for flips and tricks.There is a nice snack bar and plenty of shade. There is small admission fee for residents and non-residents and you must register and pay in advance.
Sloane Heffernan is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist and former WRAL-TV anchor/reporter. In June 2021, Sloane transitioned from journalism to launch Storymore, a brand storytelling business. Sloane now uses her storytelling skills to help businesses clarify their message and create a deeper connection with their desired audience.


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