Go Ask Mom

Take the Kids: Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and Museum

WRAL contributor Tandra Wilkerson took a trip with her daughters to Wilson.

Posted Updated
Whirligig Park visit
Tandra Wilkerson
, WRAL contributor
WILSON, N.C. — The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and Museum... an attraction on our list for far too long. We finally grabbed a pen and marked it done.

Warm, morning air filled our car for a full 1 hour and 42 minutes. That was the drive from our home to Wilson. By the time we arrived, the sun was showing off and whirligigs joined right in. The day was off to a great start!

A visit with the kids to Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in Wilson. (Tandra Wilkerson)​
A visit with the kids to Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in Wilson. (Tandra Wilkerson)​

Admittedly, we were unprepared for the heat. We showed up without hats or visors and no sunscreen. Eeek! I blame my fatigue. We had plenty of water and sunglasses, however. Did you catch the tip? When visiting during warmer months, be prepared.

The park sits on two acres. There are around 30 whirligigs of all shapes and sizes to amaze you. An amphitheater is in the center, serving as an event space and the perfect spot to spread out your blanket. Rest, have lunch, let life spin playfully around you. And Mother Nature... bring on the good breezes!

My daughters and I planned to enjoy lunch there but it was a bit too hot. If you don't pack your own food, I'm told there are food trucks and a farmer's market on site Wednesdays and Saturdays. Tables, benches, and restaurants fill the area as well. You have options, folks!

Preparation for a private event was occurring during our visit. We'll have to experience all of the extras next time. I'm excited to check out the market and food selections. Something about food trucks just make a meal seem tastier.

The park is in the heart of historic downtown Wilson and there's parking directly in front of it. About a block or two away, we saw a public parking lot as well. A few people were present when we arrived and cars passed by intermittently. Not surprisingly, we explored long enough to watch the area come alive.

Directly across the street is the Vollis Simpson Museum. There is no entrance fee. We learned of Mr. Simpson's journey and what led him to create whirligigs from scrap metal and other items. Some of his largest creations can be seen in the park.

As a writer, I'm intrigued by stories. I like to fully read information at exhibits. As a mom, I was more concerned about not spending money on accidents. My wonderfully, curious daughters like to pick up every breakable item in a gift shop.

A visit with the kids to Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in Wilson. (Tandra Wilkerson)​

Just so you know, the museum is small but informative. As expected, southern hospitality greeted us at the door. And parents... restrooms are in the lobby area right before entering the museum. If you're like me, knowing how quickly your crew can reach a toilet is important!

Overall, this trip was well worth the drive. It's always fun to see North Carolina attractions and mark them off of our list. We're excited to return.

If you'd like to see how we spent the rest of the day exploring Wilson, you can visit the post on my blog, Thriller Mom.
A visit with the kids to Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in Wilson. (Tandra Wilkerson)​


Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.