Raleigh with Teens: A Perfect Family Day

Raleigh with Teens: A Family Vacation


As soon as you set foot in Raleigh, North Carolina, you are overwhelmed by the sense of community, even with its population of nearly 400,000 people. There is no shortage of things to do in this great city that will appeal to family members of all ages. If you are planning a trip to Raleigh with teens, allow me to recommend a few places that will make your day a perfect one!


Start the best family vacation in Raleigh with the Southern icon--Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Krispy Kreme got its start in 1937 in Winston Salem, a city less than 100 miles away. Look for the "Hot Now" sign outside Krispy Kreme, which signals that the mouth-watering doughnuts are just fresh from the oven. Pair them with hot, fresh coffee or iced beverages, such as Berries and Cream Chillers or Doughnut Sundaes. It's doughnuts galore with flavors such as cinnamon, jelly filled, crullers, chocolate and sprinkled, to name a few.

Krispy Kreme is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Krispy Kreme, 549 North Person Street, Raleigh, NC 27604; 919-833-3682

If you are looking for family vacation ideas, try Artspace to give your teens a cultural experience. A non-profit visual arts center open since 1986, Artspace encourages folks to get involved in creative, artistic processes, whether the medium is sculpturing, painting, drawing, or digital media. The two-story building is made up of three galleries and 27 individual studios where visitors can observe an artist at work or look at finished pieces. Special events throughout the year include Family Fun Day and LoPop Shop, which promotes the work of local artists. Admission to the museum is free and tours are self-led. What better way to let your teenager browse or find inspiration at his or her own pace?

Artspace is open Tue-Sat 10AM-6PM. Artspace, 201 East Davie Street, Raleigh, NC 27601; 919-821-2787

When you are planning a Raleigh family vacation with teens, you must include Adventure Landing. Your teens can go wild with laser tag, arcade games, go-karts, batting cages, and adventure golf! There are different specials for each day of the week, so log on to www.adventurelanding.com for "Family Specials" and "All You Can Play Days." Adventure Landing serves up typical amusement park fare such as hotdogs, hamburgers and fries, but there are also other options, including chicken strips, chicken sandwiches and bottled water.

Adventure Landing is open Sun-Thu 10AM-10PM, Fri-Sat 10AM-midnight, and you can enjoy laser tags, go-karts, or golf for $7 per activity. Adventure Landing, 3311 Capital Boulevard, Raleigh, NC 27604; 919-872-1688


When visiting Raleigh with teens, there is no better option for lunch than the famous Carolina barbeque from The Pit Authentic Barbeque. Located in downtown Raleigh's Warehouse District, The Pit combines southern hospitality with mouth-watering food. Begin with a starter, such as Fried Green Tomatoes (how could you not!) served with buttermilk lime dressing and fresh basil for $6.59. Sandwiches and salads abound, but let me recommend the Eastern NC style Chopped Barbeque Sandwich, paired with coleslaw, hand-cut sweet potato fries and a pickle for $7.59. Plates of barbeque, chicken or meatloaf are also available and come with two sides of your choice, including fried okra, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, freshly baked biscuits and hushpuppies.

The Pit Authentic Barbeque is open Mon-Thu 11AM-10PM, Fri-Sat 11AM-11PM, and Sun 11AM-9PM. The Pit, 328 West Davie Street, Raleigh, NC 27601; 919-890-4500

My family has always enjoyed trips to the Raleigh City Museum. The museum is located in the Historic Briggs Building and admission is free. Examples of the types of exhibits you may find include "The Revolution of Media," which explores the history of newspaper, radio and television in Raleigh, or "Let Us March On: Raleigh's Journey Towards Civil Rights," an honest look at the twenty-year period from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s as the city struggled toward equal rights for all. It covers desegregation in schools and institutions of higher education as well as the efforts of individuals, both black and white, who were met with hostility and antagonism as they worked for integration. This is both an educational and fun experience for you and your teens.

The museum is open Tue-Fri 10AM-4PM, Sat 1PM-4PM, and closed on Sunday and Monday. Raleigh City Museum, 220 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh, NC 27601; 919-832-3775

Raleigh is home to North Carolina State University, Saint Augustine's College, Peace College and Meredith College. With all the young adults around, an array of eclectic shops and boutiques has popped up in the city. If your teens like to shop, try Gigi's Boutique, a shop that offers a boutique experience for the everyday customer with trendy clothes under $100.

Gigi's is open Mon-Sat 10AM-6PM and Sun 1PM-5PM. Find it at Stonehenge Market, 7428 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh, NC 27613; 919-846-0014.

If your teenager is a book lover, then your family vacations probably include a stop in the local bookstores. Try Edward McKay: Used Books and More since 1975.

The store is open seven days a week (Mon-Sat 9AM-9PM, Sun 12PM-7PM), so there isn't a bad time to browse its shelves for used books, audio books, VHS tapes, music CDS, DVDs and video games. McKay's buys, sells and trades used books, so there is sure to be something in every genre that your family loves. Edward McKay Used Books and More, 3514 Capital Boulevard, Raleigh NC 27604; 919-790-9299


If you can pull your teenager away from the marvelous shops for dinner, Market Restaurant is a great local eatery, where chef Chad McIntyre creates dishes he learned to cook using local ingredients in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Start with a delectable appetizer--perhaps corn fritters for $7 or a Caprese Salad with sliced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and honey balsamic pesto for $9. You are likely to find creative main dishes like Roasted BBQ Chicken with Cheerwine BBQ and potatoes or Blackened Tofu Tacos. Finish up with dessert such as a Summer Berry Crumble, made with fresh seasonal berries and mascarpone ice cream for $6. The restaurant, housed in a pink building with green trim, offers indoor and outdoor dining and a garage door that can be raised during good weather. The walls feature a rotating collection of local artists' work. This is sure to be the perfect ending to the best family vacation in Raleigh!

Market Restaurant is open Tue-Thu 11:30AM-2PM and 5PM-10PM, Fri-Sat 11:30AM-2PM and 5PM-11PM, and closed on Sunday and Monday. Market Restaurant, 938 North Blount Street, Raleigh, NC 27604; 919-754-0900
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