Wake Forest is just 30 minutes from downtown Raleigh -- close enough for an easy day trip to tot-pleasing attractions like the Marbles Kids Museum. If you want to stay within the charmingly picturesque city limits of Wake Forest, however, no one could blame you -- and you’ll still find plenty of entertaining activities to keep your young children occupied in this North Carolina town.
If you’re having a hard time coming up with an idea for indoor fun, head to the Factory, where you’ll find lots of options in one place. Kids can paint mugs at Clay Fusion, burn off some energy at the Jump Start classes or open play sessions at Jumpin’ Beans Inflatable Playground and Party Center or just gawk at all the fun toys at Lollipop Toy Shop. Pick up a schedule of classes and activities for younger children at the YMCA at the Factory. Offerings vary by season but typically include arts and crafts, tumbling and beginning sports.
The Wake Forest Farmers Market is open on Saturdays year-round, and younger children can be inspired by the sounds, sights and flavors of the busy farm stands. The market often hosts live music, so kids can jump out of their strollers and move to the beat on the edges of the crowd. Kids can get excited about books with story time at the Wake Forest library branches. You’ll find daytime story time sessions for toddlers and preschoolers, or you can go to one of the evening family story time sessions. On the second Friday of each month, join the Wake Forest Art After Hours art walk with your tot in her stroller. The participating galleries open at 5 p.m., so you'll have plenty of time to explore before bedtime.
A day at the park is a favorite for many kids, and Wake Forest has several tot-friendly options from which to choose. The playground at Ailey Young Park has steps in addition to ladders, so younger kids will find it easier to climb up to the slide. Lots of playground equipment at Holding Park means shorter waiting times for swings and slides -- a plus for little kids who are just learning how to take turns. Kids who prefer toddler swings will find plenty at Taylor Street Park. Take a shovel and bucket because the park also has a large sand box in which to play.
The Wake Forest Greenways give you and your child more than 8 miles of developed trail to explore. Take a stroller in case your little one gets tired, but expect your child to want to explore the woods and streams along the greenway paths. If you want to get your tot excited about nature, take a trip to Falls Lake State Recreation Area. Depending on the season, you can hike the trails, take a boat out on the lake, fish from the pier or just explore the woods together.