Having a baby, and being pregnant, during the summer in North Carolina is serious business. Okay, yes, during the earlier parts of the season, it’s all outdoor picnics, park playdates, and maybe, mocktails on the porch.
But during these later weeks of summer, y’all. It’s hot. It’s humid. In the afternoons, it's hard to want to leave the cool, dark, dens of our homes. And if you’re pregnant or have a newborn in your home AND you have older child, it’s hard to find things to do to that burn off extra energy and don’t burn you out.
So today, we’re sharing our list of favorite Bull City spots that are perfect for the Dog Days of Summer, and for families with young children who are also balancing life while pregnant or with a newborn.
This South Durham spot is a new parents’ dream. A safe play space where kids can get out all their shouts, songs, slides (Have you seen that slide?! It’s amazing.), bounces, and drumming and you can sit on the perimeter and watch it all unfold, while drinking a coffee?
Notasium is open for Free Play Mondays through Fridays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on the weekends. Call or check their Facebook page before you head over though, in case they’re closed for a private party or large group.
Is there anything more exciting to preschoolers than fingerpainting? Is there anything more terrifying to new parents than fingerprinting in their own home? Local parents and owners of Bull City Craft understand this dilemma and have a solution. Enter: Playcraft! Mondays-Fridays and some Saturdays, the saints at Bull City Craft open their shop to local families for a drop-in impromptu art sesh.
Paint. Play-doh. Crafting. For $6, your preschooler can enjoy all the messes. You can enjoy all the air conditioning.
You likely already know about this gem, but we’d be remiss in not mentioning it in this list for two simple reasons: Mist Garden and Wolf Pups. Head over in the early morning before the heat gets cranked up too much, and check out the newest members of the museum families. If we’re being totally honest here, we’ll fully admit to being waaaaaay too invested in this wolf family. What can we cay? Families are kind of our thing.
Then, after you’ve seen their fluffy cuteness, finish the walking loop over by the Mist Garden and cool off.
Not feeling that long walk? No problem. All of the indoor stuff to do could easily fill a morning with discovery and adventure. Hopefully later in the afternoon all of that action means a nice, long nap for the entire family.
Yes, really. The Nasher is a great place to explore and check out all the interesting sights. Kids under 15 are always admitted free and there is air conditioning, aplenty.
If you’ve got a newborn who loves to nap in a carrier, this is a great spot to take a stroll.
Not only is the Nasher a beautiful local treasure, they hold events just for kids a few times each month. Check out their calendar online (search for Family events) to find out when the next Kids Studio or Family Days are happening, and drop by to give your little Picasso time and opportunity to express themselves (artistically, at least).
Maybe one of the best parts about living in Durham is the proximity to Eno River. It’s beautiful, there's a lot of shade, and best of all, it’s free! Fews Ford is a particular favorite on sweltering, hot days because of the shallow, clear water. If you’re pregnant, you can plop yourself down and cool off, and if you’re adventuring with a newborn and an older child you can spend the day wading together, or building a rock wall in the Ford. Bring a picnic, and eat together under a tree on the sandy banks. A note of caution about an Eno River adventure: Sometimes, the rocks can be quite slippery, so if you’re unsure of your footing (ahem, Pregnant People), then maybe stick to the ankle-deep water and wear grippy water shoes.
And on your way home, swing by to another Bull City Summer Fav: Locopops for a frozen treat for you, and your older kiddo (where the air conditioning and the wet wipes are abundant).
What's on your Summer Must-Do List that's perfect for pregnant people, or families with newborns and young children?