Here are some free, fun things to do in Raleigh

Here are some free, fun things to do in Raleigh

What should you do when your family comes to town? Take them to Raleigh. We've rounded up some free (and really cheap) activities.

Above, Pullen Park. Photo by Chris Seward for the News & Observer.

Since the weather is getting nicer, loads of families decide to come out and visit their college kid. Nobody wants to come visit when it’s wet and cold, right? (My family doesn’t.)

When your family comes to town, suggest one of these free (or really cheap) activities in Raleigh.

Since the weather is getting nicer, go to one of Raleigh’s parks. Pullen Park is right next to N.C. State’s campus, and it has activities like paddleboats and a train for little kids. Jordan Lake is a little bit further out, but it’s a perfect destination to bring a couple Eno hammocks and a picnic and spend a couple hours.

Jordan Lake

Jordan Lake. Photo by Robert Willett for the News & Observer.

If your family times it right, you can spend a night looking at art and exploring the streets of Raleigh during the monthly First Friday. This occurs on the first Friday of every month. Art galleries and museums in Raleigh are open for free for your browsing pleasure. It’s a great and free way to see more of Raleigh. If you want even more art, the North Carolina Museum of Art is always free. More of a science or history family? The North Carolina Museum of History and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences are also always free.

North Carolina Art Museum

North Carolina Museum of Art’s outdoor exhibits. Photo by Juli Leonard for the News & Observer.

If you’ve exhausted your brain and want an easygoing activity, check out the State Farmers Market. It’s huge, so you’ll get your steps in, and it’s a great place to pick up a snack. Plus, you can get your parents to buy you some groceries while you’re at it.

It’s understandable if you want a more hearty meal than something you could get from the farmers market, so be sure to go downtown for some good food. Some of my favorite places include Beasley’s Chicken + Honey and The Raleigh Times. (Disclaimer: Unfortunately, this won’t be free.)

Iman Usmani
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