With so many families calling Greensboro and Winston-Salem (aka the Triad) home, it stands to reason that the area abounds in fun stuff for kids. Each of the major cities in the region offers special children’s attractions, in addition to the many historical sites with Living History demonstrations, such as Old Salem in Winston-Salem, the High Point Historical Park, and Tannenbaum Park in Greensboro.
Inquiring minds of all ages enjoy the Triad’s state-of-the-art science museums. The recently enlarged Greensboro Science Center Aquarium, Museum and Zoo hits all the hot buttons – dinosaurs, gems and minerals, and a planetarium, with three attractions all in the same place (and covered by the same admission). Its expanded Animal Discovery Zoo includes tigers, maned wolves, red pandas and a variety of monkeys, as well as the tamer critters in the petting zoo. The Carolina SciQuarium houses a variety of water-dependent animals including penguins, otters, a rare fishing cat, and an anaconda, as well as sharks, eels, stingrays and fish.
The Greensboro Children’s Museum provides a high-energy environment where kids can stand inside a bubble, create a craft project from recycled materials, or pilot a Winston Cup race car. On the next block, ArtQuest in the Greensboro Cultural Center sparks children’s creativity with artist-designed environments and a wide variety of art supplies. Adults are encouraged to participate.
Ask a kid what they look for in an attraction, and you may get the answer we did: “Water!” Greensboro’s Emerald Pointe, with 34 water rides, is the state’s largest water park. In Alamance County, kids love Burlington City Park, where they can ride on the 1910 Dentzel Carousel’s 46 hand-carved animals, before a visit to the pool.
The super-slick SciWorks of Winston-Salem tackles scientific phenomena from Foucault’s Pendulum to the Science of Racing, complete with banked turns. A 15-acre Environmental Park carries discovery into the outdoors.
In Old Salem, kids can perform help perform chores, plant a garden, and see how butter was churned and quilts were stitched.
At High Point’s unique Millis Regional Health Education Center, visitors explore the frontiers of health education through hands-on exhibits. Ride a bike with Mr. Bones, measure yourself against Michael Jordan, or learn about germs from the Sneezing Machine.
At the Piedmont Environmental Center, also in High Point, the whole family can take a stroll on a walk-on topographical map of the Carolinas. Eleven miles of trails lead along creek banks – a great place to bike.
In High Point, City Lake Park boasts a huge swimming pool, a waterslide, miniature golf, boats for rent on the lake and a miniature train. Outside of Winston-Salem, Tanglewood Park offers many of the same amenities, with horseback riding added.
Kids also enjoy a visit to the scenic grounds of Castle McCullogh, in Jamestown. The castle, once a gold refining mill, even has a drawbridge. Call ahead to arrange gold and gem panning. At the Davidson County Museum of Art in Lexington, kids can design and construct their own chairs. (Again, call ahead.)
And don’t forget the Triad’s number one attraction for families: the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. One of the largest natural habitat zoos in the country, it takes you from the plains of Africa to the arctic realm of the polar bear in a single afternoon.