National Parks / Natural World in DURHAM with kids

The world has some incredible natural wonders, and luckily for you, Durham has some incredible places to visit with kids right on your doorstep….and you won’t want to forget your camera!

The national and state parks in and around Durham, North Carolina offer an incredible variety of experiences for children.  Some parks protect a unique and diverse wilderness, teeming with wildlife which is always a thrill for kids!

Some parks protect incredible fascinating and significant historical sites, where the family can go back in time through American history…who says the learning as to stop on a family day out!

Even the city of Durham itself has smaller parks perfect for a quick trip into nature.  You don’t even need to leave the city to have that park experience - and kids LOVE them!

Shut those televisions off and put those computer games away….the great outdoors is calling and it’s calling YOU!

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  • Eno River State Park

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    (9 miles) Durham

    Minutes from Durham, Hillsborough, and Chapel Hill the Eno River State Park offers secluded wilderness trails with the serenity of a clear river drifting and cascading over a rocky stream bed.

  • William B Umstead State Park

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    (10 miles) Raleigh

    Tucked between the growing cities of Raleigh, Cary, Durham and the corporate world of Research Triangle Park is an oasis of tranquility, a peaceful haven William B. Umstead State Park.

  • Falls Lake State Recreation Area

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    (12 miles) Wake Forest

    Hours of relaxation await you at Falls Lake State Recreation Area. Just moments away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Falls Lake is a great way to escape urban life.

  • JC Raulston Arboretum

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    (17 miles) Raleigh

    Beautiful gardens, butterflies, and landscape plants in this FREE entry arboretum in Raleigh!

  • Jordan Lake State Recreation Area

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    (18 miles) Apex

    Imagine relaxing in a cove, listening to the sounds of water rippling. Then, you feel a firm tug on your fishing line. It's going to be a big one! Picture the surface of the lake glistening, water ...

  • Crowder District Park

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    (21 miles) Apex

    33 acres of park fun in North Carolina, with playgrounds, sports, walking trails and a pond! Great kids fun!

  • Raven Rock State Park

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    (36 miles) Lillington

    Spend some time at Raven Rock State Park and let nature refresh your spirit. feeling you are likely to experience at Raven Rock is one of renewal. Here, the forest reigns as each year the timeless ...

  • Kerr Lake State Recreation Area

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    (44 miles) Henderson

    Set a course for Kerr Lake State Recreation Area to enjoy sailing, fishing, water skiing and camping. This 50,000 acre, man-made lake is a haven for water sports enthusiasts and landlubbers alike. ...

  • Medoc Mountain State Park

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    (60 miles) Hollister

    Should the humdrum of nine-to-five leave you with the urge to travel and explore, head to Medoc Mountain State Park. A pleasurable excursion awaits just a 1.5 hour drive from the Research Triangle.

  • Cliffs of the Neuse State Park

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    (76 miles) Seven Springs

    At the turn of the century visitors flocked to the area. They drank mineral water from local springs to cure their ills and they took riverboat excursions to the cliffs. Things have changed since ...

  • Morrow Mountain State Park

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    (79 miles) Albemarle

    Enjoy the gifts of nature surrounded by the remnants of a once mighty range of peaks. Upon first encounter, the Uwharrie Mountains may seem like a mountainous mirage. These steep, rugged hills ...

  • Hanging Rock State Park

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    (81 miles) Danbury

    Not far from the cities of the Triad area, off the four lane highways there's another North Carolina to be discovered sheer cliffs and peaks of bare rock, quiet forests and cascading waterfalls, ...

  • Dan Nicholas Park

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    (84 miles) Salisbury

    Come for the wildlife park, stay for the aquarium, the mini golf, the boats, the petting barn, the gem mine - a beautiful park in North Carolina for the whole family!

  • Tanglewood Park

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    (84 miles) Clemmons

    An amazing county park with a fishing lake, gardens, BMX race course, trails, riding stables, a golf course, and MORE!

  • Boones Cave Park

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    (89 miles) Lexington

    Explore the cave and hiking trails spotting wildlife and flowers, visit a 170ft tall tree, plus fish, swim, canoe or kayak.

  • Pilot Mountain State Park

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    (91 miles) Pinnacle

    Fun, from relaxation to exhilaration, is easy to find here. Treat yourself to a horseback ride through the woods or challenge the river from raft or canoe. A seven-mile woodland corridor joins two ...

  • Check out other fun things to do below...

  • Museum of Life and Science

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    (4 miles) Durham

    A world-class science center, interactive inside and out, you’ll find hundreds of state-of-the art, hands-on exhibits. One of the many fun family places to visit if you're looking for things to do ...

  • North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

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    (20 miles) Raleigh

    Lots of hands-on exhibits, highlights include the world's most complete Acrocanthosaurus dinosaur; Willo, the only dinosaur discovered with a fossilized heart. One of the many fun family places to ...

  • Marbles Kids Museum

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    (20 miles) Raleigh

    Imaginative and creative learning through play at this Raleigh children's museum, complete with interactive exhibits and an IMAX movies!

  • Childrens Museum of Alamance County

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    (29 miles) Graham

    A fun and interactive way for kids to exercise their curiosity and develop their incredible imaginations through exploration - and where kids and adults can create together.

  • Greensboro Childrens Museum

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    (50 miles) Greensboro

    A hands-on, interactive, and educational play place for children ages 0-10 years and their families. Visitors learn while they play, touch, explore and discover in a variety of "Our Town" exhibits. ...

  • The Natural Science Centre of Greensboro

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    (53 miles) Greensboro

    Combines an accredited science museum including Herpetarium; zoological park including petting zoo; 3D Omnisphere Theatre performances and an aquarium in development.

  • AAF Tank Museum

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    (53 miles) Danville

    The Tank Museum has the most extensive collection of International Tank & Cavalry artifacts in the world! - 117 Tanks & Artillery pieces + lots more

  • Imagination Station Science Museum

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    (58 miles) Wilson

    Kids can enjoy fun through science and technology through dynamic hands-on science learning, plus some live exhibits at this North Carolina science museum!

  • Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve

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    (63 miles) Southern Pines

    The Sandhills region consists of nearly one million acres in south-central North Carolina. In the midst of this sandy terrain—famous for golf courses, peach orchards and horse farms is Weymouth ...

  • Fascinate U Childrens Museum

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    (64 miles) Fayetteville

    offers a large number of fun and educational hands on exhibits and displays, plus Mini City where kids can enjoy equipped roleplay settings including deli, grocery, emergency dispatch and law court.

  • Virginia Museum of Natural History

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    (73 miles) Martinsville

    Great Natural History Museum featuring that great family favourite - The Dinisour - check events for up to date info

  • Old Salem Museums and Gardens

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    (75 miles) Winston-Salem

    Learn about the historic town of Salem through, and experience history right before your eyes in this historical museum attraction!

  • Childrens Museum of Winston Salem

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    (76 miles) Winston Salem

    Galleries include multi level climbing zones, soft and hard construction area, kids' library, plus the Enchanted Forest which itself comprises over a dozen separate play stations associated with ...

  • SciWorks

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    (78 miles) Winston Salem

    With a state-of-the-art Planetarium, 17 acre Environmental Park and 35,000 square feet of exhibits, learning about science is fun at SciWorks. Newest feature: Sportsology Exhibit.

  • The N.C Transportation Museum

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    (88 miles) Spencer

    57 family friendly acres of transportation history at the North Carolina Transportation Museum - fun and educational!

  • Go Science

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    (89 miles) Greenville

    A great museum for kids where they can learn about the STEM subjects through interactive exhibits and programs, to encourage, inspire and motivate!

  • Greenville Museum Of Art

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    (89 miles) Greenville

    Fascinating art collections and exhibits in this Greenville Art Museum, for those creative, art loving families

  • Winterpast Farm

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    (13 miles) Wake Forest

    A family farm experience for the family, with sweet animal encounters on 10 beautiful acres in North Carolina. With tubing, camp outs and bonfires too!

  • Touchstone Farm

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    (18 miles) Temple

    For animal loving kids, Touchstone Farm in New Hampshire makes a fun day out where they can spend time with horses, as well as other farm animals