Will you have some Lazy or Just Plain Crazy Days this Summer?

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Mortgage and Lending

I don’t know about you, but even as an adult, I still operate under the assumption that the days of summer will be filled with more free time, fewer deadlines and a generally slower pace than during those other nine months of the year. As an adult, however, the summer months have become one of my busiest times at work.

Despite these realties, there is still a long-held belief, reinforced by years and years of enjoyable experiences, that summer is a time of relaxation, rejuvenation and fun. Unfortunately, for many parents and adults, summer no longer represents this idyllic scenario.

For working parents, a category that encompasses the majority of parents these days, summer can represent a time of increased stress and demands. Finding camps, financing summer activities, and juggling childcare needs are just a few of the challenges that families face during this time of year.

If a family is able to schedule a vacation, long hours of travel and changes in routine often leave young children and their parents feeling tired, cranky and irritable. 


What are we to do? 

How do we find ways, even with our busy and hectic schedules, to enjoy this time of year and to appreciate the change in routine and pace? While I may not have the answer to those questions, I may have found a little help:

 

List of Summer Camps Around Raleigh

 

10 Great Day Trips around Raleigh:

Try a day hike at Pilot Mountain near Winston-Salem.

 

1) New Bern is a fun day trip, if a little far away. Very cute old town atmosphere, and it has a beach too! The best way to go for a day trip is on 264 all the way through Greenville to Little Washington, and then shoot down 17/43 to New Bern.

 

2) Historic Yates Mill County Park. A day at Historic Yates Mill County Park offers visitors an “Escape from the Daily Grind,” with experiences that interpret and preserve our agricultural heritage, environmental resources and history through educational programs, events and exhibits. The park is a wildlife refuge and an environmental research center, thus dogs (except service animals) and other pets are not allowed. They have all sorts of special events such as Night-time Museum Mystery, and you can watch a live demonstration of traditional woodworking techniques and explore some of the foot-powered equipment that has traditionally been used in a woodworker’s workshop.  Visit their website to check times and dates.

 

3) Charlotte – Only 2.5 hours, and there are enough great restaurants and fun shopping to really make this worth the trip. Concord Mills for outlet shopping, and just driving around the Queens neighborhood, especially when trees are in bloom, is just absolutely gorgeous. You could also hit up the Natl Whitewater Center during the summer for a GREAT time with some friends.  Visit their website http://usnwc.org/ they are much more than water activities - they have concerts there and many land adventures too!

 

4) Washington D.C. – The drive is a little long and you will want at least one overnight, but this is our closest huge city and it has everything.

 

5) Wilmington – Beach central. Great college atmosphere. Wilmington is one of my favorite places to go as a mini-vacation. Front Street is BEAUTIFUL. I love their downtown so much!

 

6) Tons of State Parks - For any waterfall junkies and there are several state parks within a two to three hour drive of the Triangle with great hiking and waterfalls. Three of the closest are Hanging Rock State Park, Stone Mountain State Park and South Mountain State Park.  About a 45 minute drive from Raleigh, is to Harris Lake County Park in New Hill. It’s a beautiful park they’ve built around the reservoir near the nuclear plant, there’s a 2-mile hiking trail that follows the peninsula, and about 10 miles worth of mountain-bike trails and disc-golf. 

 

7) Baseball fans tired of the Bulls and Mudcats can check out the Kinston Indians (single A), 1.5 hours southeast.  In addition, the Coastal Plains League (http://www.coastalplain.com/) is one of the lesser known gems of the region, with some of the top college baseball players in the nation playing in small towns in the summer. It is growing to rival the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League and Alaska Baseball League. Check out teams in Edenton (2.5 hours), Fayetteville (1 hour), Gastonia (3 hours, near Charlotte), Thomasville (1.5 hours), Wilson (50 mins), and Wilmington (2 hours). Edenton is a very historic small town, and Wilmington, as mentioned before me, has the beach. To baseball fans, there is nothing better than a day at the beach, and a night at the ballpark.

 

8) The zoo in Asheboro (1.5 hours) is also worth a visit, and it will take a whole day if you want to do both sides (Africa and North America). You can also check out the Asheboro Copperheads if you’re visiting in the summer.  Polar bear exhibit was under construction in April - may be done by now.  Not sure...

 

9)  Winston-Salem’s Old Salem historic district. They have tours, shops, an historic tavern (Washington slept there), wood-fire bakery, and much more. Definitely a good way to spend the day if you’re into colonial-era history.  Or you can try taking a morning hike on Pilot Mountain and then hitting the Winston-Salem Arts District for shopping and lunch.

 

10)  Camp out with your family in the back yard.  Smore's, campfire in a firepit, ghost stories or just plain relex to guitar music - taped or live. Ahhhh, the simple things in life.

 

 

Checkout some local attractions and maybe you’ll find some new, fun and affordable ways to enjoy the summer with your family!

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