Marbles Kids Museum

#7 in Best Things To Do in Raleigh
Marbles Kids Museum picture
Courtesy Marbles Kids Museum

Key Info

201 East Hargett Street

Details

Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3

scorecard

  • 4.5Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

You might wonder where this children's museum got its name, and the answer is two-fold. One, because the museum founders encourage kids to "use their marbles" (or brains) while they play. And two, because a wall that surrounds the museum is filled with more than 1 million marbles that light up at night. Other than marbles, the museum features exhibits that range from an "Art Loft," where kids can do crafts, paint and sculpt, to a "Power 2 Play" exhibit where children can play with kid-size athletic equipment. There's also a cafe and an IMAX theater.

Visitors to Raleigh with children in tow highly recommend this museum, citing the bottom floor's age-specific diversions as particularly engaging for youngsters. Others advise leaving plenty of time to enjoy the museum's diverse exhibits, and potentially even splitting up a visit here across two different days, noting the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming for the younger set.

The Marbles Kids Museum is open on Mondays from 9 a.m. to noon; Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; with extended hours on Thursdays to 7 p.m. On the first Friday of every month, it's also open until 7 p.m. The museum charges $5 for admission. You'll find the museum downtown on East Hargett Street, just a two blocks south of the North Carolina Museum of History. For more information on additional exhibits and special events, visit the museum's website.

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#1 Neuse River Trail

The Neuse River Trail (also known as the Raleigh Greenway) is a portion of a nearly 28-mile path that stretches from the Falls Lake Dam in Wake Forest, North Carolina, down to the Wake/Johnston county line in Raleigh. The wide path travels along the Neuse River, across wetlands, through woods and is altogether beautiful, according to many a jogger, dog walker and bike rider.

In fact, the Neuse River Trail caused one TripAdvisor user, who hails from Boston, to consider moving to Raleigh: "This trail is a total delight.  … Locals ride their bikes [and] run their miles with their dogs … Not used to be smiled at by a total stranger … Why haven't I moved here?!"

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