**Update: Sea of Learning at Southpoint is closed. You can visit them at their location at Northgate Mall.
What it is: Sea of Learning is a toy store located across the street from Southpoint Mall in Durham. It devotes half of the store to a variety of toddler, baby, and kids toys. The other half of the store has teacher resources such as posters, charts, books, and manipulatives. This store offers a weekly story time as well as special weekend events where they bring in special guests such as Elmo and The Cat in the Hat.
What we like: As a store, it seems to offer products that are unique when compared with other toy stores. The toys also are, for the most part, educational in nature. My toddler loves to come in to the store and just browse around looking at all of the toys. In addition, there's a train set table set up in the front of the store to keep little ones somewhat occupied while their parents shop. It can be a good place to visit when you need to get out of the house on a rainy day. We also had a really good time at their special event this weekend when Elmo came to visit. They festively decorated the store with balloons and created a fun atmosphere for the kids and parents to enjoy. There was a special presentation where Elmo sang some songs and had some fun. Then each child was given the opportunity to meet the "celebrity".
What we would change: We have only been to their regular weekly story time once, but when we did go, we found that it wasn't very well-suited to my child. He wanted to be up and moving around, and the story time was geared more towards kids that were a little older and could sit still and listen to the story. While my son didn't get much out of the story time, he did like the craft they did afterward. In addition, as a result of all of the toys, the space for special events and story time can be a bit crowded, so it's good to get their early for either one.
Website and other important information: A Sea of Learning is located across Fayetteville Rd. from Southpoint Mall in the Renaissance Shopping Center.
Address and phone number:
7001 Fayetteville Rd Ste 136
Renaissance Shopping Center
Durham, NC 27713
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10-8, Sunday 11-6 (Story time is offered every Tuesday at 10:30 am.)
1. Elmo visits the story time area at Sea of Learning.