Monday, August 30, 2010

Cameron Indoor Stadium

What it is: Cameron is the legendary basketball stadium at Duke where the Blue Devil teams play and the fans cheer them on each basketball season.  While very difficult to get into with tickets during basketball season, it is fairly easy to get into when there's not a game going on.  In fact, if basketball practice is not currently going on, the stadium is open for viewing Monday-Friday.  Viewers can take a look at the court and wander around the stands.  They can also tour the hallways and Duke athletics museum in the building. 

What we liked: I wouldn't have necessarily thought about this as a toddler destination, but my son had a great time climbing up and down the stairs on the stadium and sitting in the seats.  He had seen basketball games on television before, so this was particularly interesting for him.  He even made a lap of the entire stadium exploring and looking around.  The best part is it's free!

We also had a great time trekking to the stadium through Duke's campus.  We parked at the student union, The Bryan Center, ate at the McDonalds in that building, checked out the bookstore for some Duke goodies, passed by the chapel and took a quick peek inside at the beautiful stained glass and architecture, wandered through Duke's campus exploring all the paths, trees, and flowers, and finally made it to the stadium.  The journey was definitely half the fun!

What we would change: It's not a quick visit.  There's no good parking right next to Cameron, so you do have to do a little walking to get there.  Plus, Duke's campus is not the most stroller friendly place in the world.

In addition, since Cameron can be closed for the team's practice, it is probably best to call and make sure that they're open.

Website and other important information:


Map of Duke's Campus:

Phone Number: (919) 613-7500 (Duke Basketball Office)


1. The view of the court

(This is the perfect outing for a Duke fan, but I would love to find out if anyone has checked out the stadiums at UNC or NCState.)

And the winner is...

Congratulations to the winner of our August giveaway, Carolyn!  Just send us an e-mail at to claim your Gymboree gift certificate!  Thanks to everyone who entered.  We already have great Durham giveaways lined up for September and October, so stay tuned.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lake Michael Park

What it is: Lake Michael Park is a beautiful park with a 59 acre lake, nature trails, picnic areas, paddle boat and john boat rentals, pontoon boat rides around the lake, sand volleyball, two small playgrounds for toddlers, and four shelters.  It is located in Mebane, NC.

What we like:  Lake Michael offers many of the same things as Lake Crabtree but on a slightly smaller scale.   However, it is less crowded and boat rentals are cheaper than Lake Crabtree.  Lake Michael is only about 30 minutes from SW Durham and is a nice change of pace.  We rented a paddle boat and could put our 2 year old son in between us so he could steer, which he loved.   The price is right too, costing us just $2 to rent a paddle boat (as opposed to $5 at Lake Crabtree).  The park has two small shaded playgrounds for toddlers, as well as two fishing piers and nice shaded walking trails.  We did not try the pontoon boat rides, though they looked like fun.

What we would change: The lake is a pretty good size lake, but you are only allowed in a limited area with the paddle boats.  It would be nice to explore the entire lake with the paddle boats. 

Website and other important information:

7300 Lebanon Road
Mebane, NC 27302
Phone: (919) 563-4573

The park is open from mid-March until the end of October. March hours are Monday - Saturday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (or dark), and Sunday 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. (or dark). The hours of operation between April through the end of October are Monday - Saturday (closed Tuesday and Wednesday) from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (or dark) and Sunday 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. (or dark).

Fees for various activities:
  • Rental of a john boat: $4.00
  • Launching your own boat: $4.00
  • Fishing (all day): $2.00 
  • Pontoon boat rides: $1.00 per person
  • Paddle boats: $1.00 per person (1 hour limit)
  • Shelter fees: $10.00 (4 hour limit)
***Children under 6 years old, Seniors 60 yrs. and older, and handicapped persons are FREE.

Paddle boats on Lake Michael

Lake Michael

One of two shaded toddler playgrounds

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Neomonde Bakery and Cafe

What it is: I think it's always helpful when I find several kid friendly stops in the same general area.  So, when I found this little cafe close to several of our favorite haunts, I had to share.  We headed out today to Lake Crabtree and again needed a place to stop for lunch.  It's close to the airport as well and Play Nation, and since it's not in Durham we're not as familiar with what restaurants are in this area.  Well, thank goodness my husband used to work in this area, and thank goodness he recommended Neomonde Bakery and Cafe.

Neomonde is a middle eastern restaurant located off of Hwy. 54 between Aviation Pkwy. and Airport Rd.  (They also have a Raleigh location.)  They have a variety of authentic, delicious goodies including hummus and pita, baklava, schwarma, kabobs, and numerous other treats.  They have won several awards in the area including being voted best middle eastern cuisine in the area by Independent Weekly Magazine.

What we liked: For the adults, we could order a lunch box special with comes with a half of a sandwich, 2 sides or salads, and a piece of baklava which gave us a great opportunity to try all sorts of goodies.  For the kids, they have a kids menu with items ranging from $1.99-3.49 including a drink.  My son (and all of the rest of us at the table) loved the hummus.  In addition, you can have as many pieces of pita to go with your hummus as you want.  Just head up to the counter and pick up more pieces when you need it.  When you go there, try to get a seat by the window because my son had a fabulous time watching the airplanes fly by at fairly close range as he ate.

What we would change: We thought that the lunch box special would come with a fountain drink like the kids meal, but alas, it did not.  

Website and other important information:


Address: 10235 Chapel Hill Road, Morrisville NC • 3817 Beryl Road, Raleigh NC

Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10am - 9pm, Sunday: 10am - 7pm


1. The restaurant from outside

2. Looking up at the front counter and part of the market area

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Our August Giveaway-Fun at Gymboree

We barely squeezed it in, but finally here it is, our August giveaway!  We have already posted on one of our favorite places to take our toddlers to get out some of their energy, Gymboree.  They offer classes for children ages 0-5 that focus on skills for the whole child from music to motor skills.  While our entry focused on their "Play and Learn" classes, they also have classes in art, music, sports, and more.  Check out their website for all the details!  (  Gymboree has recently opened up a new location in South Durham near the intersection of 15-501 and I-40. 

So, here's the giveaway.  You can win a gift certificate good for one MONTH of almost any class of your choice free!  This is great because their classes aren't started on a semester or seasonal basis, so you can join one at any time.  As usual, all you have to do is post a comment on either this blog post or on our facebook page.  Since Gymboree is such a great source of exercise for your whole child both physically and cognitively, simply comment on you, your child, or your family's favorite way to exercise.  We'll randomly pick a winner from the entries we receive by midnight on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Melting Pot

So, we have written countless entries about activities for parents and kids in the area.  It's always great to have fun things to do during the day with your children.  However, we have come to realize that we also need time to get out without the kids, time to be by yourself or with your other adult friends.  So, our new section is Just for Moms.  We wanted to tell you about a few things in the area where you can get away for an easy day or night out.  Enjoy, and please, as always, let us know if you have any places to add to our list!

What it is: The Melting Pot is a fondue restaurant located across the street from Southpoint Mall in South Durham.  The serve appetizers, salads, main courses, and dessert as well as a wide variety of drinks.  You can head over there for a whole dinner from the cheese appetizer first course, to salad, to the meat course  cooked in broth or oil with several dipping sauces, and finished with chocolate fondue.  They call all of these courses together the "Big Night Out".  If you don't want every course you can pick and choose the courses you want.  If you only want to come in for dessert fondue and drinks, that is definitely an option.  The fondue is served in dishes placed on burners at your table to keep it warm.  You then receive a wide variety of yummy munchies suitable for dipping.

What we liked: We love to head over there after the kids are asleep for some dessert and drinks with the girls.  The chocolate is delicious and even if you don't want an alcoholic drink, they can make you a fun nonalcoholic one.  When I went while I was pregnant they made me a blackberry-sage drink that was delicious!  The "Big Night Out"  is also a great way to have a long night out for a date.  It's a long dinner and they even have private booths with curtains for privacy. 

In addition, they have several great deals worked out with the neighboring Green Kids drop-off child care business next door.  The same people own both establishments.  They have three different deals.  First, if you would like to head to The Melting Pot to enjoy their "Big Night Out" full course dinner on Monday-Thursday from 5-6:30, you can get 2 free hours of child care at Green Kids.  Secondly, if you buy any package deal at Green Kids and pay the $25 registration fee, you get a $25 gift card to The Melting Pot.  Finally, if you buy the biggest package at Green Kids, you get a free "Big Night Out" at The Melting Pot.  We will be posting on Green Kids soon, I haven't been myself, but I've heard good things from another Stir Crazy Mom.  (Call Green Kids or The Melting Pot for specific details on these offers.)

What we would change: While it is fairly affordable just for a night of dinner and drinks, a full dinner such as the "Big Night Out" can be quite expensive.  However, they do have a Ladies' Night on Thursday where you can get cheese fondue, salad, and dessert fondue for $19 and $5 martinis. 

Website and other important information:


Address: 7011 Fayetteville Road, Suite 101, Across from Southpoint Mall. Next to Hilton Garden Inn,
Durham, NC 27713

Phone Number: (919) 544-6358

Hours: Mon-Thurs: 5pm - 10pm, Friday: 5pm - 11pm, Saturday: 4pm - 11pm, Sunday: 4pm-10pm


1. A view of the table 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chapel Hill Community Center and Park

What we like:  This park and community center has something to offer for everyone.  The playground has play structures for toddlers and older kids with a soft surface underneath.  The most unique thing about the playground is the giant tire swing.  Trails that go around the park are great for riding bikes or walking.  Picnic tables in a shaded area make a nice spot for snacks and/or lunch.  There is a beautiful rose garden with brick walking paths and a gazebo located next to the park.  There are also basketball and volleyball courts located outside and nice facilities inside typical of a recreation center (e.g. basketball court, climbing wall and swimming pool). 

The community center offers programs year round such as parent-tot and preschool swimming lessons.  During the winter months (Sept.-May), families can take advantage of their Parent-Tot time in the gym on Mondays through Fridays from 10am-12pm for a small fee (I believe it's $3 for residents and $4 for non-residents.)  For more information on these programs:

What we would change: There really isn't much I would change about this place.  It can get crowded at times but there are plenty of trails and green space to explore.  I know the Parent-Tot time used to be free.  So I guess it would be nice if it was still free. 

Website and other important information: 

Address: 120 South Estes Drive
(located across from the main Post Office)

Hours:  Monday-Friday 5:30am - 9:00pm
            Saturday, 8:30am - 8:00pm
            Sunday, 11:30am - 10:00pm

Telephone: 968-2790
Information Line: 685-8316

Play structure with soft surface

Large tire swing

Rose garden with gazebo and brick walking paths

Friday, August 20, 2010

A New Find in the Museum of Life and Science

My family has been to the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science countless times.  We have a membership and always have a fabulous time whether we stay inside and explore everything from weather to music to space or head outside and check out the animals, butterflies, train, or dinosaurs.  We thought we had explored all the places that there were to see at the museum.  However, when we were there last week, we actually found a great new spot to check out so I had to share.

What it is: We headed over to the butterfly house.  My son loves watching the butterflies flutter around, except for when they get a little too close and land on him.  So, every time we go, he sees a door in the back of the exhibit and tries to hit the handicapped access button and open the door.  Every time it has been closed.  However, when we went there this time, it actually opened up.  When we went through we headed into an outdoor summer butterfly house.

What we liked: It wasn't that big or remarkable, but my son and I had a great time wandering around the butterfly garden because we were the only ones there.  We had the whole place to ourselves.  There weren't too many butterflies, but there were quite a few little white ones that would fly around my son's head as he chased them.  It was also a small contained space, so I could just watch my son instead of chasing after him.  It was like our own little secret room at the museum.

What we would change: We might have liked to see a few more butterflies back there, but it was really nice the way it was.

Website and other important information: Just check out our previous post about the whole museum.  It's definitely one of our favorite places in Durham.  Now that I found this new corner of the museum, I wonder if there's any other sights there that we have missed.  I'd love to hear from you about your favorite parts of the Museum of Life and Science.  What parts do your kids like best?  Leave a comment and let us know!


1. The inside of the butterfly garden

2. The entrance in the back of the regular butterfly pavilion

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


What is it: When we posted the entry on Marble Slab and Cold Stone Creamery, someone recommended another sweet treat option, Goodberry's.  So, this week, we headed up to North Durham to check it out.  This sweet treat is a frozen custard stand located in North Durham off of Roxboro St.  This local business also has eight other locations, primarily in Raleigh, Cary, and Garner.  At Goodberry's, you can order frozen custard in a several flavors (chocolate, vanilla, and a flavor of the day) with a variety of toppings.  They can make a Carolina Concrete in which they mix toppings in with your chosen flavor of frozen custard.  Once you order, you can enjoy your custard on their outdoor patio with a fountain for toddler and kiddie entertainment.

What we liked: I thought that this place would be just another ice cream stand, but when I tasted the custard, I realized I was wrong, it tasted fabulous.  I would definitely move this up into my top 5 sweet treats in Durham.  I had the special feature of the day which was a Carolina Concrete of vanilla custard with cherries and chocolate mixed in.  I loved it!  Everything just tasted homemade and unique.  In addition, while they didn't have indoor seating, their patio was fairly toddler friendly.  It has a big brick fence almost completely surrounding it so even though there's a parking lot nearby, you can let your toddler have a little running room.  They also have a fountain in the middle of the patio which can provide endless entertainment.

I also really liked its location.  I've been looking for some place to head after a trip to the Museum of Life and Science.  This is only minutes away, and it has a Chick-Fil-A next door for a quick bite before the custard.  I think the museum, Chick-Fil-A, and Goodberry's to finish it off sounds like a great outing!  Our reader that tipped us off about Goodberry's also mentioned that it can be combined with a trip to the nearby Lowes.

What we would change: The negative is that there's nowhere inside that you can sit, so you would have to take your custard to-go if there was inclement weather.  However, they do sell pints for just that purpose.

Website and other important information: The Goodberry's in Durham is located off of N. Roxboro near the intersection with Carver.


Address: 3906 North Roxboro Rd., Durham, NC - (919) 477-2552


1. A view from the parking lot

2. The patio with brick wall and fountain

3. Our delicious treats-chocolate with M&M's and Cherries and Chocolate with hot fudge

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bean Traders Storytime

What it is:  We have already written about how we love Bean Traders.  It's a local coffee shop which has three locations-at Homestead Market in South Durham, Meadowmont in Chapel Hill, and on Ninth St. near Duke.  The Homestead Market location is the one that we've been to because they have a children's area!  But you can read all about it in our previous post.  This time we want to tell you about their storytime.  Every Monday at 10:30 they have a storyteller come in and read a story.  After the story, the kids can create a craft to take home.

What we liked: Our favorite part is the craft corresponding with the story.  When we were there, Ellen (the storyteller) was reading The Very Grouchy Ladybug.  After she read the story all the kids could sit at the tables and make construction paper ladybugs complete with eyes, pipe cleaner antennae, and pom pom spots.  It was great to have something that he could take home.  In addition, during this whole time, the adults can be enjoying a coffee or other yummy treat if they choose to buy one.

What we would change: As the mother of a two year-old, I felt the story and craft were perhaps geared towards children that were a bit older, and maybe that was just the particular storytime we happened to attend.  For example, my son definitely needed my help to do the craft.  This was great fun for me, but if you're looking for a storytime in which they can interact independently, this may not be the best. 

Website and other important information:


Storytime Hours: 10:30am on Mondays (Information about the particular story being done that week and confirmation that storytime is occurring on a given Monday can be found on their facebook page.)

Address: 249 W NC Hwy. 54, Durham

Phone Number: (919) 484-2499


1. The children's area for storytime

2. A sign on the tables in the kids' area

3. Our smoothie and delicious treat on our storytime table

4. Our completed ladybug craft

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Babies R Us vs. Buy Buy Baby

I'm sure almost everyone who is reading this blog has been to at least one of these two stores.  Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby are the two of the baby superstores in the area, selling everything baby related from diapers to cribs to toys of all shapes and sizes.  While both of the stores are very similar, I thought it would be helpful to really look at what is good and not so good about each of the stores.

What we liked: We love the fact that both of the stores have absolutely everything you need to take care of your baby or toddler.  You can create a registry in both stores to plan what you need for your new additions.  Both stores conveniently offer coupons.  Buy Buy Baby accepts both their own store coupons and current Bed Bath and Beyond coupons that have not expired.  While both stores have coupons, be careful because there are exclusions on what they can be used on, like diapers and certain brands on strollers.  One of the great things that I learned about from Buy Buy Baby recently was that they offer a 10% off coupon for completing your registry purchases when your baby is born.  This coupon is able to be used on many items that regular coupons are not, such as BOB strollers.

We also really like both stores' selections on the items that we need for our children.  They have clothes, toys, diapers, food and snacks, furniture, and countless other items.  Babies R Us has a huge selection of sleepers, onsies, and all different types of clothes.  While Buy Buy Baby also has clothes, they seem to have less of a selection.  They have some different items that Babies R Us does not have, but as a whole their prices seem to be higher.  In contrast, Buy Buy Baby has a greater selection on items such as toddler dishes, sippy cups, and silverware.  Their walls are filled to the ceilings with all different varieties of types of dishes.  While there are definitely differences in the brands and selection of the other items in the stores, those seem to be the most visible differences.

One nice benefit of heading to Buy Buy Baby is that you can also stop there to get some portraits of your child.  While Buy Buy Baby has a portrait studio, this particular location of Babies R Us does not.

What we would change: When shopping at Babies R Us, I have noticed recently that it is difficult to get help, and when I do find help, many times they do not know the answer to my question.  In contrast, the employees at Buy Buy Baby seem eager to help.

They also both have websites for online purchasing.  However, I have found that Buy Buy Baby's website seems to have a small selection, especially in some types of furniture.  Babies R Us seems to have more items on their website. 

Overall, both of these stores are nice options when you need to do some shopping for your babies and toddlers.  They both have areas where they are the best option, and they both have items where they are the best price. Right now, I think we prefer heading to Buy Buy Baby for a shopping trip to look for interesting items or a gift.  Perhaps because it's newer than Babies R Us so the items are more novel to me right now.  However, if I'm just picking up a staple item, I usually head to Babies R Us, probably because I know where to get what I need and what to expect.  So, check them both out and let us know what you think.  If you know of any more major differences that we should know about, please share.

Website and other important information: Buy Buy Baby is located in the New Hope Commons shopping center on 15-501 just North of I-40.  Babies R Us is located in the Renaissance shopping center across Fayetteville Rd. from Southpoint Mall.

Websites:  Babies R Us ( Buy Buy Baby (


*Buy Buy Baby: 5430 New Hope Commons Dr, Durham, NC 27707, Phone: (919) 489-4095

*Babies R Us: 7001 Fayettville Road, Durham, NC 27713, Phone: (919) 544-9024


1. Buy Buy Baby outside

2. The entrance to Buy Buy Baby

3. Dishes and bottles to the ceiling

4. Babies R Us from the outside

5. Th entrance to Babies R Us

Friday, August 13, 2010

Northgate Mall

What it is: Northgate Mall is a mall off of I-85 in Northern Durham.  It has a variety of shops and restaurants, but the main draw is definitely the kids' activities. 

What we liked: So, why head up to Northgate at all?  It was a great place to go to entertain the toddlers for an afternoon.  It seems like every other shop is a snack or sweet treat stop.  We chose to stop at Dairy Queen for one of their perfectly-sized Blizzard-minis.  However, we could also have gone to Orange Julius, Cinnamonster, Planet Smoothie/Haagen Dazs, Marble Slab, Pretzel Twister, Sweets N News, or The Cookie Store.  You can even have a more substantial meal at Chick-Fil-A.

After you've had your fill or sweet or snacky treats, you can check out the kids' attractions.  We chose the carousel for 2 dollars.  While one of our toddlers loved it, the other toddler was a bit scared, but it was still a very nice carousel.  At another point in the mall there was a little train ride which I told my son we would have to save for next time.  It was right next door to a large jump contraption where kids could pay to bounce and a harness would pull them high up into the air.  Next to the jump was a station with about six little cars that you could put money in and the kids could sit and drive.  Unfortunately, we didn't bring any change, but that doesn't make any different to a two year-old!  They absolutely loved getting in and out of all the different cars and pretending to drive.  They also have bouncy castle at another point in the mall, and there were candy and toy vending machines sprinkles throughout.  I know there's also an outdoor water feature which I am anxious to check out, but we didn't make it that far on this adventure.

A new addition to Northgate Mall is A Sea of Learning toy store.  They have another location across the street from Southpoint Mall and just opened this one.  While this location is a bit smaller they have plenty of unique and interesting toys to tempt this kids and parents.  There's also a movie theatre in the mall which offers summer movies during the day for the kids. 

What we would change: As I said, Northgate Mall is a bit older.  It definitely feels a bit dated and it's really not worth it as a shopping trip.  I also noticed that it was pretty crowded with teenagers on the afternoon we went there so perhaps a morning might be better.  It doesn't feel as safe to me as Southpoint to be wandering around by yourself.  In addition, each of the kids' activities cost several dollars so it can add up if you do several things.

Website and other important information:


Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm

Address: 1058 Club Blvd., Durham, 27701

Phone Number: 919.286.4400


1. The carousel

2. The train

3. The big jump

4. The cars

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

North Carolina Museum of Art

What it is: The North Carolina Museum of Art has everything you'd expect from a large art museum.  It's got contemporary exhibits, African, Egyptian, classical, impressionist, and sculpture exhibits including many well-known artists.  It was also newly renovated last year, so the building is absolutely beautiful. 

What we liked: The museum was recommended by another Stir Crazy Mom, and when we decided to go with a two-year old and a newborn I was really expecting the outing to be some degree of disaster.  However, we had a fabulous time!  The outdoor areas of the museum are great for a toddler to run around in with lots of fun sculptures to look at, fountains, and even gravel areas which are endless fun to play in.  There are also outdoor tables that are great for a picnic in good weather. 

Inside the museum, my two-year old loved just looking at the art and the wide open space in the building.  I had made sure to tell him not to touch anything before we went in, and he was really pretty content to just look at everything.  I know that depends on the toddler, but it worked for him and he's a pretty active little boy most of the time.  He also loved the impressionist garden in the back of the museum where he could look at the lily pads in the pond and play in the gravel.

One of the best parts was the "Tour in a Tote".  Apparently, they have these bags for all different ages and you can just pick them up at the front desk.  Of course, our group got the one for children under 5.  It has a different activity for each section of the museum made just for the little kids.  First, the kids have to find a selected piece of art in a given section.  Then, they get to complete an activity.  For one section is was a puzzle, for another, they could feel different textures that looked like ones in the artwork.  They also had stories to read and several other activities.  While these activities were probably best suited to a child around 3 or 4 years old.  My son also had a great time with them.  I can't wait to check out the other bags as he gets older!  I've heard they also have afternoon toddler scavenger hunts, but I don't know any details on that.

Oh, and the best part is, admission is FREE!

What we would change:  While the trip as a whole was great, there were several little details that were a bit problematic.  First, the parking lot was a good distance from the museum itself making it a bit of a walk for little ones if you don't have a stroller.  It was also a bit confusing finding the new part of the museum itself.  Signage wasn't very good, so just head for the newer looking building.  Once you get in, you're not supposed to have food or drinks, so make sure to put away your sippy cups and bottles.  They do make you check your bags, although they didn't notice my big diaper bag in the bottom of the stroller.  In addition, if you're bag looks like a purse, then you'll probably be able to keep it.

Website and other important information: The NC Museum of Art is located near the state fairgrounds in Raleigh.


Address: 2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, North Carolina 27607-6494


Tuesday–Thursday 10 am–5 pm
Friday 10 am–9 pm
Saturday–Sunday 10 am–5 pm
Closed Mondays

Admission: Free, unless you go to a special exhibit


1. A view of the museum from outside

2. A view looking down one wing of the museum

3. The garden out back

4. One of the larger pieces

5. The tour in a tote

6. Fun with the tour in a tote

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Southern Savers

What it is: Southern Savers is one of my favorite websites!  If you want to save money this is a great one to check out.  The website author posts information on freebies and free samples that she finds.  The most useful part for me, however, is her lists of all the deals at our local grocery stores and pharmacies.  She lists how the grocery store deals correspond with the newspaper coupons, so you can really save some money.  It's a lot of leg work that I otherwise would not have time to do.  In addition, she also has some information on how to get started saving money with coupons if you don't really know where to start.

What we liked:  Of course, I like her grocery store lists that I refer to whenever I make a shopping list.  I like that she includes a link to a printable coupon or freebie websites whenever she lists a deal on her website so you can just click on it.  My favorite is when a super doubles or triples week comes up at my grocery store she lists all of the items you can get for free with coupons.  In fact, there's a super double coupon week (doubling all coupons up to $1.98) coming up at Harris Teeter starting tomorrow so I went on and checked out all of the items I could get for free.  FYI, If you're going to try to take advantage of some of those double or triple deals at your grocery store, make sure to get there early on the first day they're offered because the free deals do sell out fast!

What we would change: On first glance the website does not look very approachable or attractive to me, maybe it's the size of the font or how it's laid out.  However, the information is so valuable it doesn't matter.  In addition, sometimes the information on the site doesn't quite match up with my local store because prices vary slightly.  It's usually not that much of a difference though.


Monday, August 9, 2010

King's Sandwich Shop

What it is: King's is a great burger and hot dog stand that just re-opened in downtown Durham.  It originally opened in 1942 and continued serving the Durham community until they closed in 2007.  Under new ownership, King's Sandwich Shop opened again last week remodeled and ready to go, serving its delicious eats to hungry patrons once again.  King's serves hot dogs, hamburgers, fries and milkshakes at a walk-up counter.  People can pick up their food and then head over to some covered picnic tables to enjoy their meal.

Check out these other websites for some more information about King's and its history.

What we liked: This is a fun experience for any kid, and it definitely was a good time for my son.  King's Sandwich Shop sits a few blocks up from The Durham Farmer's Market on Foster St.  So, when the Farmer's Market is open, people can combine their trip to the market with a stop for some burgers at King's.  In addition, our toddler enjoyed ordering from he counter and eating outside where he could watch all the traffic and sights go by.  He also enjoyed the chocolate milkshake which was a great consistency for him to get out of the straw.

What we would change: Since it is located in downtown, parking can be difficult to find.  In addition, my son requires ketchup on absolutely everything, but they didn't even have a container to put the ketchup in when I asked for it.  We had to use the box the fries came in and give it to them so that they would have something to put the ketchup in.

Website and other important information: King's is located at the corner of Foster and Geer in downtown Durham.


Address: 701 Foster St., Durham, NC 27701

Phone Number: (919) 682-0071

Hours: 11-4 Tuesday-Saturday


1. A view of the ordering and pick-up windows

2.  the front and the line waiting to order

3. The picnic table seating area

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Top 5 Sweet Treats

This time, our readers had the chance to pick their favorite sweet treat in the area.  As with the playground poll, after several months of polling, there was a clear winner and a clear top five.

So, here are your favorite sweet treats in the area!

1. Locopops

 2. Local Yogurt

3. Maple View Farms

4. Rita's

5. Orange Leaf

Keep watching for our next poll and make sure to vote for your favorite!

Friday, August 6, 2010

AMF Durham Lanes

What it is: AMF Durham Lanes is another great bowling alley in the area.  They have bowling with ramps and bumpers for the toddlers as well as an arcade and cafe.

What we liked: We went last week and had another great time toddler bowling.  My son and the other toddlers that went had a great time putting the lighter (6 lb.) ball up onto the ramp and rolling it down the lane.  While my son stayed at the lane the whole time, some of the other boys had a great time heading back to the arcade. 

The best part was that the bowling was FREE!  AMF bowling is offering a deal where you can head to their website (> ) and get a coupon for two free games per child per day!  In addition, if you want to bowl yourself, you can also sign up and pay $27 as an adult and bowl for the rest of the summer for that price.  Its a great activity when it is too hot outside and the price is definitely right!

What we would change: The one annoying fact about bowling here in contrast to our other toddler bowling experience was that they have a foul line here.  If the child accidentally pushes the ramp over the foul line at the beginning of the ramp their score will register as a foul.  This happened a lot with our active group of boys!

Website and other important information: AMF Durham Lanes is located off of 15-501 just North of its intersection with Garrett Rd.


Address: 4508 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd., Durham, NC 27707

Phone Number:  (919) 489-9154


Mon 12pm - 12am
Tues 9am - 2am
Wed-Thurs 9am - 12am
Fri-Sat 11am - 2am
Sun 9am - 12am

*While these are the posted hours, you may want to call and confirm.  Another Stir Crazy Mom showed up one weekday morning after 9am and they were still closed.


Thursday, August 5, 2010


*We are sad to say that Toyland at Southpoint has closed.

When I go to Southpoint Mall, I usually hit several places.  I head to the play area and let my son have some time to do whatever he wants.  Sometimes we ride the escalators for as long as Mom can take it.  We head upstairs and eat at the food court (Chick-fil-a, of course) followed by some running around in the empty space next to the food court, and finally, we might head outside to check out the fountains or to Barnes and Noble to play with the trains.  We have so many places to check out that we almost missed the facy that there's a new TOY STORE in the mall!  That's just what Southpoint needed and I'm so glad Toyland is here!

What it is: Toyland is a great toy store on the bottom floor of Southpoint Mall near Macys.  They sell a wide variety of unique specialty toys from trucks and trains to dollhouses and play food.  They also have games, art supplies, and much more. Several interactive play stations are positioned around the store for kids to have some time actually playing with the toys.

What we liked: The best part is definitely the interactive toy displays!  My son loved to go in and check out all the various play stations.  Our favorite was the construction toy display.  They have toy construction vehicles like front loaders and bulldozers in a table filled with shredded rubberized material, the perfect materials for the vehicles to dig through.

What we would change: The one negative about the Toy Store is that it is on the absolute opposite side of the mall from the play area.  I headed from one to the other with my toddler walking with me.  Since I didn't have his stroller it took us forever to get all the way across the mall.

Important information: Toyland is located in Southpoint Mall, lower level, near Macys.

Phone Number: (919) 572-0900

Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10:00am-9:00pm, Sunday: 12:00pm-7:00pm


1. A train table

2. The construction vehicles ready for play

3. A dollhouse

4. Another table with vehicles to explore

5. Another dollhouse and space ship

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