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