Our first car wash experience was the Autobell located off of Hwy. 55 a short distance south of the intersection with Hwy. 54. This car wash is one where you drop your car off, tell them what you want, and head inside the building to watch the car getting washed. Then it is hand-dried before you get back in and drive off. Toddlers can watch cars heading through the car wash through large glass windows and follow them all the way down the hallway. My son had a great time watching our car head through the car wash on the "rail road tracks".
Our second visit to a car wash in as many weeks was to take my husband's car. This time, we decided to head somewhere a little quicker, so we headed to the Autoshine at the intersection of Fayetteville and Woodcroft Pkwy. At this car wash you can either pull in and wash your car by hand or drive through. This was the option we chose. While the car wash only lasts a minute or two, your kids can enjoy the sprayers and soap washing the car from the inside of the car. Our son was a bit wary of the whole thing, but was very interested after we reassured him that the water wouldn't come in the car.
What we liked: Car washes are a quick activity that your toddler will be interested in when you're in need of a little toddler entertainment. Plus, it gets your car cleaned at the same time.
What we would change: You do have to pay for a car wash to enjoy this activity. In addition, they are probably better toddler entertainment on a weekday or other time when they are not busy. If there's a long wait for the wash, then your kids can get antsy. At the Autoshine, count on about seven minutes per car in line at the drive-thru car wash. It's probably a bit longer at the Autobell because they dry the car by hand.
Websites and other important information:
Autoshine: Website not found
Autobell: 5206 Nc Highway 55, Durham, NC 27713-9432, (919) 544-3235
Autoshine: 5472 Fayetteville Rd, Durham, NC 27713
1. Pictures from the Autobell