Friday, January 21, 2011

A Day at Northgate Mall: Durham Celebrates and a New Hidden Treasure

What it is: We went to Northgate Mall on Monday.  While we've already written about Northgate Mall and all of its carnival-like fun, we discovered several new things that we had to add for our readers.  We headed up to the mall for a birthday celebration for Martin Luther King at the newly expanded Sea of Learning.  Sea of Learning continues to be a great toy store, and the party was a great way to celebrate their new location.  It was great to see so many great Durham mom organizations come together in one place to create an event for the kids.  The event was co-sponsored by Durham Mothers Club, A Sea of Learning, Mocha Moms, Carrboro/ Chapel Hill Mothers Club, NC MomsRising, and Macaroni Kid.  Thanks, Durham Moms!  I wish we could see more events where all of the different groups come together to create one big Durham community of moms.  The event was great with story time, MLK Day crafts, and birthday cake!

In addition to the celebration, we also checked out the rest of the mall.  We stopped by our old favorites-the train and the carousel, and then we checked out one more spot that we hadn't investigated before.  We'd heard talk of the outdoor portion of the mall.  When we went outside, it was smaller than we had imagined, just a courtyard outside the movie theater.  However, I can tell they are adding more shops in the near future in that area.  Although it was small, it was a great addition to the mall, and our boys had a great time there.  What it is is a series of large blocks.  The boys couldn't climb up on them by themselves, but they loved being picked up and set on the blocks where they could check out the world.  In the summer these great climbing blocks have the added fun of being a water feature where kids can play in the fountains.  I've only heard about this feature and can't wait to check it out for myself this summer.  To top it all off, the one open store out there besides the movie theater is a Marble Slab where you can grab a sweet ice cream treat while your'e there.

What we liked: The blocks were a great place at the mall where you and your kids can get a breath of fresh air.  In addition, we can't wait to go to more fun events at Sea of Learning.  An odd combination of activities led to a great day for our boys at the mall.

What we would change: As we've said before, there's not as much shopping at Northgate Mall, and we've heard comments that it is not in the safest part of Durham.

Website and other important information: 


*Northgate Mall:

*Sea of Learning:

*Durham Mothers Club:

*Durham Macaroni Kid:

Address: Northgate Mall-1704 Englewood Avenue, Durham, NC 27705

Phone Number: (919) 286-4400

Hours: Open Mon-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 12pm-6pm


 1. The new Sea of Learning

2. The blocks outside the mall


Kerri McMahon said...

It is a lot of fun to let the kids play in the water outside during the summer. We just go early in the day. It seems safer that way. :)

Anonymous said...

Quite a scary area... there's half million dollar houses just to the south of it!

The area around Northgate has some rough neighborhoods but also some wonderful areas. Like much of Durham outside of south Durham, it's more of a real city, with the downsides -- and benefits -- that go with it.

The Stir Crazy Moms said...

Great point! We agree...Durham definitely is a real city with the diversity of every kind that comes with it! That's one of the reasons we love it.

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