Thursday, February 17, 2011

Three-fer Thursday: All About Meadowmont

This week's Three-fer Thursday is once again venturing a wee bit out into Chapel Hill.  We hope you don't mind :-).  One of the great things about living in Durham is that both Chapel Hill and Raleigh are close!

All About Meadowmont:  Bean Traders + Trails/Playgrounds + Lickety Split + More trails

Head over to Meadowmont and park near the round fountain at Meadowmont Village Circle.  There's usually plenty of parking here, and since you're going to be taking advantage of some of the great retail options, you can park for the entire morning.  After you've spent ample time running around the big fountain, grab your stroller and head North up to Bean Trader's Coffee and grab a cup of joe and a snack for your little one.  You're going to need it!

After you've all refueled, walk North on Meadowmont Village Circle.  After you pass the Harris Teeter, turn left onto Sprunt Street.  You'll pass an intersection with the Meadowmont trails on your right.  You can tackle that another time, though... you're heading to a playground!  So keep walking until you reach Weaver Mine Trail.  Turn right here and get a nice tour of the ridiculously-awesome million-dollar townhomes towering over the middle of Meadowmont on your left.  When you reach Circle Park Pl (L)/Parkridge Ave.(R), turn right.  There's a nice little fenced in play area here.  You can at least burn 45 min. with some easy climbing and exploring here.

When you and your little one are ready for more travel, head North on Parkridge.  Take your first right onto Simerville.  You'll see another access point to the Meadowmont Trail system on your right.  Take it, get some good walking/running in, and follow it all the way back to W. Barbee Chapel Rd.  At Barbee Chapel Rd. turn left.  And... congratulations!  Bean Traders is right in front of you!

By now you're probably hungry for some lunch, so turn right back onto Meadowmont Village Circle.  Head to Lickety Split and grab hot dogs for everywhere.  You can play here for at least an hour--the kids can wind down a bit with reading, playing with their train table, and get hyper again with some great ice cream for dessert.  When you are all (re) wound up, stop by the car to pick up a soccer ball or frisbee, and head out again.

Head back to Barbee Chapel Rd., turn right, and turn left where the trail crosses your path.  There's a great field and pond directly past a little patch of woods front of you.  On nice days, you'll see people running, playing frisbee, and just hanging out.  You can do the same!  Let your kid run off some of that tasty ice cream and explore.  This is a hilly area, but it's pretty easy to keep an eye on your little ones.  When you're done--WHEW!--climb that hill and head back to you car.  

When it's summer, you can add in a swim at the Meadowmont YMCA and TRULY wear out your kids (and yourself).  If you're a member at the UNC Wellness Center, you can swim year-round.  And even if it's winter and chilly, Meadowmont is a great neighborhood to explore and enjoy a change of pace.

when to go:  anytime the weather is reasonable.
what to bring:  you're going to be outside, and you're going to be walking.  Bring a stroller, outside-play toys, sunblock, and all the regular toddler necessities.
what it'll cost you:  All you have to buy is coffee and lunch... you can spend as much or as little as you like at Bean Trader's.  A plain coffee is usually about $1.75, but snacks or specialty drinks (yum!) will run more.  Lunch at Lickety Split should be less than $15 for two.  If you want ice cream specialties, you may need to spend more.  
advisories:  as usual, check operating hours before heading out.

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