Thursday, December 29, 2011

Three-fer Thursday: Southwest Library+Bull Street Gourmet and Market+Tutti Frutti

One of your favorite features is back again!  It is Thursday (at least for a few more hours), so I'm going to tell you about three great places to go in Durham that can be combined for a great day with the kiddos.  This time, we had to bring in Hope Valley Square, the shopping center in South Durham that keeps adding new, cool things to do all the time.  (Why didn't it have any of these places when I lived there 10 years ago?)

Our morning actually starts just down Shannon Rd. from Hope Valley Square shopping center at Southwest library.  It's been newly renovated and is definitely a fun place to head to sit and read and check out books from their expansive kids section.  Or you could head over for one of their fabulous storytimes. (We particularly like Terrific Tales with Miss Amy Tuesdays at 10:30 but there are plenty of other offerings listed at

After you sit and peruse the books for a while, you might be getting a bit hungry.  So, our next stop is Hope Valley Square for a delicious lunch at one of several great restaurants.  We chose Bull Street Gourmet and Market because they just opened, and we are really anxious to have some of their delicious pimento cheese again!  They have sandwiches and salads and a kids menu.  Or, if you're not that hungry, they have coffee and some pastries.  So, you can sit and enjoy your lunch with the kiddos then check out the shopping side of the store.  There you can pick up some candy for the kids as a treat for later and a bottle of wine for you, also as a treat for later!  However, I would definitely save the candy because we still have one more stop on this Three-fer.

After your delicious lunch, pass by the post office, or mail something if you would like, and walk a couple of storefronts down to Tutti Frutti.  Tutti Frutti was voted by our readers as your favorite frozen yogurt stop in the area, so it's the perfect was to end this Three-fer.  It's self-serve so you can get as small of a serving as you would like, but the yogurt with your choice of toppings is the perfect way to top off the outing.

Variations: If you are feeling the need to burn off a little energy instead of heading to the library, you could head to Old Chapel Hill Road Park which is just a few miles down the road for a little outdoor playground fun at this brand new Durham park.  (However, be forewarned, at the time this post was written the closest parking to the playground is closed so you would have to walk from the main park parking-a bit of a hike).  For another variation on the lunch portion of the outing, you could head to Only Burger, Pops Backdoor South, or Rick's Diner's new location all in Hope Valley Square just a few storefronts away from our frozen yogurt treat.  If you can think of other fun variations to add in, please let us know!

When to go: While we typically would head to the library in the morning, then stop off for lunch,but you could also do this Three-fer in the afternoon and follow up the library with some dinner (keep in mind Bull Street closes early on the weekends.  We recommend finding a storytime at the library that fits your family and working around that for this outing.

What it'll cost you: The library is free (unless you have overdue books like I do occasionally).  Bull Street's meals are between $7 and $10 for adults and $4.99 for the kiddos.  Tutti Frutti charges based on weight, so you're looking at about 30 cents per ounce.  We find it usually ends up being cheaper than many of our dessert options.

What to bring: typical diaper bag necessities, library card, bag for checked out books, appetite and sweet tooth

Happy Three fer Thursday, and if you have an idea for a Three-fer that we haven't thought of yet, please let us know!

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