Thursday, February 23, 2012

Three-fer Thursday: Hank Anderson Park + Carr Mill Mall + Elmo's Diner

After our fantastic food tour in Carrboro a few weekends ago we decided to devote this Three-fer Thursday to the great city of Carrboro.  It's not too far of a drive from Durham and a great place to spend a day.

We would start our morning at Hank Anderson Community Park off of Highway 54 in Carrboro.  This is a great park where you can walk around a lake or play at one of two playgrounds right next to one another.  Your kids can play on the bigger structure with the rock walls and tall tubes and slides or they can go to the smaller play area and play on the smaller slides and tubes or musical structures.

After wearing out at the playground, you can head 2.6 miles up Main St. to Carr Mill Mall.  There you an your kids can head to Weaver St. Market for some fresh local groceries and goodies, or further into the mall to Miel Bon Bons for a delicious handmade chocolate.  However, our first stop in the mall would probably be Ali Cat toys.  After all of the outdoor play at the park, this would be a great place to calm down and look at some creative and interesting toys.

Once you have explored the mall, you might be feeling a bit hungry.  Not to worry, Elmo's Diner is also located in Carr Mill Mall, so you can stop by one of our favorite kid-friendly eateries for breakfast, brunch, or lunch.  My kids love their chocolate chip pancakes.

Variations: We would be remiss if we went on an outing to Carrboro and didn't give you the option of stopping by the local farmer's market.  It is continually voted among the best in the entire country by various sources, and one of the neatest things is that the farmer's who sell at the market also have to be actually present at the market.  Instead of going to the park, you could head to the market which is just down the street from Carr Mill Mall and within walking distance from it's parking lot.  So, on a Saturday morning, you could head to the market and sample local produce, cheeses, and other delicious treats.  Keep in mind that there is also a playground that we haven't explored right next to the farmer's market, so there is a chance to blow off some energy and check out the market.  Once you've explored the market, you can head over and continue the Three-fer at the mall.

When to go: As we said, you can check out this Three-fer in the mornings, but make sure the mall establishments are open if you head over on a Sunday morning.  You could also do this Three-fer in the afternoon and hit Elmo's for a dinnertime treat.

What it'll cost you: The park is free.  The mall is free to wander, but you'll have to pay if you sample treats at Weaver Street Market or Miel Bon Bons.  We know that toy stores can be expensive places if you want them to be, but you don't have to buy anything at Ali Cat.  Elmo's will probably average about $8-10 per person for your meal.

What to bring: Bring your diaper bag and any money that you need and be ready to have fun!

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