Friday, June 14, 2013

Three-fer Thursday: Marbles Museum+The Pit+Videri Chocolate Factory

I know, it's Friday, and this is a Three-fer Thursday post, but I wanted to make sure to squeeze this post in-full of great activities for a summer day.

For this day, we will head on over to downtown Raleigh and explore some of their finest kid-friendly options.  Start your day at 9am at Marbles Museum.  This museum is a fabulous place for kids to run around and explore all day long.  From climbing in all kinds of vehicles to climbing to sailing in a model pirate ship to building cars and huge lego buildings, this place can keep kids busy all day!   One of our problems with Marbles has been that it is a little pricey because you have to pay for adults as well.  However, we just heard that on the first weekend of every month, Bank of America cardholders can get in for free, so we look forward to taking advantage of that little piece of information.

Once lunch time rolls around, head less than a mile down the street to The Pit for lunch.  This is a great BBQ restaurant.  They have kid-friendly meals, yummy adult eats, and hush puppies for everyone to munch on.  Our one difficulty with this place is, because it's so good, they typically have a long wait, but if you time this Three-fer to either do a late or early lunch, maybe the wait won't be too long.

Finally, after you finish at The Pit, head across the street to Videri Chocolate Factory.  This can be a great stop while you wait for a table at The Pit, or for a little sweet treat after your meal.  They have a small factory you can tour with a few free samples, and delicious chocolates you can buy.  They also have a coffeeshop if that's more your speed.  

Variations: If you don't want to pay the money to head to Marbles, you can also visit another museum in Raleigh that just so happens to be FREE.  The NC Museum of Natural Sciences and it's newly opened Nature Research Center can also be a great place to spend a morning or day.  Plus, it's less than two miles from The Pit!

When to go: I would head down to the museums when they first open so that you can enjoy as much time there are you need.  Plus, they are usually a bit less crowded right when they open.  That way you could head to The Pit for an early lunch at 11am when they open and hopefully miss the crowds there too.

What it'll cost you:  Admission to Marbles is $5 per person, and you'll have to pay for parking at either Marbles or the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.  The Pit will run you a little more than your typical BBQ restaurant.  Kids' meals are all $6 while adults meals for lunch will run you around $10 an entree. To tour Videri is free, and you can get a little chocolate treat for a couple of dollars.  The easiest option for parking at the Pit is valet, but you will have to pay for the tip with that option.  The parking across the street is for the Videri Chocolate building, but you may run into problems parking there if you go to The Pit first.

What to bring:  Just bring your wallet and diaper bag and have a great day exploring downtown Raleigh!

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