What it is: This is a store unlike any that I have ever been to. We took my toddler to check it out yesterday, and he had a ball. The Scrap Exchange is a creative reuse center and also a nonprofit organization. In their new 22,000 square foot space they have an assortment of countless items that many may consider junk, but creative people and kids can reuse them to create all sorts of works of art and other projects. I would imagine that older kids would have a ball wandering through the rows and rows of odds and ends such as bottle caps, fabric, old wallpaper scraps, electronic parts, bead strings, puzzle pieces, and so much more. We went in and let my toddler wander and find a few objects that he couldn't live without to take home and play with. Soon, we'll bring him in to find materials for craft projects. They also have a "buy the bag" program where you can fill a mini, small, or large bag for set prices and take it home. Fun!
What we like: We love that The Scrap Exchange is a place where kids and adults can inexpensively express their creativity. We found a random purple tube for a quarter there that my son hasn't been able to put down since. In addition, there is a room in the back where kids can "make and take" crafts, and I know groups can schedule times meet there to do projects. They also host birthday parties and workshops and take their show of the road to other locations and community events. We have seen them and had their help to make great crafts and decorate our bikes at both Marry Durham and the downtown Durham Fourth of July celebration.
Wow, I also just read on their website that they have an in-house art gallery and during gallery openings on the third Friday of the month from 6-9pm they have complimentary snacks and free arts and craft activities. I would love to know more about this if anyone has checked this out! This art gallery is also open during regular business hours.
What we would change: Since it is not specifically geared toward kids, parents do have to keep their eyes on their toddlers to make sure that they don't get ahold of a small object and swallow it or a sharp object, etc. But with parent supervision, this is a fun place to explore.
Website and other important information:
Address: 923 Franklin St. Bay 1, Durham, NC, 27701
Mon., 11 – 5
Tue., 11 – 5
Wed., 11 – 5
Thu., 11 – 9
Fri., 11 – 9
Sat., 10 – 5
Sun., 12 – 5
(Store image from their website)