What it is: The Factory is an indoor mall, devoted to all sorts of kid-friendly and active pursuits. There was plenty to keep our little group busy and get at least a small fraction of their energy out. It is located way up north of Raleigh in Wake Forest, so it's a bit of a hike. However, there's lots to do. We started at Jumpin' Beans which is a small bounce house place. At first, when we walked in, we immediately noticed that they just had two bounce structures that were the same placed in front of a seating area for adults. We didn't know if our very active boys, ages 4-9 would have enough to occupy themselves. However, since we drove all that way, we paid our $8 per kid and sent them in to play. Over an hour later, they were still happily playing as were lots of other kids.
Jumpin' Beans also lets kids play all day with that $8 fee, so you can go eat or run and errand then come back later in the day, which is a nice feature. They sell other food and munchies that you or your kids can snack on.
Once we needed a break from our jumping we decided to explore the rest of The Factory. So, we headed out into the rest of the mall and saw a few places where you could sign up for classes like The Tumble Gym and a soccer field. We continued walking and saw The Polar Ice House. If we had had more time that day, we might have joined in for their afternoon ice skating session and gotten some more energy out that way. However, we didn't have time, so we continued our tour. We saw a YMCA, a few fun shops including a sports store, a toy store, a sweets shop, and even a place where you can buy and paint your own pottery. I also heard they have a skate park, a robotics place, and even more. Then, we found several lunch spots to choose from including a pizza spot, Village Deli, and Gonza Tacos. We ended up heading to Gonza Tacos who recently opened up a spot in Durham, and I'll definitely fill you in on that one later.
So, The Factory is an interesting spot full of lots of stores and activities with which you could fill your day, so check the hours and prices of your preferred activity, and head on up to check it out!
What we liked: This is a great spot on a cold or rainy day because the vast majority of the activities are indoors. You can bounce, eat, ice skate, shop, or paint and make a whole day of it.
What we would change: First, it is far away, so it takes about 30-45 minutes to get all the way up there from Durham. Secondly, since there are so many different spots in the mall, you need to check hours and prices before you go. Ice skating plus the Jumpin' Beans would be fairly pricey to do them both in the same day. Several spots in the mall were closed when we arrived but open by the time we left.
Website and other important information:
Address: 1839 South Main Street, Wake Forest, 27587
(one of two identical bounce houses at Jumpin' Beans)
(the seating area outside the bounce houses)
(the soccer field)
(The Polar Ice House)
(the toy store)
(Not sure what goes on here, but it looks interesting.)
(the sweet shop)