Wondering what to do with the kids over break? Look no further. Here’s a list of some things that will be fun for kids. Many are free!
Scroll down for a day-by-day list of free and cheap kid-friendly and family-friendly events.
Make sure to subscribe to Triangle on the Cheap by email so you will learn about all the free and cheap events all year. Check out Groupons for kids’ activities in the Triangle, including museums, skating, trampoline parks and much, much more!
The dates of Winter Break vary a bit between school districts, but our day-by-day list goes from December 19th to January 3rd, to try to encompass all the start and stop dates throughout the Triangle.
This list has been updated for the 2022/2023 season, but more events are being added every day, so keep checking back!
Things for Kids to do in the Triangle During Winter Break
Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops: Free pictures with Santa, crafts, games, more, all free. The same events take place at Cabela’s through December 24th, 2022.
Christmas lights: Follow the above link for a list of the best Christmas light displays in the Triangle.
Kwanzaa Celebrations: Kwanzaa lasts 8 days, starting on December 26th. Follow the above link for information on some free family-friendly celebrations.
United Skates of America: This skating rink in Raleigh is hosting a bunch of special events and holiday parties during Winter Break, and it’s a great way for kids to burn off their energy!
NC Chinese Lantern Festival: At Booth Amphitheatre in Cary through January 8th, 2023. It’s open every day of the week. Follow above link for prices.
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences: Admission is free, and there are also some kid-friendly events, which are also free.
Historic Yates County Park: This park in Raleigh is a wildlife refuge and environmental center, and also is home to the last operable water-powered gristmill in Wake County. It hosts numerous free educational activities for kids, including nature, art and history programs.
Library events: All the region’s library systems present a robust program of free events for kids (and adults.) All the library systems are closed a few days for the holidays, so visit each website for the calendar: Durham County Library, Wake County Public Libraries, Chapel Hill Public Library, and Orange County Public Library.
North Carolina Museum of Art: This museum is always free to visit. Follow the above link for information on free family-friendly tours.
Pullen Park: Pullen Park is a draw for families, with its playgrounds, train ride, and the carousel.
Go on a hike: Follow the above link for some of the most kid-friendly hikes in the Triangle.
Trampoline parks, mini-golf, rock climbing, more: There are tons of fun, active attractions for families in the Triangle. Check out a big list of indoor play areas, as well as some discounts, at the above link. Why pay full price?
Kidzu Children’s Museum: This museum is a kid-favorite in Chapel Hill. Admission is $8.50 for adults and children over 12 months old. It’s free for children under 12 months old. Admission is $3 for EBT/SNAP card holders.
Marbles Kids Museum: Regular admission is $9, with children under 12 months admitted for free. Monday through Fridays after 3 p.m., admission is half price. The first full weekend of the month Bank of America cardholders and employees receive one free museum admission.
Stagville State Historic Site: Learn about the Pre-Civil War past. It’s always free to visit, and to take a self-guided tour. Guided tours are $2 for adults, and $1 for children age 5-12 and seniors.
Ackland Art Museum: This art museum on the UNC campus is free to visit. Follow the above link for the holiday schedule.