Tired of being cooped up all winter? Looking for a budget-friendly break from the weekend routine? In addition to all the great things to do with kids in Moore County, we’re also just a hop, skip and a jump away from dozens of other attractions in North Carolina that are sure to spark everyone’s interest! We’ve hand-picked our top 5 day trips for families -- each one about an hour’s drive from Moore County.

1. Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh
Driving time: 1 hour, 10 minutes.
Fee: $5 per person ($4 for Military Adults)
Website: http://www.marbleskidsmuseum.org/

Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh is an interactive, hands-on museum with 5 themed exhibits geared toward kids 10 and under. There’s a submarine and a pirate ship where kids can play, in addition to an enormous water table section (just to name a few!) You can bring a packed lunch and snacks and eat on the steps by the front desk, or if the weather’s nice, walk across the street to Moore Square. Check the calendar of events on the Marbles website to see what special events are taking place on the days you may visit!

2. Discovery Place in Charlotte
Driving time: 1 hour, 12 minutes
Fee: $10 kids, $12 adults
Website: http://www.discoveryplace.org/

Another of North Carolina’s great interactive museums is Discovery Place in downtown Charlotte. Discovery Place has a science and technology focus with interactive science experiments, its very own rainforest, a wind tunnel and the largest movie screen in the Carolinas. Visit North Carolina said “This place takes hands-on exploring to an extreme… it will keep kids of all ages entertained for hours.” Downtown Charlotte has a number of parking options within a block of the museum, making it even more accessible and kid-friendly!

3. North Carolina Zoo
Driving time: 45 minutes
Fee: $8 kids, $12 adults
Website: http://www.nczoo.org/

In less time than it’d take to watch two back-to-back Spongebob Squarepants episodes, you and your family could be at the North Carolina Zoo! Located in Asheboro, NC, this 500-acre zoo is home to over 1,600 animals from Africa and North America. Plan to spend the whole day exploring the two distinct hemisphere displays and don’t forget your walking shoes! The Polar Bear exhibit, always one of the Zoo’s most popular, is not to be missed.

4. Durham Museum of Life and Science
Driving time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Fee: $10 kids, $14 adults
Website: http://lifeandscience.org/

While some may think of museums as great rainy-day activities, the best time to visit the Durham Museum of Life and Science is on a day where everyone wants to be outside! The outdoor portion of this indoor/outdoor museum boasts a butterfly house, dinosaur trail and a train ride that everyone will enjoy! Once your family has gotten their fill of the outside exhibits, head inside for hands-on activities that teach kids about space exploration and life on earth. Rock Quarry park, located right next door, is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic before or after your visit.

5. Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill
Driving time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Fee: $6 kids, $7.25 adults

The 68-ft tall Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill is also home to a science center with exhibits, shows and classes open to the public. They typically have a daily Magic Tree House show, which is great fun for kids of all ages. They also show features on solar system adventures and exploring the evening sky. After the show, take the kids on a walk through UNC-Chapel Hill’s gorgeous campus, or stroll down Franklin Street to grab a bite to eat.  

Kids and grown-ups alike can use a change of scenery once the weather gets warmer, and sometimes a day trip is the best way to do it. Thanks to Moore County’s centralized location, family-friendly day trips are a fun and easy way to add excitement to the weekend!

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