Tag Archives: raleigh

It’s a date: downtown Raleigh

It’s a date is a series that will explore date night ideas for couples, play dates for kids, as well as family dates throughout the Triangle. The first stop in the series features downtown Raleigh, a place I have spent too much time exploring and loving over the past eight years…

downtown raleigh

It was supposed to be a date, like a date date. But, those are a bit more difficult to come by with our adorable nine month old addition. So, date nights look different. But, you know, its just right for us and this season of life.

it's a date

it's a date

This summer, downtown Raleigh offered a free movie each Friday night in May and June complete with live music and food trucks. We finally made it this past Friday after a few weeks of talking about going.

it's a date

It was, unfortunately, the last one of the summer.  If you missed out on the free movie nights there are plenty of other free, outside events you could try in the downtown area.  First Friday has been a long time favorite of mine: walking, art, music, what’s not to love? They also offer a food truck rodeo throughout the summer on Sundays and on Thursday nights there is a free music series with food trucks as well. So if you’re looking for a fun, usually free or cheap date night idea check out Downtown Raleigh events.

it's a date

But the night, our date, was great. We walked, we talked, and just sat down and enjoyed being a part of the energy and life of the city for a bit.  Since we had J with us we just stayed for the food and music part. The movie didn’t start till after dark, so we didn’t even try. You guys understand right?

it's a date

So, our date ended on our front steps talking and dreaming about the days and years ahead as the day turned to night.

Anyone make it to the movie series this summer? Anyone get a date night recently? Or have other great date night ideas? We’d love to hear about them!

 

Pullen Park

Pullen Park

 My son has been called a “kinetic little boy.” He started walking at 9 months and the climbing, running, and jumping that quickly followed meant that I became an expert in outdoor attractions. Lucky me, I live in an area with many great park and recreation opportunities. Pullen Park in Raleigh re-opened about two years ago and it’s such an amazing place– I always vow to go more often each time I make the drive into Raleigh.

Pullen Park

This photo right here says it all. Look closely.

1. Age-appropriate and segregated play structures.

2. Fences to keep the little ones in said play area. In case you are, um, distracted for a moment.

3. Shade and benches for people who appreciate things like comfort and relaxation.

4. Aforementioned seating is actually in close proximity to play areas so kids can be supervised without hovering.

5. Rubber-ish play surface. No twigs, no loose gravel, no loose soil that’s going to get muddy, not to mention thrown. You can get a better view in the photo below. (Plus I got a shot of my new Dansko shoes for outdoor play, holla!) Point is that if the kid falls on this surface from a reasonable height they don’t get hurt. Less tears = happy Mama.

Oh and there’s also play areas with sand and water (in the warm months) so BYOB. That’s B for Bucket. Ha.

Pullen Park

Pullen Park

So my son is at the age now where he is starting to make “friends” on the play ground. It’s really cute. He starts playing with someone and if they leave he looks around for them and says, “Friend? Where’d ya go?” Of course for him play means following and more importantly chasing. I’m wondering if this might be a good time to sign him up for a little soccer league or something so he can make friends in a semi-structured environment. Big kid stuff!

Pullen Park

Pullen Park

In addition to the excellent play area, there’s a gorgeous indoor carousel. It was purchased in 1920. Yeah. So Pullen Park isn’t just a great park for play, it’s also a piece of history. It’s the oldest public park in the state and the 5th oldest in the country. Everything is extremely well cared for and the antique carousel has been painstakingly restored to sparkling condition. Want to take a ride? Tickets are $1.

Rides around the park and over the bridge on the darling little train are also $1. My son was thrilled by the experience. The whistle. The sights. My little lady sat in my lap. She enjoyed it as well. It was her first train ride!
Pullen Park

Out by the lake are some nice picnic pavilions. You can bring food, but there’s also a food vendor called Pullen Place that sells reasonably healthy snacks and a reasonable cost. They have fresh and local items like Loco Pops, Organic Popcorn, Grilled Sandwiches and more. They sell coffee too. I always remember where coffee is available.

Pullen Park

And paddle boats for the warmer months! Pullen Park

And a nice little monument to North Carolina’s biggest star: The Andy Griffith Show. Seeing this show always reminds me of my dad. We would watch this show together on weekends. I was impressed he could whistle the theme song.

Pullen Park

Pullen Park
So there’s Pullen Park: my hands-down favorite park in the area. It’s a great value. There’s no fee to park and the rides are oh-so-reasonably priced at $1. The only drawback for me is the distance from my house, which is about a 30 minute drive. Have you been? What’s your favorite local park?

Get to Know Us: The Story of Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique

New mom Beth Richardson found herself interested in cloth diapering but lacking the necessary support.  She wanted a local store where she could touch the products and get support from experienced cloth diapering moms interested in natural parenting.  She wanted community.

With a little experience under her belt she began hosting free cloth diapering seminars and Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique was born.  Beth, now a mother of two, launched her online store in January 2010. By that fall, business had grown and she was working out of her home with one employee.  By Spring 2011 business was booming, inventory was growing and her employee base was expanding.  In September 2011 Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique opened their Raleigh/Cary, NC store.

Beth juggles life with a thriving business and growing family by working from home while caring for her children and homeschooling.  The community that Beth once dreamed of is flourishing as public interest in natural parenting increases each day.  The Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique community now offers a wide selection of products for natural parenting and natural living as well as classes, lactation consulting, natural childbirth networking and social events.

We are thrilled to have YOU as part of our Sweetbottoms community. Thank you for your support!

Family photo by Fresh Poppy Photography