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DefyGravity is trampoline sports arena located just north of Raleigh. The 13,000 square-foot (1,200 square meters) facility is a one of a kind sports gym with angled walled trampolines, a large trampoline dodgeball cage, and an Olympic foam pit. The center organizes activities and theme nights, such as kidjump, for children, family nights, and trampoline-based workout classes. Party rooms or the entire arena can be rented for private parties and events.
Frankie’s is an amusement park designed for children and game-minded adults. Just about every amusement park activity is available here: flight simulators, bumper boats, ropes courses, rides, laser tag, go-karts, arcades, batting cages, and more. If that doesn’t sound fun enough, rumor has it that Frankie’s has the best mini golf in Raleigh. Please note that Frankie’s does not charge general admission. Rather, guests pay for each activity.
Once a roller skating center, Wheels Fun Park is a colorful and modern family amusement center with several attractions open throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy roller skating, batting cages, a play gym, a skate board park, mini golf, and go-carting. A full menu grill, snack bars, and video game arenas round out the fun. Wheels Fun Park specializes in private parties and events.
The Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) is North Carolina’s center for live entertainment and the performing arts. Opened in 2008 as one of the largest centers of its kind in the Carolinas, DPAC hosts hundreds of performances a year, ranging from high profile concerts to Broadway productions, stand-up comedy routines, and festivals. The center is recognized for its contemporary steel and glass design, and features 2,700 seats with intimate sightlines. DPAC’s “Heart of the Arts” community outreach program runs master theater classes for local students, and invites the students to backstage tours, orchestra rehearsals, and post-performance discussions.
With more than 344 acres (139 hectares) of land and a total of 398,000 square feet (36,975 square meters) of building space, North Carolina State Fairgrounds is the best rental facility in Raleigh. The fairground consists of many buildings that can host conferences and seminars. Also, the grounds are host to various local festivals, exhibits and trade shows. The North Carolina State Fairgrounds is also famous for its North Carolina State Fair and weekly Fairground Flea Market.
Pull up a bench and revel in nature's beauty in this eight-acre (three-hectare) garden wonderland. This outdoor laboratory for the Department of Horticulture at North Carolina State University is a delight for visitors and locals alike. Sit in the shade of trees from over 50 different countries, wander down the 450-foot (137-meter) long mosaic of the Perennial Garden, or bring a good book and relax in the Reading Garden. The Victorian gazebo in the Klein-Pringle White Garden is a popular choice for local brides and the Japanese and Paradise gardens are must-sees.
The Nasher Museum is dedicated to presenting contemporary art from around the world, and showcasing art made by historically underrepresented groups. Founded in 2005 on the campus of Duke University, the museum boasts a permanent collection of more than 10,000 works, with strong holdings in medieval, pre-Colombian, classical, and modern and international contemporary art. Free guided tours are made available to groups of ten or less two days a week.
Founded in 1934, The Sarah P. Duke Gardens offers 55 acres (22 hectares) of world-class gardens in the center of Duke University. More than five miles (eight kilometers) of pathways lead visitors on walks through four sections of beautifully landscaped terraces, gardens, and arboretums. The Duke Gardens host gardening, photography, and natural history classes, and a summer concert series. A cafe and a visitor center are on the grounds. Walking and trolley tours are given four days a week; reservations are recommended.
The North Carolina Museum of Life & Science offers a number of interactive educational exhibits suitable for children and adults. Visitors can walk through a tornado, turn their movements into sound sculptures, and make contact with one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the American East Coast. The museum also features bear, red wolf, and lemur sanctuaries, and a forested tree house learning environment, which gives views of a landscaped forest from 20 feet (six meters) off the ground.
The Duke Lemur Center is a sanctuary for rare and endangered prosimian primates – mostly lemurs – located a few miles from the Duke University campus. The sanctuary is the largest of its kind in the world, and houses nearly 250 non-primates across 21 species, on 85 acres. The center focuses on conservation, research, and outreach, but provides opportunities for guided tours seven days a week. Visitors can tour the grounds with a staff photographer, paint with lemurs, or experience a day in the shoes of a lemur caretaker. Tours are by appointment only, and should be reserved several weeks in advance.
Millennium Durham is within a 5-minute drive of Duke University. The hotel is home to the Bel Gusto Restaurant. Guests can enjoy a refreshing dip in the indoor pool. Free WiFi is included. Millennium Hotel guest rooms are spacious and furnished with a large work desk and coffee maker. Flat-screen cable TVs with pay-per-view movies is offered. The Hotel Millennium Durham features an area shuttle service including service to the Raleigh-Durham Airport. Guests also have free access to the on-site fitness centre. The property offers 16,000 square feet of event and meeting space that includes two ballrooms, eight conference suites, two meeting rooms, and an executive boardroom Bel Gusto Restaurant is a full service restaurant that offers Italian cuisine. It is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Varsity Lounge serves cocktails and light snacks. Durham Millennium Hotel is a 10 minutes' drive from The Museum of Life and Science. The Durham Convention Center and Brightleaf Square Shopping Mall are also a 10 minutes' drive away.
This beautiful menagerie carousel built in 1911 is a designated historic landmark and one of the oldest carousels in the United States. Featuring 52 hand-carved wooden animals, 18 gilded mirrors, two sleighs, and a Wurlitzer 125 organ, the carousel has been operating continuously since 1921. The carousel is the focal point of the collection of rides at Pullen Park, and is one of 23 remaining carousels of its kind operating in North America.