Day trip to Hanging Rock
Durham Parks and Rec—It's a sad commentary on our culture when it takes an NFL TV commercial to encourage kids to play outside at least 60 minutes each day. (There is even an official "Take Your Child Outside Day," as if venturing into the yard were a novelty.) Thanks to Durham Parks and Recreation, kids ages 10-14 can immerse themselves in nature—rocky cliffs, a mountain lake, quiet forests and cascading waterfalls—at Hanging Rock State Park near Danbury, N.C. Meet at West Point on the Eno, 5101 N. Roxboro Road, at 7:30 a.m. The kids will be back by dinner, at 5:30. Cost is $12-18. Register by Dec. 22 by calling 471-1623 Ext. 2. —Lisa Sorg
Zebulon Community Center—Twelve days into the holiday vacation and the kids have cabin fever. Their presents feel shopworn; the only sweets left are pulverized candy canes.
Give yourself a break and send the kiddos to the Zebulon Community Center for an afternoon. Kids who received a Wii console for Christmas or Hanukkah may be ready to test their skills at the gaming tournament. Those who prefer racquet sports can burn their nervous energy at the Ping-Pong and badminton competitions.
Kids in kindergarten through second grade play from 2-3:30 p.m; third- through fifth-graders compete from 3:30-5 p.m. Cost is $15 for Zebulon residents, $20 for nonresidents. The community center is at 301 S. Arendell Ave. Info: 823-0432 or www.webstarts.com/ZebulonCommunityCenter. As my mom used to say around this time of year, "Go somewhere and get the stink blown off." —Lisa Sorg