Yes, Chapel Hill is home to award winning chefs and restaurants, beautiful tree lined streets and historic districts, boutique shops, Carolina Blue fire trucks and of course the University of North Carolina with its iconic stone walls & Old Well and students racing to their next class…but did you know that Chapel Hill is also very family friendly? No matter the time of year, you can find activities suitable for kids of all ages. Here’s what to add to your itinerary on your next family visit…


Yes we know, but wait – these are really fun museums! Infants to tweens will love the Kidzu Children’s Museum with their innovative exhibits, Fam Jams and Learning Garden.  And who wouldn’t want to step inside and peek out of these stickworks in front of the Ackland Art Museum. Inside and beyond the 10-12 changing and traveling exhibits there’s Family and Friends Sundays, Drawing for Tweens and Art Adventures. Last but not least, even non-Tar Heel fans will appreciate the interactive presentations highlighting Carolina’s Final Four appearances and ACC Tournament championships plus tributes at the Carolina Basketball Museum.

Copy of Step Right Up by Patrick Dougherty

Farms and Animals

Kids love animals, animals love kids! How do hayrides, snuggling with baby goats & purring with lovable cats sound? Spring Haven Farm and 1870 Farm have events featuring goats and other farm animals nearly year round. The Cat Tales Cat Café lounge is home to 12 cats ready to play.

Cats at the Cat Tale's Cat Cafe

Outdoor Events

Kids need to be outdoors and space to run around.  Explore the Children’s Wonder Garden, Play with a giant chess set and search for Venus Flytraps at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, Dance to bluegrass at Fridays on the Front Porch, bring a blanket and snacks for Movies and Music on the Green at Southern Village, and watch giant puppets as they tell stories of the human heart at the Annual Forest Theatre Summer Giant Puppet Festival.

Paperhand Puppet Event

Speaking of Space

Kids and adults of all ages will marvel at the star shows and exhibits at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

Copy of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.jpg

Rock Climbing

Still Have Energy to Burn? Climb ‘til you can’t climb any further at the indoor rock climbing venues; Progression Climbing and Chapel Hill Community Center.

Our neighboring towns of Carrboro and Hillsborough love families too! Check out these venues and events.


ArtsCenter, Jazz at Weaver Street Market, and Glazed Expectations


Riverwalk and Occaneechi Indian Village, Orange County Sportsplex, Last Fridays

Kid Friendly Restaurants

Of course with all that energy burning you’ll need to refuel! Here are some recommendations for kid friendly restaurants. In Chapel Hill try Al’s Burgers and Sutton's Drugstore. In Carrboro and on the way to Hillsborough try Elmo’s Diner and Maple View Farm Ice Cream Country Store. In Hillsborough try Matthews Chocolates