School is almost out, and that means kids everywhere are looking forward to those warm summer days spent playing outside. From dinosaur-shaped slides to shaded nature explorations, check out these great parks in Chapel Hill that are perfect for kids.
Chapel Hill Community Center
The Chapel Hill Community Center is one of the largest multipurpose recreation centers in the area. This community meeting place offers an indoor pool, gymnasium, climbing wall and meeting room. On the outside, you’ll find basketball, volleyball and bocce ball courts, a large playground for kids of all ages, with equipment ranging from swings, slides, monkey bars and tire swings, bountiful picnic tables for lunching families, walking trails and the beautiful Gene Strowd Community Rose Garden.
Where: 120 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Bolin Creek Greenway
If your kid fancies him or herself a nature explorer, head down to the Bolin Creek Greenway, a paved, well maintained walking, biking and running path that runs through Chapel Hill. The shaded trail follows Bolin Creek for most of the way, so detours to explore birds, turtles, frogs and other wildlife are encouraged. If you prefer to stay on solid ground, parents with young children are welcome to bring strollers.
Where: Chapel Hill, NC 27515
Even if you don’t have a dog, your children will love watching the pups run around and play at this small yet well loved dog park. In addition to having a larger section for larger dogs and a smaller section for smaller dogs, Homestead Park also offers a ton of outdoor facilities, such as a skate park, a climbing wall and baseball and soccer fields. There are also walking/running trails that surround the area. One of the main draws of this park is the “Dinosaur Playground” area, a fun, shaded playground featuring a dinosaur slide, swings and an additional play set with slides, tunnels and climbing bars.
Where: 100 Northern Park Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Southern Community Park
As Chapel Hill’s newest and second-largest community park, Southern Community Park stretches out over 72 acres and offers visitors soccer fields, walking trails, a disc golf course, picnic facilities, basketball courts, an inline hockey court, a dog park and multiple playgrounds with state-of-the-art equipment for kids looking to burn off a little energy.
Where: Dogwood Acres Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Umstead Park is great for older kids as it is not fenced in. This park has a lot of athletic facilities, such as tennis, volleyball and basketball courts plus a baseball/softball diamond, as well as a small stream that accessible from the play area. Older children will have fun exploring the stream and walking through the path in the woods.
Where: 399 Umstead Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Photo credit: iStockphoto/JLBarranco