My twin sister and her family are in town for two weeks! I’m super stoked. We previously went to visit them in Colorado and Texas, so of course it’s time for them to come see us. They were visiting because it’s my niece Lilly’s first birthday on the 10th and Julia’s second birthday on the 16th. We’re having a combo birthday party for them on the 11th. So much fun!

Now that they’re here my older sister and I have been showing them around Durham and Raleigh. One of our first stops with all of the kids was to Marble’s over in Raleigh. We’ve gone a few times and the kids never get tired of it. It’s a massive two-story building just full of stuff for kids to do and play with and explore. There’s even IMAX features and crafts and a really cool gift shop. It’s a must visit if you’ve got kids you want to entertain and tire out. The park across the street from Marble’s can be a little seedy, mostly because a lot of people hang out there as it’s right in downtown Raleigh, but they had this super cool sandcastle in one of the sand pits. The kids loved to look at it, but thankfully there was a small fence up to remind them to give a respectful distance.

When we got in the kids poked around the first floor a bit. Julia was entranced by the hula hoops, and she and Lilly stopped into the Toddler Hollow, a room on the first floor designed for smaller kids to romp and play safely. We headed up to the second floor because we tend to start up there and then work our way down so we can kind of herd the kids along to the exit as the day goes on.

On the second floor there’s a large room dedicated to teaching kids about money, including this awesome little pizza shop. Kaison was the cashier though I think she might have been overcharging because she asked everyone for these giant quarters that were at least two feet wide and couldn’t even fit in her register (you can kind of see one in front of her on the counter), but Claire did make a fantastic pizza so I guess it was all worth it.

Logan didn’t get to play with his favorite installation, the giant Lego blocks, because there were two older kids (at least early teens) that were using all of the blocks to make these massive fortresses for themselves. I wouldn’t have considered it any big deal, but they weren’t letting any of the younger kids even near the blocks, so super lame. Logan decided to spend some time with the K’nex cars before moving on to the woodworking area. He sawed three pieces of wood into several smaller pieces of wood and decided he was done.

The more physical part of the second story is so much fun. There’s an “ice” rink, which is really just a slick plastic surface and they provide black socks for the kids to scoot about on. There’s foam hockey sticks and goals and even a cool camera system kids on the outside can control for commenting on the action. Claire prefers to put her figure skating to the test, but the hockey action is rather fun and amusing. There’s also some work out equipment that’s kid powered, as well as cool netted in basketball area with hoops low enough Julia and high enough for older kids to have fun. They had some arts and crafts tables set up up on the second floor as well. Claire and Kaison colored in Dalmations while Julia painted. Also the little lookout window! It has a bridge that extends into this window that pokes out over the street below. The kids love it because you get a 360 degree of everything outside.

The other big area on the second floor is the electric room. It’s like a power plant and there are all of these disks kids can load into different pods and they travel all around the room in a cool track system. The kids have a ton of fun in here. There’s just a ton of fun to be had in all parts of Marble’s.

The first floor Claire calls the “pretend place.” It’s full of fun pretend and roleplaying areas. There’s a fire truck Logan loves, along with several train tables he can’t be torn away from. There’s also a vet’s office, hospital nursery, and grocery store, all places Claire and Kaison spent a lot of time. Lilly had fun in the baby “under water” section, including a wall aquarium she found fascinating, though the fish were less fond of her face pressed against the glass. Julia spent most of her time on the stage watching and occasionally heckling puppet theater.

We spent a good three hours at Marble’s before we headed home and all of the kids fell asleep in the car before we even made it out of Raleigh. If you’re in the Triangle I highly recommend Marble’s Children’s Museum, so much fun!

Do you have a museum or destination in your hometown you love to visit?

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  • Lauren

    I’m so glad I found your blog because these are the cutest ideas for kids to do. I hope when my first is born in a few weeks I have enough creativity and energy to do this kind of stuff!! :]

    • Oh thanks! And don’t worry about all of this. Let yourself relax for awhile after your baby is born. There’s plenty of time in the future for rambunctious toddlers and kids.

  • Hannah S.

    I live in Raleigh and I’ve never even heard of Marbels that place looks awesome! Is it very expensive?

    • Hannah! No, it’s actually super cheap. It’s $5 a ticket and kids 1 and under are free. It’s so much fun. I’ll text you next time we’re planning on being there and we’ll have to meet up, your kiddos will love it.