Erica Chats: Explore Family Fun

With gas and life in general costing a fortune, it’s nice to know we have so many fun places in our area to enjoy that won’t break the bank.

First, let me introduce myself! I’m Erica DeLong, host of The Erica Show on iHeart Radio and often seen on local affiliates like My Carolina CBS. My favorite — and most important — role is mama to our two babies, our four-legged rescue, and wifey to Boston. We live in the Morrisville/Cary area, and we love to make life an adventure! No matter how big or small, you can always turn something into an adventure.

If you live in this area, you know … we are so lucky to call this place home! If not, welcome! This is where you find charm, hospitality, great food, history, culture, and art all wrapped in one.

If you’re looking for a few more day adventures to check out before the summer zips by, here are a few of our recent faves — family-friendly and a great way to enjoy a Saturday or Sunday.

1. Downtown Cary

It’s gorgeous and continues to grow with the 6-acre park expansion opening in 2023. Start with brunch at Peck & Plume at The Mayton. Sit on the terrace if your pup is with you. Get there early or put your name down and go explore. Then, do a scavenger hunt with the family along Academy Street. We do this during the holidays, and it’s always a hit.

Once you’ve done all this walking, it’s time for ice cream from Fresh Local. Honestly, you can’t go wrong in downtown Cary day or night — it’s beautiful with so many dining options!

2. Bond Park

Bond Park, Cary

The park is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., so you can make it a full day. Our family loves to rent the pedal boats. They also offer kayaks and canoes, mostly on a first-come, first-served basis. Bond Park provides life preservers for infants through adults, but you must be 18 to sign the paperwork! Your fur babies can’t join in on this activity.

Also — new and cool — their challenge course that opened last year offers two levels and includes ziplining and rope walls. It’s perfect for team-building gatherings and for smaller groups of 10 or less. You can enjoy the playground and a picnic while there. If it’s a special occasion or just because, have a company like Sweet T Picnics come out and set everything up for you. You just show up and enjoy a beautiful lakeside picnic that’s custom designed for you! Learn about them at

3. Jean’s Neighborhood Market

Jean’s Neighborhood Market, Apex

Y’all, I LOVE this cute little gem and the family history behind it. A family-run business with strawberries and produce, but they’ve also added gift items to their store with some of NC’s favorites. Visit their social at @JeansMarketApex. Don’t forget the yummy doughnut truck outside, farm equipment to entertain the kids, and lady fingers to stock up your freezer! In October they make a big to-do for pumpkin season, too!

4. Garden Supply Company

Garden Supply Company, Cary

We are here throughout the year for all seasons! We love to let the kids each pick a flower or plant and enjoy a day of family gardening, even if it’s just to put flowers in a flowerpot outside of the door. On the way home, we usually stop for lunch at Abbey Road, which is dog friendly and has games for the kids outside.

5. The Perfect Piece

I could spend days in this store, as my husband would tell you! When I was pregnant searching for things for the kids’ nurseries, I’d often tell him to wait in the car. ”I’ll be right back.” Every time, my husband would come looking for me and then get sucked in too! This has now become a family adventure.

Much of our house is decorated through The Perfect Piece. Before the summer ends, send the family in to pick their perfect piece for their rooms. You can also select something as a family to “make your own” for your home. As I type this, I literally looked around my house to see what else we could use to spruce things up! We’ve purchased everything from chairs to wall hangings to pillow shams and Christmas ornaments. Many great finds for the whole family.

If you have some fun spots and hidden gems to suggest, or want to stay connected, reach out via social @EricaDeLong.

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