Indoor Outings

Is the cold weather putting a damper on your fun? Well, don’t let it!

Here are three indoor places that will add some sunshine to your days and keep you out of the cold at the same time.

Round up your family and friends for an indoor outing. These sites are ready to welcome you with open — and warm — arms.

Triangle Rock Club

Whether you are a beginning rock climber or consider yourself one of the best, Triangle Rock Club is a great place to put your physical skills to the test.

When you walk through the doors of a TRC location, you will be greeted by a staff whose top priority is to help and encourage you in your journey.

“We’re not in the climbing gym business,” said Joel Graybeal, one of TRC’s managing partners. “We’re in the hospitality and experience business. Whether you’re brand new or an experienced climber, our staff is set up to guide you and take you on a path that will get you climbing at the appropriate level.”

Climbing is also a way to meet and interact with new people.

“Meeting other people who share the same passion for climbing happens here all the time,” Graybeal said.

Programs such as Intro to Climbing, Youth Climbing and yoga classes are available for people ages 4 and up.

Climbers scale 55-foot walls in TRC’s new building, which opened in 2014. The Morrisville location is the largest indoor climbing facility in five states, says managing partner Joel Graybeal.

“We cater to customers of all ages,” said Graybeal. “Our mission statement is to enhance and transform people’s lives by enthusiastically sharing our passion for climbing.”

Triangle Rock Club consists of three locations: Its “classic” site in Morrisville, plus spots in North Raleigh and Fayetteville.

The owners of TRC think of their organization as three locations, but one community.

TRC was started by two former Force Recon Marines who wanted to bring their passion for adventure into the community. They opened their first TRC in Morrisville in December 2007.

Five years later, Graybeal joined the team. By September 2013 the second TRC location opened in North Raleigh. The Fayetteville location was completed in November 2014, and the team has plans to open three more locations in North Carolina.

“We don’t hope to expand,” Graybeal said. “We plan to.”

According to Graybeal, the Morrisville location houses the biggest and tallest climbing terrain in five states. Attracting customers from all 50 states and 10 different countries, TRC reaches people from all walks of life.

For $19 for adults and $12 for children 11 and younger, you and your family can enjoy a day filled with climbing.

City of Raleigh Museum

The City of Raleigh Museum, located in a historic former hardware store in downtown Raleigh, is a great way to add some fun to a cold afternoon. With more than 5,000 artifacts showcased, there is sure to be something here to interest people of all ages.

“There is something here for everybody,” said Ernest Dollar, director of COR. “We are the only museum that reflects Raleigh’s local culture.”

The City of Raleigh Museum offers gallery tours that walk visitors through the museum’s exhibits highlighting interesting pictures, artifacts and stories.

With the goal of preserving Raleigh’s rich history, this museum allows people to get to know and experience the past, present and future of North Carolina’s capital city.

“We adopted a new mantra called ‘Then, Now and Next,’” Dollar said. “The Then is we look at history for history’s sake. The Now is we pull that history up and look at how it has shaped us today. Then we take it one step further and try to have people think about how history shapes the future. We try to be past, present and future.

“Raleigh is such a thriving community. Its history museum does not need to be stuck in the past,” he said.

With fresh content always coming in, there is constantly something new to experience at the COR museum, and lots of secrets to be discovered.

“Almost every month people will be able to find something new here,” Dollar said.

Visitors to the exhibit called “R3: Raleigh Then, Raleigh Now, Raleigh Next” explore the city’s history through 200 years of artifacts and images. A timeline guides the curious through the city’s cultural landscape.

As you walk through the doors of the updated contemporary COR museum, you will notice special historical artifacts, such as the original Raleigh flag, dotted around the building.
There are walking tours and exhibits plus interactive kiosks and activities for a fun hands-on learning experience. Best of all, museum admission is free.

“It’s a great place to bring the kids to come and learn,” Dollar said.

Another part of the museum to explore is the Pope House, built in 1901, which may have housed the first black doctor in Raleigh. Dollar calls the house Raleigh’s “diamond in the rough.” The house is open for tours on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“If you want to discover an unfound treasure, that’s where it is,” Dollar said.

“When people come into the museum, we want them to leave knowing their world a little better, knowing not only the history behind Raleigh and the character of Raleigh but have an idea of where Raleigh is going in the future,” he said.

BounceU of Apex

Run, jump and bounce until you’re all warmed up! BounceU of Apex is a great way to get your whole family out of the house and into a fun new environment.

BounceU of Apex is a part of the largest franchise for indoor inflatable recreation centers in the world, and became part of this community in 2008.

Five-year-old William Duncan closes his eyes and hopes for a bullseye at BounceU.

This house of bounce is open to ages 2 and up with 10 different inflatables such as air cannon guns, obstacle courses and giant slides, with one or two additional inflatables added annually to keep things fresh.

“The mission of BounceU is to create the kind of environment where families can have an activity that they can do together,” said general manager Amy Whitley.

BounceU strives to make every person who walks through the door feel like he is entering his own birthday party.

Brothers Michael, 11, and Alex Duncan, 7, of Holly Springs, test their agility on an inflatable obstacle course.

“We’re all about being a place where everyone is treated special, like it’s their birthday,” said Whitley. “You should be excited about what you’re coming into. Everyone around you should be happy.”

Bounce events happen throughout the week, from the weekday Preschool Bounce and All Age Bounce, to Cosmic Open Bounce complete with black lights and special effects.

Family Bounce Night is a good way to bond over bouncing and food, but Parents’ Night Out offers the option to have your kids cared for in a fun environment while you go enjoy yourself elsewhere.

Families can play together during Open Bounce time at Apex’s BounceU, or just let the kids wear themselves out. The facility has inflatables such as air cannon guns, obstacle courses and giant slides.

“Overall, we want to create a fun, friendly, safe and clean environment for kids to let out some energy,” Whitley said.

Prices start at $8 per person. Reservations are recommended … and don’t forget your socks!

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