My Annual Idea List
Each year, I jot down several ideas in my planner of local things to do, trails to hike, weekend activities, and restaurants to try. Glancing back over my list from 2022, I made it to three parks/trails on my list and we also visited the Battleship in Wilmington (which I didn't even remember was on my list!).
I use a Bloom planner from Amazon, which I think is about $15, and it has several lined pages in the front which are perfect for jotting down ideas. I also use one page for a brain dump of dinner ideas. When it's time to shop for groceries or plan meals for the week, my mind goes completely blank, so I write things as simple as "cheeseburgers" or "pizza night," but I also write down names of recipes that I know we love, such as sweet and sour chicken (Mel's Kitchen Cafe blog has the best recipe and it is on rotation in our house).
I wanted to share my idea list for 2023 in case it inspires any local excursions for you and your family. I am an avid user of Google Reviews and Google Maps, and I am even a Google "Local Guide" because I've written so many reviews myself. All of these on the list are local to Raleigh and I've linked the websites as well. Many of the new-to-me things were likely discovered using Google Maps (just hovering my mouse over a pin and then reading the reviews to get more ideas).
We are fortunate to live in a place with so much to do all around us!
Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve (Cary)
Museum of Natural Science (Raleigh)
Duke Lemur Center (Durham)
Ayr Mount/Poet's Walk (Hillsborough)
Carolina Tiger Rescue (Pittsboro)
Wake Rack (Raleigh....rent inflatable SUP boards/kayas for Falls Lake)
Prairie Ridge Ecostation (Raleigh)
Knightdale Station Park....walk to Oak City Brewing....eat at Prime BBQ (Knightdale)
Kelly Road Park / Beaver Creek Greenway Trail (Cary)
The Bike Guy on the Greenway (Raleigh, Falls Lake bike rental at the trailhead)
Smith Creek Trail (Knightdale....one mile trail behind Heritage High School, stop for ice cream at Dairy Depot then one mile back)
Go Ape ropes course (Raleigh; has kids courses)
Forest Ridge Park (Raleigh, Falls Lake)
DeHart Botanical Gardens (Louisburg, stop for hot dogs at Jeffrey's Grill)
**Robertson Millpond Preserve (Knightdale, kayak rental on weekends, eat at Aubrey and Peedee's Grill) This is high on my list to do this one weekend
Anderson Point Park & Historic Oak View County Park (Raleigh; these are close together)
Historic Oakwood @ Halloween (downtown Raleigh)
Morehead Planetarium (Chapel Hill) * The planetarium was surprisingly one of my favorite date nights we ever did pre-kid and we had the whole place to ourselves on a Friday night. Want to go back with Cam soon! :)
Not sure how many of these I'll make it to in 2023, but if I do, I'll try to share on the blog to let you know how it went. And of course I'll write a Google review :)