Three Bear Acres
June 30, 2016
Not too long ago a friend posted some photos on Facebook of a place named Three Bears Acres. It looked pretty cool but I didn't give it too much thought. This was way before I began blogging and really paying attention to finding new places to go and explore with the kids to share with you all.
A few weeks after I started the blog I noticed a Groupon for this same place. I took a look and made the purchase thinking we would check it out as soon as we had a free day to venture to Raleigh. Today was the day!
We left this morning around 10:30am, a little later than I had hoped but daddy had some work related things to get taken care of before we left. I was excited we could all go as a family so we pateintly waited for him.
We arrived at Three Bear Acres around 1pm. It didn't take us 2.5 hours to get there, don't worry, we made a pit stop at a store we don't have nearby...I'm a sucker for shopping in Raleigh!
I expected this place to be a lot like Go Play Outside Now! but it wasn't. Well, it was, in the sense that it was outside and everything was lovingly made and cared for by sweet owners with children of their own. But it wasn't; in that it offered a much different environment and activities. I like both of these spots for different reasons. I would say that Three Bears was more fun for the whole family because all of the activities we did together as a family. Go Play Outside Now! is more for the kids to play and enjoy. The adults don't really play...although they probably could. I'm not meaning to compare the two, I just know some of my readers may be wanting to try one or both and aren't sure which to go with.
Three Bear Acres' hours vary and today they were open early with lots of kids from summer camps coming to enjoy the facility. Because we got there after lunch we basically enjoyed the entire place at our own pace by ourselves. It also helped we went during the middle of the work week. Lucky for us to be all off and home together this week.
We started at the front of TBA and worked our way around ending at the slip-n-slide. It was a hot day and oh so needed!
From the parking area and entrance to Three Bear Acres, the area is unassuming. Once we crested the hill, they saw the bounce pillow and their eyes lit up. We checked in with Maura, one of the owners, and redeemed our Groupon for the day. Kids 2 and under are free but prices are:
Children $15 (Children 2 and under are free)
Toddler Thursday $12 (children ages 3-5yrs) with one parent free with paying child
Senior Citizen $5
There are a variety of options to join as members for the year or summer. They also offer a military discount.
After our brief conversation with Maura learning where to go and what we would be getting to do, we headed to the bounce pillow.
TIP! Bring a stroller or carrier for new walkers and younger. Mr. One had a hard time keeping up and the terrain was touch and go.
It didn't take long for their legs to get tired and to get really hot. So we moved on to the next "station" which required us walking past a water misting machine...noone complained about that.
TIP! Bring towels for both wiping mud, paint, sweat & water!
Up next was a graffiti wall. I admit I was a bit apprehensive about letting them play with paint in their clothes...especially considering they all had on new clothes. They did well with keeping the paint on the walls and off their bodies...even Mr. One only got a little bit on him. (Also it's washable so I'll get over it. Outdoor play is good for mommies too!)
Todd and I both enjoyed painting with them.
Once we got all of the creativity out of our system we moved over to some more physical activities. The girls loved the hampster wheels while the boys explored the Growing Garden (for preschoolers). We were all getting nice and hot so everyone started wanting to move toward the wooded area for some shade and water fun. But first we checked out the slingshots. There was a really cool mud kitchen that we bypassed. We will be sure to dress more appropriately for mud next time!
After a pit stop at the restrooms we headed into the wooded area for more fun. We walked right past the concession stand, so didn't get a chance to see what was offered. Take a look at their website for info on their concession stand and specifically the hours open if you plan to go.
We headed to the slide for a few trips down. Mr. Four was a bit afraid of this activity...and reasonably so. I decided to show him it was fun and not scary but I ended up scaring myself! IT IS FAST! Holy cow! It was fun, but I only went down one time. It was surprisingly faster than I expected. The girls went down several times and Daddy took Mr. One down a couple times...he loved it. Maybe next time Mr. Four will give it a go...but if he doesn't, I don't blame him!
Up next was some fun on the Treehouse, which gave us a lot of time to enjoy in the shade. The kids loved the slides, cargo net and swings. Mr. One spent a lot of time swinging and playing in the house. We could've spent a lot of time just hanging around the Treehouse itself. There was so much to do and play with! The playground is a super well built piece for kids of all ages.
The draw of the pond and paddle boats was strong so we didn't last long in the shade before we ventured down the hill to boat. The staff helped us get our crew onto two different boats. Daddy took the Nine and One year olds while I took Mr. Four and Ms. Twelve. We all really enjoyed paddle boating and it was the first time our kids had ever experienced that. They were pros by the end of it!
We finished our visit at the water slide! The kids were hot and ready for cooling off. The slide is basically what one would call a "redneck slip-n-slide" with black tarps down a bank and some woodwork to dress it up. It's perfect and SO fun to watch! Next time I plan to try it out for sure. I may regret that statement later though!
Some tips to share with you if you plan to visit.
2) Bring water, silly me didn't pack water bottles...see I don't always have it together!
3) Wear bathing suits, athletic clothes, tennis shoes and have a change of clothes and towel. Basically pack as if you are going to a water park for the day.
4) Don't rush to get there at the beginning of the day. Crowds will die down by the afternoon and 2 hours is plenty of time to get to each attraction.
Next time you're considering a day trip to Raleigh, make Three Bear Acres a part of your plan.
You'll get some tired kids and have lots of fun!
Take a look at their website. They offer parties and have seasonal activities especially in the Fall that are note worthy.
Thanks to Maura at Three Bear Acres for welcoming us and letting us visit you're amazing facility today! We will be back soon...and I plan to ride the water slide!