Summer Break

A (Local) Parent’s Survival Guide

Fuquay-Varina Splash Pad

Hold onto your butts, parents, because I’m about to drop some local knowledge that will literally save you from your demon spawn precious gifts from God this summer. At some point between June and August, every parent is bound to hear “I’m bored” more than once. You’re going to need a lot of wine patience to keep from adopting an alias, flying to Barcelona, and starting a new, carefree life filled with sunshine, sangria and zero amounts of whining. Alas, not everyone has a passport (and abandonment is typically frowned upon), but never fear! Here are ten things to do with your kids this summer that are guaranteed to shut them up (maybe) (probably not, but THOUGHTS and PRAYERS).

The Fuquay-Varina Splash Pad

No, I’m not talking about gigantic potholes filled with water, I’m talking about the spray park located right next to the Fuquay Community Center. The splash pad is free for town residents and only $2 for non-residents (children under two are free). It’s a fun and cheap way for younger kids to play together and cool off. Don’t feel like dealing with other people’s children? Don’t worry, just —

Turn On The Sprinkler; Lock The Door

Relax, Karen, I’m not suggesting you actually lock the door (yes, I am), but whatever happened to kids running around in sprinklers? If you’re really feeling this parenting thing, buy a cheap slip ‘n’ slide that your kids will play on for approximately 10 minutes before it kills your grass.

Fantasy Lake Water Park

I’m kind of cheating with this one, because Fantasy Lake Water Park isn’t exactly local (it’s just over an hour away in Hope Mills, N.C.), but it’s easily the closest water park to Holly Springs and Fuquay. For only $10 your child will have access to water slides and playgrounds, kayaks and paddleboards, water volleyball, basketball and a jump tower. Parents can crack open a cold beverage, sit on the “water swings” and watch their kids zipline across the lake in total relative peace and tranquility.

Summer At The Springs

Holly Springs’ outdoor summer concert series is one of the most bougie things you’ll ever see, but I’ve got to admit, it’s pretty relaxing after a long day of parenting. Bring a lawn chair, a picnic dinner and enjoy some live music every second and fourth Friday from 7-9 p.m. Kids might be running around the grass like a pack of wild hyenas, but don’t let that stop you! Chances are they’ll make a friend and forget you’re even there (plus they sell wine and beer, so there’s that).

Local Volunteer Opportunities

Helping others is the key to happiness, so why not have your kids volunteer locally? Every Wednesday (during the warmer months), different organizations serve lunch to the underhoused community at James A. Campbell Park in Fuquay-Varina starting around noon. Just show up and introduce yourself. Families can also help by donating, distributing and organizing food at the Holly Springs Food Cupboard or the Fuquay-Varina Emergency Food Pantry.


There’s no need to stay locked inside with Fortnite zombies when there are so many local parks to visit! Adventurous types can summon their inner “Brett” by mountain biking or hiking at Harris Lake. For lazy pieces of parental garbage like myself, why not take it easy on a canoe or a kayak at Bass Lake or Lake Wheeler? Are you into no physical activity at all history? Head over to Yates Mill County Park and take a tour of the historic mill, fish off the pier, or (better yet) hang with the kids inside the air-conditioned museum to “learn” about local heritage.

Disc Golf

Have your kids discovered the wonderful world of disc golf (aka frisbee golf) yet? Disc golf courses can be found at Jones Park in Holly Springs, Middle Creek High School, Harris Lake County Park and Higher Ground on Sanford Avenue in Fuquay-Varina. Hey, it’s better than throwing a frisbee inside the house.

Sadie Warren, Sophia O’Shea and Hayes Warren wait for samples at Sunni Sky’s.

Sunni Sky’s

If you haven’t been to Sunni Sky’s Homemade Ice Cream yet, then drop everything right now (except your baby), climb into your trashed minivan and head to Angier for some of the best homemade ice cream you’ll ever taste. Sunni Sky’s has over 120 flavors, including blueberry dump cake (my favorite), banana pudding and spicy flavors made from some of the hottest peppers in the world. I’m telling you to do it for the kids, but what I’m really saying is TREAT YO’ SELF (but bring cash; they don’t take cards).

Garner’s White Deer Park

I know it’s in Garner, but hear me out. White Deer Park features two miles of paved trails, a wildflower meadow, an arboretum, five picnic shelters and a MASSIVE nature center with live (and preserved) animals inside for those extra hot days. The best part? The park has both a traditional playground and a “natural” one with a 20-foot slide built into the ground.

Last But Not Least, Put Them To Work

Why bother paying a cleaning company to come and clean your home when you’ve got kids? Take a page out of your grandparent’s handbook, and put them to work everytime they say the words “I’m bored” (just not in the fields folks; times have changed).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *