By Michele McKinley. Photo by Hal Goodtree.
Cary, NC – It’s summer time, and the livin’ is easy!
Whether you’re planning a “staycation” or just looking for a checklist of awesome things to do and places to go right here in Cary (and the surrounding area) this summer, Advocates for Health in Action (AHA) offers 10 ideas for you.
1) Canoeing and Pedal-boating
Visit Bond Lake in Cary or Lake Crabtree County Park in Morrisville for fun and fitness! Both offer boat rentals (canoes, pedal boats, kayaks and row boats) as a great way to get your blood pumping and enjoy the N.C. scenery!
2) To Market, To Market
Visit one of Cary’s farmers’ markets or area pick-your own farms for a fresh taste of local summer flavors and some healthy foods! Western Wake Farmers’ Market and Cary Downtown Farmers’ Market both have Tuesday afternoon and Saturday morning hours. Plus road-side stands like DJ’s Berry Patch and other pick-your-own farms have lots of choices too—get a little exercise in as you pick in the fields! AHA’s Wake County “Farm to Family” Food Finder is a great tool to see what’s nearby and what options a bit further away that might be fun to explore.
3) Biking to Movies by Moonlight
All summer Town of Cary offers Movies by Moonlight at Koka Booth Amphitheatre every Thursday night. As part of Cary’s Fit Community opportunities, anyone who rides their bike to Movies by Moonlight on Cary’s many greenways gets a free movie ticket! Check out the summer schedule, pump up your tires and don your helmet!
4) Cary Scavenger Hunt
On July 23, teams will join in the 2nd annual Cary Scavenger Hunt to race around town and hunt for clues in this hometown adventure. Learn about Cary history, food, businesses, parks, arts and more in this fun-filled day for adult teams and family teams! This great annual event is run by Carycitizen.com.
5) Dig In
It’s not too late to start a garden at home (even a container for tomatoes will work) or learn more about participating in one of the community gardens in Wake County! Another great way to really appreciate locally grown, healthy fruits and veggies –and really understand where food comes from–is to volunteer to work in a community garden or even on an area farm. Get to know your farmers at the markets—many of them host farm working days. They often offer a reward of fresh farm food for in exchange for your labor! Check out the list of community gardens in Wake County on AHA’s web site; Cary’s Pocket Community Garden is seeking new members currently.
6) Beat the Heat
Through AMF’s Summer Unplugged Program, you can enroll online, and kids up to age 16 can bowl two free games per day per person! AMF is encouraging families to turn off the TV and turn up the free fun with this program! Just sign up online, and you’ll receive the coupons via email. AMF South Hills Lanes is on Nottingham Drive in Cary.
Two more fun ways to get some exercise but stay cool: go ice skating at The Polar Ice House in Cary during (free Open House on Sunday 1-4 pm with free ice skating) or go swimming at your community pool or one of the recreational centers in the area! Check for early hours for laps or enroll the kids in lessons for fun and fitness to beat the heat.
Home to an extensive greenways system, Cary has tons of trials for hiking! Lace up your sneakers or hiking boots, grab a backpack with a healthy snack and plenty of water, then hit the trails.
8) Grocery Store Savvy
Whole Foods Market, Cary, offers a variety of free and low-cost classes, such as its Health Starts Here series, shop healthy on a budget, and shop for & cook fresh produce for one—no waste! Visit their web site to check out the schedule. Bonus—it’s nice and cool in the grocery stores!
9) NC Art Museum Park
Explore the Art Museum’s Park featuring 160 acres of fields, woodlands, creeks and trails! Ride your bike, walk the dog, or jog the trails and enjoy the many works of art that decorate the park! You could even pack a picnic for your outing.
10) Power 2Play World Tour
Fuel your kids’ fun with sports, dance, nutrition and team spirit at Power2Play World Tour exhibit at Marbles Kids Museum in downtown Raleigh! Kids can don hockey gear and take a shot in a realistic rink. Practice football fancy footwork to build agility and speed, climb the Himalayas to gain strength, pick power foods to fuel Carolina Hurricanes players and much more! Marbles is open Tuesday–Sunday.
There’s so much more available to us here in this area, but we cannot list it all! Of course, you could run around the yard in the sprinkler, catch fireflies and grill up some local veggies for fun too.
Advocates for Health in Action
Advocates for Health in Action is a group of more than 50 diverse organizations and community members who are shaping the environment throughout Wake County so healthful eating and physical activity are the way of life. AHA works to achieve its mission by shaping policy and environments that ensure available and affordable access to healthful foods and physical activity for all community members.