9.07.2015

#OutaboutNC with Kids: 24 Hours in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Every summer I go on a mini excursion with my two kids, my friend, and her two kids. It's a party of six. We both live in the Triangle area so we always pick a destination where we spend at least one night away. This is our third time as two moms traveling together with kids.

Together, we have visited Charlotte, Myrtle Beach, S.C. (which I try to forget because the hotel did not meet my standards, but the kids had a good time) and this year, we chose Winston-Salem, N.C.

OutAboutNC with Kids: 24 hours in Winston-Salem, N.C. Family Travel adventure for kids in North Carolina. Winston-Salem includes SciWorks Museum, Old Salem, and Children's Museum of Winston-Salem.


Winston-Salem is less than a two-hour drive from Raleigh, N.C. This destination could easily be a day-trip from my hometown, but half the fun for us is having an overnight in a hotel. We turned our trip into an overnight so we could experience even more thrills.


SciWorks in Winston-Salem


OutAboutNC with Kids: 24 hours in Winston-Salem, N.C. Family Travel adventure for kids in North Carolina. Winston-Salem includes SciWorks Museum, Old Salem, and Children's Museum of Winston-Salem.


Our first kid-friendly stop was The Science Center and Environmental Park of Forsyth County, better known as SciWorks. If you are a local or plan to go to this museum often then a membership is the best ticket sold because once you buy a family membership for $95 then admission is free each time you visit. For our crowd, the cost would have been $58 for the day.

Is it worth the cost?  I think so.

Our kids had fun, and three areas really stood out on our trip.

OutAboutNC with Kids: 24 hours in Winston-Salem, N.C. Family Travel adventure for kids in North Carolina. Winston-Salem includes SciWorks Museum, Old Salem, and Children's Museum of Winston-Salem.


Maybe we have future health practitioners on our hands, but HealthWorks really captivated our children's attention. Perhaps it was the oversized mouth full of teeth that they could brush or maybe the body is just fascinating in general, but we lingered in this area for awhile, and it was even requested for a "second visit to clean teeth" before we exited for the day.

The second area where we spent a lot of time was SoundWorks. Let's face it, a giant keyboard to step on is just plain fun.

We didn't realize it at the time, but the third area our children enjoyed exploring was the Traveling Exhibit area of SciWorks. This past summer, the theme was Team Up: Explore Science and Sports. Team Up! is a traveling exhibition of Discovery Center in Illinois.  There was also the "Little Builders" exhibit, geared toward ages 2 to 7. Our bigger kids liked it as well. 

With over 25,000 square feet of exhibits, and a 17-acre Science and Environmental Park, there is so much to do at SciWorks! We stayed about three hours and chose not to do the Planetarium or outside area due our time schedule. 




Picnic lunches are welcome. There is only a vending machine on site. Sorry, no on-site coffee, Moms!  Moms in the Triangle must be huge coffee drinkers because we can get a coffee or drink (not alcoholic, even though we may need it)  at any museum in the Triangle. Our kids had a blast and the day was all about them, but you would know that I was "glossing" things over if I failed to mention that visions of a cup of coffee danced about my head as the children played. 

Want to Go: 
SciWorks
400 West Hanes Mill Road
Winston-Salem, N.C. 

Old Salem Museum and Gardens 


OutAboutNC with Kids: 24 hours in Winston-Salem, N.C. Family Travel adventure for kids in North Carolina. Winston-Salem includes SciWorks Museum, Old Salem, and Children's Museum of Winston-Salem.


If you have never taken your kids to Old Salem then put it on your list. I think it is best suited for elementary school students and older, but our five-year-olds did quite well when we bribed them with a tavern lunch and Moravian cookies.  Old Salem also realizes this fact about younger ones attention spans, and children under the age of six have free admission. 

Your best bet for cost is the all-in-on-ticket priced at $23 for adults and $11 for children. These prices also include admission to MESDA ( The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts) which we chose not to do with our children. It's a 45-minute guided tour of antiques and furnishings. We were short on time, but also knew that the younger ones would have hated it.


OutAboutNC with Kids: 24 hours in Winston-Salem, N.C. Family Travel adventure for kids in North Carolina. Winston-Salem includes SciWorks Museum, Old Salem, and Children's Museum of Winston-Salem.


Old Salem has done a great job of keeping children's interest with the Old Salem Sleuth program. Kids read clues and then must give the answers to clues to the museum guides in order to get stamps. After completing a day of clues, children can turn in their guide for a prize. 


OutAboutNC with Kids: 24 hours in Winston-Salem, N.C. Family Travel adventure for kids in North Carolina. Winston-Salem includes SciWorks Museum, Old Salem, and Children's Museum of Winston-Salem.


I think we all enjoyed learning about the history of Old Salem and enjoyed stepping back in time. You need to plan several hours here, and definitely make reservations for lunch at the Tavern. It's a fun experience with great food. 

Want to Go:
Old Salem Museum and Gardens 
900 Old Salem Road 
Winston-Salem, N.C. 


Children's Museum of Winston-Salem


family-friendly attractions in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Children's Museum of Winston-Salem.


The Children's Museum of Winston-Salem is less than a mile from Old Salem so we popped in for about an hour and a half before heading back to Raleigh.  The museum closes at 4 p.m.  This museum is like a little fantasy land with fun climbing structures, and imaginative play.  I can only imagine what a young child thinks when he sees the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Factory or the Enchanted Forest.  Imaginations can soar here.  The older two in our party, being nine, are really phasing out of the target age for this museum, but they still had fun. 

An hour here was enough for them, but our younger two really enjoyed it and it was a treat for them after exploring Old Salem. 



OutAboutNC with Kids: 24 hours in Winston-Salem, N.C. Family Travel adventure for kids in North Carolina. Winston-Salem includes SciWorks Museum, Old Salem, and Children's Museum of Winston-Salem.


The Kaleidoscope climbing structure is certainly a highlight for all ages. The Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem is the first location in the United States to host a crocheted wonder from renowned artist Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam.

Admission is $7 per person over the age of one. Memberships are also available. 

Want to Go:
Children's Museum of Winston-Salem
390 South Liberty Street
Winston-Salem, N.C 

My thanks to Visit Winston-Salem for hosting our visit to these wonderful Winston-Salem attractions. Admission was provided by Visit Winston-Salem.  Opinions about these attractions are my own and were part of a curated media visit.  Hotel and food costs were our own. 

Where We Stayed in Winston-Salem, N.C. 


OutAboutNC with Kids: 24 hours in Winston-Salem, N.C. Family Travel adventure for kids in North Carolina. Winston-Salem includes SciWorks Museum, Old Salem, and Children's Museum of Winston-Salem.

Part of our experience for "these two moms with kids trips" is our desire to stay in accommodations where we can all be together. That's a tall order with six people. We found the desired space we needed in the Hilton brand of Embassy Suites in downtown Winston-Salem this year. This particular hotel has a two bedroom suite  (one king bed, two double beds, and a sleeper sofas) with a living room and kitchen. The set-up was perfect, and we split the $200 cost after taxes for the one night. Breakfast and a manager's reception are included in the rate. 

We upgraded to the Premium suite which included complimentary snacks and a K-cup coffee maker. The complimentary snacks were a great deal, and it was basically unlimited snacks and water.

Coming off of Ritz-Carlton hotel stay within a few weeks prior to this one, this full-service brand is no Ritz-Carlton or luxurious in any way, but the set-up was really good and it is perfect for families. It is a good 3-star rated hotel. The bedding was comfortable. Decor was nice.  The staff was friendly.  We were quite pleased. It was fun to get complimentary wine. The food at the hotel was very average so during a rain storm we walked over to its sister hotel, The Marriott, via the skywalk between the two lobbies for dinner. 


Winston-Salem, NC.


Boy, the Marriott has certainly upped its game with cuisine these days. I've seen this trend here at the Marriott in downtown Raleigh and now in Winston-Salem. We dined at Graze, a farm-to-table restaurant that wowed. I happily recommend this restaurant.  Graze chef Richard Miller will be competing in the statewide Competition Dining finals in Raleigh this fall. He clutched the win for the Triad area this summer. 


Scallops at Graze in Winston-Salem, NC

Graze had a wonderful kids menu and through all my work with hotels, I knew that hotel restaurants were used to hosting children. We had a perfect set-up in our own little alcove with two tables. The kids were at one, and my friend and I were at another. It was an ideal evening. 

Where should we go next year? 

Plan your trip to Winston-Salem, N.C. 
Visit Winston-Salem 







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