biking in traffic garden

Kids in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools have a teacher workday on Monday, February 13. If you’re looking for something to do, here are some of our favorites.

Take a hike along the Bolin Creek Trail

It’s the Year of the Trail in North Carolina. Bolin Creek Trail, Chapel Hill’s oldest trail, is also our longest and most popular greenway.  The paved Bolin Creek trail (map) now runs 2.5 miles long and is easily reachable from several locations along the way.

It is also a great place for birdwatching, as the creek and surrounding areas are home to a variety of bird species. The trail is well-maintained and has amenities such as picnic tables and benches, making it a great place for a relaxing day in nature.

Learn to safely ride bikes in Chapel Hill’s new traffic garden

Traffic gardens are for growing confident kids that can navigate our towns’ bike paths and greenways. The traffic garden is a pilot project undertaken by Go Chapel Hill, the Transportation Demand Management program in town. The facility consists of a miniaturized city streetscape that simulates stop signs, two-way traffic, and crosswalks where children are encouraged to learn the rules of the road. Instilling confidence on city streets early is important for encouraging active transportation – and reducing car trips – for children as they get old enough to independently transport themselves around town.

Take advantage of personalized reading recommendations from the Chapel Hill Public Library

We recently learned that the Chapel Hill Public Library offers a really cool service: They’ll send you personalized reading recommendations (and even put those books on hold for you) if you tell them recent books you’ve liked and disliked.

We’ve tried the service out (for a 5-year-old) and received back great recommendations that were spot-on for the new reader in question.

The library also maintains three StoryWalks in public parks, with books to read along the paths. (They rotate the books each month. My kids like to run from page to page.)

Melody Kramer is a Peabody-award winning journalist whose work has appeared on NPR and member stations around the country, as well as in publications ranging from National Geographic to Esquire Magazine....