“Raleigh is a great place to live if you have kids and enjoy the outdoors.”

Numerous folks told us this when we moved here. Our first 9 months as Triangle residents have given us plenty of chances to confirm it for ourselves. Yesterday we spent a couple of hours at Pullen Park, an older, established park near NC State’s campus. New rec areas may have the best and most advanced play equipment, but Pullen has a few things that no other park in town is likely to match.

For example, there are beautiful, mature trees and shrubs. It is easy to imagine multiple generations of families looking at the same landscaping. Also, the paths in the park are made from pavers. My mother-in-law noted that today this many pavers would cost a million bucks. No wonder they put down mulch paths in the new parks.

Then there are the amenities: a refurbished carousel built in 1911, a gas-powered train that circles the entire park, kiddie boats (like at the fair), and paddle boats. The first three cost $1 per ride for everyone over a year old. Paddle boats rent by the hour.

Yes- those are ostriches the kids and Jen are riding. The carousel also has cats, bunnies, pigs, lions, tigers and horses.

We stayed for a couple of hours and everyone (inlcuding the adults) had a lot of fun. Safe to say we’ll be back at Pullen again.

If you live in the Raleigh area, what’s your favorite park/outdoor activity?